All Historical Occupancy Record (I-Card) Image PDFs

John Krauss filed this request with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development of New York City, NY.
Tracking # 1837-15
Due June 8, 2015
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: John Krauss

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (1977 N.Y. Laws ch. 933), I hereby request the following records:

We would like all HISTORICAL OCCUPANCY RECORDS (INITIAL INSPECTION CARDS) (aka "I-Card") image PDFs for all buildings that have them in New York City. These are currently hosted on HPDOnline, but only are accessible one a time on a building-by-building basis. We can provide DVD, thumb drive, or other digital media necessary to obtain a copy of all these documents.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, and is not being made for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

John Krauss

From: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

A letter stating the requester must agree to or prepay assessed or estimated fees in order for the agency to continue processing the request.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 9, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #425-15.

Thank you for your help.

From: Appel, Donald (HPD)

The following letter was mailed to you on April 14th. Please feel free to call me at 212-863-8347 if you need to discuss this.

Sincerely,

Don Appel
Records Access Officer
Department of Housing Preservation and Development

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From: John Krauss

Mr. Appel,

I mailed in payment some weeks ago. Has it been received, and if so, could you please update me as to the status of this request?

Best,
-John Krauss

From: Appel, Donald (HPD)

The response was mailed yesterday June, 9th.

From: John Krauss

It has been received, thank you.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 9, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #425-15.

Thank you for your help.

From: Appel, Donald (HPD)

This was responded to on 4/14/2015. Responsive material was mailed on 6/9/2015 after receipt of payment. Please correct your records

From: John Krauss

Mr. Appel,

Sorry for the confusion with my last message -- that was a mistake.

I've reviewed the documents, and have unfortunately run into some problems I hope we can resolve. The images appear to have been heavily compressed, to the extent that the writing on the majority of them (especially documents on blue paper) is no longer legible.

I think they may have been compressed so heavily because the 64GB memory stick wasn't enough to fit all the documents. Would it be possible to return this memory stick to you, and pay for an additional one so that the documents can be split between the two uncompressed, or with minimal compression?

Additionally, the documents are not numbered by BBL or any other property identification system in New York that I am familiar with. Would you be able to send me any materials that could guide me to matching the documents to BBLs?

I very much appreciate your cooperation with this request and would like to resolve these problems without appealing if possible.

Best,
-John Krauss

From: John Krauss

Mr. Appel,

Please let me know your thoughts on resolving the issues with the supplied data. I would still prefer not to go through an appeal.

From: Appel, Donald (HPD)

My record shows that this was mailed to you in the form of a jump drive on June 9, 2015. The records are old and often do not copy with a high degree of legibility. Copies were made in the best possible format. If you have specific concerns please feel free to contact me by telephone to discuss this.

My number is 212-863-8347

From: John Krauss

OK, that sounds good. I just called, but I think you were out. Let me know if there's a time that's good for you and I will try again.

From: John Krauss

Hi Mr. Appel,

When we spoke last week you asked for examples of the image degradation from
compression I found in the documents I received versus what is on HPDOnline.

I am providing links to four separate properties that demonstrate this
degradation. All properties on the drive provided in the FOIL dump were
subject to similar compression and degradation; this is just a sample of ones
I had already managed to download from HPDOnline.

For all of the properties below, I think it is evident that the handwriting is
mostly illegible on the FOIL versions, and almost entirely legible in the
HPDOnline versions. The differing file sizes suggest a compression ratio of
about 20x, which means the images supplied on the flash stick for the FOIL were
about one twentieth the file size as what can be downloaded from HPDOnline.

