What is Metrocosm?

Metrocosm data the matrix

Data The Matrix is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled from a spreadsheet over your eyes to show you blind you from the truth.


What is Metrocosm?

Metrocosm is a collection of projects that analyze life through statistics and data.


Who am I?

Max Galka Profile

I’m Max Galka, a guy who is fascinated by data.

My latest project, FOIA Mapper, aims to open up “hidden” government databases using the Freedom of Information Act. I also cofounded a real estate data business called Revaluate.

Prior to that, I have at different points in my career used data to model natural disasters, mortgage prepayments, and human life expectancy.

I also enjoy working on data-related projects outside of work. My fantasy football models rarely work out very well, but the Texas Hold-em program I built in college is one of the things I am most proud of.

I am also a very happily-married husband, an aspiring vegetarian, a feminist, an information privacy paranoid, a Huffington Post contributor, and a proud New Yorker.

If you have any questions or comments about the site or just want to say hello, please drop me a line or connect with me on on Twitter: @galka_max.







Huffington Post

Inman News



Talking UFOs with the WGN Morning News Crew


Other projects / writings

FOIA Mapper – access to the world of “hidden” public data using the Freedom of Information Act

Metrocosmblog.tumblr.com – for images / graphics that did not find there way into a post here, but I still thought were interesting enough to post on their own

Resources for GIS / map making (discussion with Yalemakes / Yale Data Science)

Millennium Development Goals – Indicator Correlation Explorer (my entry for the World Statistics Day Data Visualization Challenge)

World Economic Forum: A Visual History of Gender and Employment

Wharton Entrepreneurship Blog: A day in the life of an M&T alum

Wharton Entrepreneurship Blog: Starting a Business is _________

Data Science Central: Data Science Has a Terminology Problem

Huffington Post: The Housing Value of Every County in the U.S.

Inman News: What the Comeback of Travel Agents Says About Real Estate

Inman News: Is the Zillow Trulia Merger a Death Blow or a Dying Gasp?

Revaluate: The Best New York City Maps of 2014

Revaluate: 5 of the Craziest Building in NYC

Revaluate: New York’s Most Expensive Apartments – Past, Present, and Future

Revaluate: New York’s Highest Rents

Revaluate: Broker Fees Explained

Revaluate: When is the Best Time to Rent in NYC


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  • saggypants

    seems to me like some of this data is BS

  • clarity

    Puzzled as to why you would self-describe as a feminist in 2015/2016. Tough to reconcile with being a statistician. To think of all the Gender Pay Gap lies etc.. Bad, Max!

    • http://metrocosm.com Max Galka

      I added that piece after working on this post. http://metrocosm.com/a-visual-history-of-the-gender-employment-gap/#gendergap

      Was somewhat skeptical myself, but after reading through the research, it appears pretty conclusive that women do face discrimination at work, though it is probably not as bad as the 79% number everyone quotes. Not going to try to convince you, but if you’d like to see, I link to them at the bottom of the post.

  • http://metrocosm.com Max Galka

    Debating issues like this online is rarely productive, but if you’d like to hear another perspective, here are my thoughts.

    Christina Hoff Sommers’ argument is that the 77 cents on the dollar number is the wrong measure, which I agree with. You can explain most of that difference away by accounting for other variables, such as occupation and working hours. So people should not be pointing to that number as evidence of a pay gap.

    However, it is equally wrong to conclude from this that there there is *not* a pay gap. Maybe gender discrimination is the reason why women end up in lower paying occupations. Maybe women work fewer hours because they receive less encouragement at work.

    The entire idea of looking at the difference in pay and trying to explain it with different variables is a flawed approach. There are an infinite number of possible variables to account for, and no way of knowing which ones are causes and which are effects. So it cannot be conclusive either way.

    The real question is whether women are discriminated against in the workplace. That is something you actually can test, by running experiments in which all variables are held equal except for gender. And every such experiment I’ve seen concludes that gender discrimination is real.

    Though, I’m also open minded, and would be curious to know if there is a strong counter argument.

  • HK Lover

    Hi, looking at your “disputed territories” (http://metrocosm.com/disputed-territories-map.html).

    When clicking Japan, 4 disputes are shown up including “Okino Torishima” which is, according to your statement, “an uninhabited Japanese atoll comprised of three artificial islets, each measuring about 600 square feet in size. Ownership of the islets themselves is not in dispute, but rather whether they qualify as islands under the U.N. Law of the Sea. If so, it would give Japan control of the waters surrounding the area, maritime territory that would otherwise be Chinese.”

    According to my understanding and public knowledge, Okino Torishima are NOT artificial islets (unlike the pure artificial islands built on the coral by PRC in South China Sea). Plus, the final sentence should be amended as “that would otherwise be public ocean”. No Chinese at all!

    Unless you are under control of PRC, better to amend.


    • http://metrocosm.com Max Galka

      I stand by the fact that they are artificial. Just like many of the islands in the South China Sea, some small portion originally jutted above the water, but what is there now is primarily man-made.

      Perhaps you are right on the second point. Will go back to the original source and check, and if necessary, amend the text. Thanks.