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Historic New York City

There are various mapping efforts going on in NYC. Some are specifically focused on NYC, while others are parts of much bigger efforts.

The Boroughs

The Bronx

Jeff Meyer has done a number of imports of building footprints in The Bronx. This work is incomplete.



A number of things have been done in Manhattan. Much work is in progress.

Currently much attention is being paid to the original New Amsterdam settlement, which was located south of Wall Street and taken over by the British in 1664.

Early Shoreline

The current shoreline of lower Manhattan is very different from its shoreline when Henry Hudson first arrived in 1610. Currently represented are the 1660 shoreline (partial) which is fairly close to the original shoreline, and a later version after the first wave of fill was completed (the original fill project started in 1693). Fill in Manhattan has added approximately two full city blocks.

Building Footprints ca 1852

The NYPL labs group added building footprints south of 42nd street. This set still needs to have start and end dates established, work which is going on slowly.

The start dates can be set a little more precisely with the help of a map showing the growth of the city up to 1836, see, copy+paste georeferenced tile{z}/{x}/{y}.png in your editor.

Early Fortifications

Fort Amsterdam has been mapped. The city wall that gave Wall Street its name has been mapped, along with the palisade along the North (Hudson) RIver. The short-lived palisade along the East river has not yet been mapped.

Old Croton Aqueduct

The original Croton Aqueduct (1840s construction) has been mostly mapped. The section from the receiving reservoirs to the distributing reservoirs and the section through Yonkers and The Bronx have not yet been mapped.

Seneca Village

Seneca Village was a majority minority community located in land that was subsequently appropriated by the city for the construction of Central Park. It is discussed on its own Project page: Seneca Village.

Modern buildings

With the help of Overpass Turbo (, Openstreetmap can query many existing buildings that have specified a start date. The density of this information is excellent in Manhattan.


Staten Island

Jeff Meyer has done a number of historic imports on Staten Island.

Global Efforts

Sports Venues and Events

Baseball Stadiums

Historic stadium locations are gradually being added to OHM in the Stadiums project.

Currently mapped in NYC are The Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium (1923), Ebbets Field, and the two variants of Washington Park that the Dodgers played in before Ebbets Field.

Motor Racing Venues

Historic racing venues are being mapped by the Ghost Tracks project.

The Polo Grounds has been the site of a number of temporary oval tracks during its existence. One of them is currently mapped in OHM.

Long Island based racing circuits exist in Ghost Tracks but are outside of the scope of this project.


Extensive source material is available for early New York City.

New Netherlands Institute

This project has been translating and interpreting Dutch records of the original settlement that were overlooked for several centuries. These records in part formed the basis of Russell Shorto's highly regarded book The Island at the Center of the World on the early history of NYC. Netherlands Institute.

Cartography of New York City Wikipedia article

The Cartography of New York City Wikipedia article has a table composed of 32 maps of NYC ranging in date from 1527-1872.

NYPL Map collection

LOC Map collection