NYPL’s Map Warper Shows How Much Staten Island Has Changed Over Time

by | Apr 6, 2016 | Featured, History on Bay


Staten Island cartomaniacs, this post is for you!

By cartomaniac, I mean, “lover of maps.” Don’t worry, I had to look it up too.

Anyway, earlier today my NB Technologies co-founder, Tavis Delahunt, stumbled upon this great web app by the New York Public Library. The app, called NYPL Map Warper, collects maps from various points in history, then through some crowdsourcing, displays those maps overlayed on top of a current map in that exact location. Once overlayed, the app features a slider which allows users to adjust the opacity of the older map, showcasing how much things have changed since it was originally created.

NYPL Explains:

The NYPL Map Warper is a tool for digitally aligning (“rectifying”) historical maps from the NYPL’s collections to match today’s precise maps. Visitors can browse already rectified maps or assist the NYPL by aligning a map.

Below, you can see what the map above (created in 1907) looks like, overlayed on the Victory Boulevard/Silver Lake of 2016. You can also, click here to play with it yourself. After playing with the opacity you can see how much they’ve expanded Silver Lake between 1907 and 2016, as well as the fact that houses were knocked down in order to create the Silver Lake Golf Course.


You can see a full list of Staten Island (and NYC) maps on the Map Warper, here.

The maps with control points listed in the status column are the ones you can compare to newer maps. Once you click through to a map, select preview for the overlay.

You can also help the NYPL with this project. Learn more about that, here.

Christopher Olivieri

Written By Christopher Olivieri

Chris is a communications professional with a passion for pop culture, media, and all things creative. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a specialization in Media Studies and has experience in running a pop-culture website, freelance writing, coaching, and speaking engagements. He has worked behind the scenes on music albums and co-founded a boutique web design and marketing firm. He is also an amateur photographer and musician. He is always looking for the next exciting project to dive into.

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