Just a little something that I spotted today and thought I’d share rather than squish and wipe up: Roach Map is a visualization created through a collaboration between Hacks/Hackers NYC and Eyebeam. While this may not initially appear to be a map of media–unless you have some especially close, telekinetic bond with insects–I promise it’s not just an attempt to gross you out. The way the map is generated is very unusual and inventive, making use of the city’s own media documenting restaurant operations.

Though there’s no hard data pertaining to the concentration of cockroaches in any one area, and the map seems to be static since it consists of a single image file, it’s in fact updated automatically ever week. Each new map is based on the city’s previous 90 days of health inspections of restaurants, which record, among other things, the “live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.” These records are organized by zip code, hence the map’s rigid and sometimes arbitrary neighborhood borders. The map’s programmers detail the whole process in extremely clear and complete terms right here.