Wi-Fi NYC Photo: Emilio Labrador/Flickr

At a time when some New Yorkers have resorted to “Hacktivism” to access New York City’s public data, one City initiative is working towards increased transparency — and the results are already pretty impressive.

NYC’s Data Lens uses city data to provide users with a map showing NYC’s free, or nearly-free, Wi-Fi hotspots. Providers range from for-profit companies like AT&T, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable, to organizations like the Chelsea Improvement Company, The New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York Public Library and even the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority.

The greatest concentration of hotspots is in the Central Park North/Harlem area, above 110th Street and below 125th Street, but the map reveals hundreds of locations across all boroughs.

The map is even customizable by web software. While it defaults to Google Maps, users may also select Bing or ESRI as their host.

NYC Open Data makes the wealth of public data generated by New York City agencies and organizations available for public use. The open catalog offers access to government-produced, digital data sets as part of an initiative to improve the transparency and accountability of the City government.

Data Lens is currently still in pilot mode at the moment and works with DOHMH New York City Restaurant Inspection Results, Universal Pre-K (UPK) School Locations, 311 Service Requests from 2010 to Present, NYPD Motor Vehicle Collisions and NYC Wi-Fi Hotspot Locations.

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