The Team Behind the Neighborhoods Project

Three PediaCities contributors worked together on the conceptualization and creation of the neighborhoods map: Aykut Simsek, Zack Silverman, and Nathan Storey. They were all happy to work on a map that, as Zack commented, represents the kinds of neighborhood-based changes he notices as he takes walks through the city.

Aykut is currently pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science at NYU-Poly.  He moved to NYC about a year ago from Turkey, where he graduated from Middle East Technical University with a bachelor’s degree.  He joined the team in February, 2013 and has been involved in nearly every facet of the PediaCities data operations. Lately, he has focused most closely on optimizing PediaCities’ database operations and solving GIS programming issues.  For the neighborhood maps project, he focused on the functionality of the map and took care of embedding it in the PediaCities website.

After earning his Master’s degree in Regional Planning from UMass Amherst in 2012, Zack spent the past year and a half working for the Department of City Planning, CUNY, and consulting with GCR Incorporated. He has also contributed to this and other projects at PediaCities as a freelance GIS analyst (or perhaps guru is a more fitting title), managing and preparing the map layers that showcase the open data available on the site.  He has recently taken a job as a full time GIS analyst at GCR Incorporated.

Nathan is the Product/Communications Manager for Ontodia, PediaCities’ parent company.  He is closely involved in conceptualizing and guiding PediaCities’ map and other end-user projects.  He created the first draft of the neighborhood polygons (we’ll tell you more about how in the upcoming post about our process) and coordinated the efforts of the rest of the team.

All three are excited to have the neighborhoods map up and running on the site.  As Aykut puts it, “we have some really interesting data in our knowledge base, so why not tell some great stories?” And now, thanks to their hard work, you can see what stories your neighborhood has to tell.

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