Life in New York City in all its diversity means hearing a colorful mix of languages spoken every day. Web developer and artist Jill Hubley‘s new census map (h/t Gothamist) shows us which languages are spoken by New Yorkers at home in their neighborhoods. Hubley intially created the Languages of NYC map for a GISMO exhibit at the Queens Museum entitled, “Map Mosaic: From Queens to the World” with data from the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The result is a colorful tableau of native tongues, from Russian in Brighton Beach to Spanish in Sunset Park, with large swaths of French Creole in Brooklyn and Chinese in lower Manhattan–and those are the ones we already expected. The map allows you to view “islands” of one or more languages or to view them all.
The map also allows you to exclude English and Spanish to filter out the city’s predominant languages. Hubley, who has created maps of tree species, toxic spills, and city building greenhouse gas emissions, says, “The data collection needs to be looked at a little more,” (Central Park, for example, looks like a Vietnamese-speaking community, and there are broad categories like “African Languages” that could be broken down more specifically), but it’s a good way to be reminded of the city’s many cultural enclaves–and possibly track down a really good ethnic meal.
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