* 373 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

What was on the flash drive was 141KB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/foil_657948_373_atlantic.pdf

What was on HPDOnline was 2.8MB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/hpdonline_657948_373_atlantic.pdf

* 991-993 Carroll St, Brooklyn

What was on the flash drive was 143KB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/foil_671829_991_993_carroll.pdf

What was on HPDOnline was 2.8MB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/hpdonline_671829_991_993_carroll.pdf

* 663 Classon Ave, Brooklyn

What was on the flash drive was 183KB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/foil_673405_663_classon.pdf

What was on HPDOnline was 3.5MB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/hpdonline_673405_663_classon.pdf

* 146 Fenimore, Brooklyn

What was on the flash drive was 153KB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/foil_691501_146_fenimore.pdf

What was on HPDOnline was 3.1MB:

https://github.com/talos/foil-icards/blob/gh-pages/hpdonline_691501_146_fenimore.pdf

In addition, the I-Cards supplied on the flash drive did not include metadata
about how to link the I-Card to the appropriate BBL. I was able to do so for
the above files since I downloaded them from HPDOnline separately, but the
I-Card nubmering scheme does not match any city property identification scheme
I am aware of. In order to use these files, I would need a mapping, preferably
as a CSV, specifying the applicable BBL for each I-Card's number.

The supplied files were about 40GB. Extrapolating from the 20x compression
ratio, the uncompressed files should be on the order of 800GB. There are
new commodity 1TB hard drives available for less than $60 on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Ultra-Portable-External-Drive/dp/B00E83X9P8/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1438290524&sr=1-2&keywords=1+tb+hard+drive

If a 1TB drive is not big enough, there are also 1.5TB drives available for
only slightly more money:

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-1-5TB-Portable-External-STBX1500401/dp/B00R49FAZK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438290740&sr=8-1&keywords=1.5+tb+hard+drive

I am happy to provide additional funds for such a drive, or even to purchase
and have it shipped in original packaging directly to the office of your
choice.

Please let me know if you need any further clarification or have any questions
at all.

Thank you,
-John Krauss

From: John Krauss

Hi Mr. Appel,

Please let me know if there has been any progress on this, and if you require more documentation.

Best,
-John Krauss

From: John Krauss

Mr. Appel,

Two months have elapsed since our last communication. Has there been any update?

Thank you,
-John Krauss

From: Appel, Donald (HPD)

Mr. Krauss,

These documents are provided in a compressed format due to the size of the responsive documents. An uncompressed file would require a 500 GB storage device while the compressed files that you received take up only 26GB and were supplied to you on an appropriately sized “jump drive”.

I am informed that these “ I-Cards” are being moved to an online storage facility which will allow the public to directly download the images at no cost and at their convenience. I have been told that this migration process should be complete in about two weeks.

That being said, your choices are:

1. Wait until the image migration is complete and download uncompressed images at your leisure, or

2. Authorize HPD to purchase and bill you for a 500 GB storage device in addition to other charges that may apply.

Please feel free to call me to discuss this further and to determine which option you prefer.

Sincerely,

Don Appel
Records access Officer

From: John Krauss

Mr. Appel,

Thank you for your response.

I would prefer to go with the second option, provided I am comfortable with the expense. Please advise me of the cost of a hard drive with sufficient storage to fit the responsive records, less the cost of the money I’ve already paid in the course of this request. 1TB drives are available on Amazon for $50:

http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Canvio-Basics-Portable-HDTB310XK3AA/dp/B00N2S6ZUQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1443182348&sr=1-4&keywords=1+tb+hard+drive

Best,
-John

From: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

A letter stating the requester must agree to or prepay assessed or estimated fees in order for the agency to continue processing the request.

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $97.47 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: John Krauss

Mr. Appel,

Thank you for dispatching the hard drive.

I am not finding a lookup table to determine the BBL each PDF applies to. Could you please provide such a table as a CSV?

Best,
-John Krauss

From: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: John Krauss

Mr. Appel,

I still have not heard back about the lookup table. It does not necessarily have to match BBLs to ICard PDF -- any public-facing HPD building identifier would be fine.

Thanks!
-John

From: Appel, Donald (HPD)

Mr. Krauss,

My apologies.

Let me get our IT folks to get this out.

Sincerely,

Don Appel
Records Access Officer.

From: John Krauss

Thank you Mr. Appel. Two weeks have elapsed, so I wanted to check in and ask if there has been any progress.

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