NYC 311 Rodent Complaints

The NYC Open Data Portal provides a list of all calls to 311 about rodent complaints, from 2010 to present.

For this sonification, we decided to jazz it up with instruments and rhythms that felt appropriate for the topic:

  • Conditions Attracting Rodents - Double Bass in a steady, seasonal cycle representing background conditions for the other data values
  • Mouse Sightings - small and high pitched Glockenspiel, almost cute, but not quite
  • Rat Sightings - a piano, played in unsettling triplets.
  • Rodent Bites - a recording of someone exclaiming “Ow!”, triggered once in each of the thankfully rare occurrences.

Since there were almost a quarter of a million calls over eight years, the data required a bit of editing to make it manageable. A simple pivot table suffices, with call dates grouped into months as row headers and complaint description as column headers.

Listen to the Data

Watch the Playthrough

Remix the Project

To view and and download the data set, or access via the NYC Open Data Portal or through the table preview below.