Posts Tagged ‘new york’

50 States and 50 Metros (fake is the new real)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

[Editor's note: Fascinating look at the cultural geography of the United States sorted by large cities and subtracted from the 50 states. For instance, considered as metros, New York city, Los Angeles, and Chicago are larger in population than the non-metropolitan portions of Texas, California, North Carolina, Florida, and Pa. The author has another good post on subway systems around the world all scaled to the same size. Thanks Jo!]

Republished from fake is the new real.
By Neil Freeman, artist and urban planner.

The fifty largest metro areas (in blue), disaggregated from their states (in orange). Each has been scaled and sorted according to population. The metro areas are US-Census defined CBSAs and MSAs.

Small sampling below. Click on image for all 100 shapes.

50states50metros

Mapping New York’s Shoreline, 1609-2009 (NY Public Library)

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

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[Editor's note: Exhibit thru  June 26, 2010 at the Gottesman Exhibition Hall, Schwarzman Building, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, New York. Thanks Carol!]

Republished from the New York Public Library.

September 2009 marks 400 years since Henry Hudson sailed into New York Harbor and up the Hudson River, almost to what is now Albany, performing detailed reconnaissance of the Hudson Valley region. Other explorers passed by the outwardly hidden harbor, but did not linger long enough to fully realize the commercial, nautical, strategic, or colonial value of the region. Once the explorers returned to Europe, their strategic information was passed on to authorities. Some data was kept secret, but much was handed over to map makers, engraved on copper, printed on handmade paper, distributed to individuals and coffee-houses (the news centers of the day), and pored over by dreamers, investors, and potential settlers in the “new land.”

Mapping New York’s Shoreline celebrates the Dutch accomplishments in the New York City region, especially along the waterways forming its urban watershed, from the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound to the North (or Hudson) River and the South (or Delaware) River. Inspired by The New York Public Library’s collection of Dutch, English, and early American mapping of the Atlantic Coastal regions, this exhibition exemplifies the best early and growing knowledge of the unknown shores along our neighboring rivers, bays, sounds, and harbors. From the earliest mapping reflecting Verazzano’s brief visit to gloriously decorative Dutch charting of the Atlantic and New Netherland, illustrating their knowledge of the trading opportunity Hudson’s exploration revealed, the antiquarian maps tell the story from a centuries-old perspective. We are brought up to date with maps and text exploring growing environmental concern for this harbor, and the river that continuously enriches it. From paper maps to vapor maps, those created with computer technology, the story of New York Harbor in its 400th year is told.

Mapping New York’s Shoreline features maps, atlases, books, journals, broadsides, manuscripts, prints, and photographs, drawn primarily from the Library’s Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, augmented by items from other New York Public Library collections.

Continue to online exhibition . . .

View on Flickr. Learn about exhibition hours and location and associated free events . . .

A three-year-old’s view of the NYC subway (Kottke)

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

simple-subway

[Editor's note: Jason Kottke's birthday present to his nephew is a subway-style kid's mental map of New York city. Thanks Melissa!]

Republished from Kottke.org.

This was my present to my nephew for his 3rd birthday. He loves, loves, loves the subway so my sister asked me if I could make a custom map with all the places that mean something to him on the poster.

Best viewed a bit large.

Scents and the City or “I -smell- NY” (NY Times)

Monday, August 31st, 2009

nytsmellmap

[Editor's note: Jason Logan contributes to the resurgent field of experiential cartography by recounting his travel, by smell, across the isle of Manhattan. The semi-interactive map published in the New York Times brings to life "smell stops" in each neighborhood both as one would experience them in the daytime and at night. The piece reminds me of the 1985 historical novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, lent to me in university by Judy Walton. I recently posted on Edible Landscape Maps and John has a post on psychogeography maps.]

Republished from the New York Times. August 29, 2009
By JASON LOGAN, an illustrator and the author of “If We Ever Break Up, This Is My Book.” Produced by Jon Huang and Snigdha Koirala.

New York secretes its fullest range of smells in the summer; disgusting or enticing, delicate or overpowering, they are liberated by the heat. So one sweltering weekend, I set out to navigate the city by nose. As my nostrils led me from Manhattan’s northernmost end to its southern tip, some prosaic scents recurred (cigarette butts; suntan lotion; fried foods); some were singular and sublime (a delicate trail of flowers mingling with Indian curry around 34th Street); while others proved revoltingly unique (the garbage outside a nail salon). Some smells reminded me of other places, and some will forever remind me of New York.

Interact with the original at New York Times . . .

