While we take for granted the paths and roads we use on a daily basis, it’s interesting to find out how they came to be. It’s not a new concept that paths worn by the comings and goings of early dwellers and subsequent settlers in a particular area became roads, streets and thoroughfares, often with names that reflect their beginnings. Brooklyn Heights Blog (via Viewing NYC) shares some insight into Brooklyn’s familiar roads that began as Native American trails on a 1946 map titled “Indian Villages, Paths, Ponds and Places in Kings County.”
The Department of City Planning launched a new data tool on Tuesday that displays the status of all zoning and land use applications dating back to 1970. The Zoning Application Portal, or ZAP, provides the public an easy way to search through 28,000 projects and pending applications, 500 of which are currently in public review. “This online tool is the ultimate in planning and zoning transparency,” Marisa Lago, director of DCP, said. “It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s intuitive. We hope that New Yorkers – residents, advocacy groups, property and business owners – take full advantage, and get more involved in planning for our city’s future.”
Photo via d26b73 on Flickr
While the biannual sunset that aligns perfectly between two skyscrapers in Manhattan is perhaps the best known ‘henge,’ it’s certainly not the only one. Because every neighborhood in New York City features its own pattern of a street grid, each has its own henge days (h/t NY Times). An interactive map called NYCHenge displays where mini-henges happen for every sunset throughout the year, allowing outer-borough residents to snap a solid sunset picture nearly every day.
Renters and owners in Manhattan. Map by Ryan McCullough
New York has been called a city of renters and with good reason. The real estate rent vs. own breakdown here is far different than that of other parts of the country, for a multitude of complex reasons. But it’s also interesting to take a look at neighborhoods within the city. Ryan McCullough of Mapbox and Tippecanoe, the map geeks responsible for whizzing up this view of the U.S.A., was motivated to dig deeply into this particular data. The result was Owners vs. Renters, an interactive dot map showing every single homeowner and renter in the United States. You can zoom in on a major city hub and to see where more residents tend to be homeowners and where more people rent.
The patriotic party-planners behind the Macy’s Fourth of July live fireworks extravaganza happening next Wednesday evening have made sure to provide their usual thorough and handy guide suggesting prime spots for experiencing the world-famous pyrotechnics show. Get the 411 on official viewing points and use the interactive neighborhood finder to make sure you’re well-situated when things go boom.
Photo via Ted McGrath on Flickr
Thousands of wooden water tanks in New York City have not been properly inspected and cleaned for years, according to an investigation by City & State. And while the water towers have been an iconic part of the city skyline for over a century, the structures make it easy for pathogens and even dead animals to congregate and infiltrate the city’s drinking water. According to the report, most building owners do not inspect and clean water tanks on a regular basis, despite newly updated health codes that require annual filings. City & State mapped more than 13,000 water tank inspection reports from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), letting the public know for the first time if and when a building’s tank has been inspected and whether bacteria was found. Last year, just over 3,520 buildings with water tanks filed proof of inspection.
As a beta project created by the NYC Department of City Planning, Metro Region Explorer enables you to explore population, housing, and employment trends within the Tri-State New York City Metropolitan Region. The map was developed as part of an ongoing commitment to providing better public access and as a way to better understand information about planning issues that affect the city as well as the region, as many planning challenges are interconnected with the realities of the larger area surrounding the city’s core.
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Wednesday launched a new interactive web map that displays applications and permits for work on individual, interior and scenic landmarks, as well as buildings in historic districts. Permit Application Finder users can search by community district and work type, allowing the public to see geographically where LPC has issued permits for the first time.
“LPC reviews and approves thousands of permit applications for work on designated properties each year, and with this map, information on all of these projects is just a click away,” LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said in a statement. “It is an excellent example of how we are leveraging technology to make our regulatory process more efficient and transparent.”
A snippet of McLean’s Astor Place smell map
All the rain this weekend in New York City stunk. Do sunny days stink too? Kate McLean can give us the definitive answer. McLean, a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art in London, has created an extensive system of urban “smellscape” maps based on her olfactory research. For instance, after studying her Astor Place, pedestrians are much better off walking north and south on 2nd Avenue, which smells of floral perfume and grass, versus walking up and down Broadway, which is loaded with eau de subway exhaust.
All animations and screenshots courtesy of Justin Fung/Manhattan Population Explorer
There are two million people who reside in Manhattan, but during the workday, thanks to the overwhelming number of commuters, the number of people on the island doubles to four million. This is the highest ratio of daytime-to-nighttime population anywhere in the country. To show how this population pulses over the course of a day, data visualization designer and researcher Justin Fung created the interactive Manhattan Population Explorer. First picked up by Fast Co. Design, the map highlights just how many people fill each city block for 24 hours. The height of crowdedness comes between 12 and 3pm, during which time, unsurprisingly, Midtown and Lower Manhattan show populations nearing 13,000. During the day, these ‘hoods see their populations jump by 10 and four times respectively.