INFO VISUALIZATION: Two new tools for those interested in New York real estate and/or architecture.
First off, there's VIVA (Visual Index to the Virtual Archive), based on New York's Skyscraper Museum's collection. VIVA is a cool "visually-based interface that uses a 3-D computer model of Manhattan as a click-on map, allowing Web visitors to view the city, present and past, and to access the Museum's collections through an on-line, searchable database."
Sound too good to be true? Well, it is. The problem with VIVA is that the interface isn't intuitive and can take a bit of getting used to. Secondly, the photos you actually manage to find are about the size of postage stamp on up-to-date monitors. Also, VIVA is a work in progress; when I last got it to work, the only neighborhood you can actually explore is Lower Manhattan. Lastly, VIVA sometimes just doesn't work. It will seemingly just load forever. All of these qualms aside, it's a great and interesting project that I hope will continue to move forward.
Also, the New York Times added a cool feature to their Real Estate Section that allows you to explore data from the five boroughs and beyond (read: Jersey). It's a well done visualization, even if it's a bit depressing with housing prices through the roof and all.