New York City has been the site of many of film history's biggest moments: King Kong hanging from the Empire State Building, Robert De Niro driving a cab through darkened streets, Spike Lee serving up pizzas in Brooklyn. The city's architectural landmarks and historic streets continue to be some of the most popular sites around the world for shooting film.

Data scientist Max Galka put together an interactive map reflecting three years of filmmaking in New York City. The map is based on all movie filming permits issued by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting for 2011-2013, which comprise 517 movies and 17,241 filming locations.


Looking at the map, a few hotspots show up. Midtown Manhattan, with iconic locations like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Broadway and Times Square, ranks as by far the most popular neighborhood to film in New York, with 842 permits issued during those two years. The second most popular neighborhood is Williamsburg, home to the 47th Regiment Armory, one of 22 remaining armories in New York and one of the largest open indoor spaces in the city. Next comes Manhattan’s Financial District, where films like “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” were shot, followed by Harlem and then Greenpoint.

The interactive version of the map (visible here) lets you click on a specific location to see the names of films shot there, or on a movie title to see where it is filmed on the map. This map comes from the new site Metrocosm, a data-centric site about urban life that launched on Tuesday.

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