Captain Hudson’s journey: Fair to foul and back again (Economist)

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

2709us5[Editor's note: The Economist notes the 400th anniversary of the Netherlands' discovery of the Hudson River, which passes thru New York City, once New Amsterdam. To celebrate, the city moved the annual 4th of July fireworks display to west of Manhattan island.]

Republished from the Economist.
July 2nd 2009 | NEW YORK. Image by Corbis.

The Hudson River, 400 years on

AS AMERICA celebrates its birthday on July 4th, New York is celebrating the discovery of its Hudson river. The Dutch East India Company hired Henry Hudson, an English explorer, to find a north-west passage to Asia. He failed: the route defied all explorers until Roald Amundsen in 1906. But Hudson’s journey of 1609 up the river that would later bear his name led to a valuable trade in furs and eventually to settlement by the Dutch. His shipmate recorded abundant fish and that the surrounding lands “were as pleasant with Grasse and Flowers, and goodly Trees, as euer they had seene, and very sweet smells came from them.” The smells unfortunately, have not always been so sweet.

The Hudson has been exploited and abused. Factories used the river as a dumping-ground. At one time a 20-mile stretch of the Hudson had little or no aquatic life. “You could tell what colour the GM plant in Sleepy Hollow was painting its cars by the colour of the water,” recalls Alex Matthiessen, president of Riverkeeper, an environmental watchdog. Since the 1960s, groups like Riverkeeper and advocates such as Pete Seeger, a folk singer, have fought to restore the river’s ecosystem. The 1972 Clean Water Act helped deter polluters. And in 1984 the federal Environmental Protection Agency classified 200 miles of the river as a Superfund site, eligible for special attention. As a result of all this the river has begun to look like its old self. Water quality has improved. Some fish populations look healthier. The Bald Eagle once again nests nearby.

There are still concerns. Indian Point, a nuclear power plant in Westchester, uses up to 2.5 billion gallons (9.5 billion litres) of river water a day. The water is then discharged back into the Hudson. According to Riverkeeper, the hotter discharged water kills large numbers of fish, larvae and eggs. Indian Point says there have been no temperature-related deaths. There is also considerable contamination by PCBs, toxic chemicals with carcinogenic effects. After years of delays General Electric has now begun a process of dredging to clean up the contaminants. But it was already safe to swim with the fishes, except after heavy rain. Antiquated sewage systems in New York City and in towns and cities further up river cannot handle storm surges.

The Netherlands still retains an interest in its former New Amsterdam. The country is America’s fourth largest investor. It is participating in many of the festivities, including a big flotilla last month. New York’s July 4th fireworks display is taking place on the Hudson. In September a replica of Hudson’s ship, the Half Moon, will re-enact the captain’s journey. But he wasn’t the first to discover the river, of course. Native tribes lived along the “Mahicantuck” for thousands of years.

New York 3d Virtual Reality Panorama (PixelCase)

Friday, May 15th, 2009

[Editor's note: This Flash-based interactive experience features several 3d panoramas shot from high above Manhattan. Spin the views around, listen to tunes, and download desktop wallpaper pictures. Thanks Laris!]

Interact with the original at Pixel Case . . .

pixelcasenyc

Key to Eliminating U.S. Flight Delays? Redesign the Sky Over New York City (Wired)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
[Editor's note: Maps show off the poor network topology for air traffic in and out of New York city and how to optimize the system to reduce flight delays across the US.]
Republished from Wired magazine.
By Andrew Blum Email 02.23.09

Two million flights pass through the New York area airspace each year.
Illustration: Aaron Koblin

Inbound JFK. The turns start while you’re still in the clouds. Engines howling, flaps down, the plane lurches and dives, jerky as a taxi in Midtown. Seatback upright and tray table locked, you’re oblivious to the crowded flight paths around you. But the air above New York City is mapped: a dense and nuanced geography nearly as complicated as the city below.

More than 2 million flights pass over the city every year, most traveling to and from the metropolitan area’s three busiest airports: John F. Kennedy, Newark, and LaGuardia. And all that traffic squeezes through a network of aerial routes first laid out for the mail planes of the 1920s. Aircraft are tracked by antiquated, ground-based radar and guided by verbal instructions issued over simplex radios, technology that predates the pocket calculator. The system is extremely safe—no commercial flight has been in a midair collision over the US in 22 years—but, because the Federal Aviation Administration treats each plane as if it were a 2,000-foot-tall, 6- by 6-mile block lumbering through the troposphere, New York is running out of air.

This is a nightmare for New York travelers; delays affect about a third of the area’s flights. The problem also ripples out to create a bigger logjam: Because so many aircraft pass through New York’s airspace, three-quarters of all holdups nationwide can be traced back to that tangled swath of East Coast sky.

Six years ago, Congress green-lit a plan to solve this problem. The Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act calls for a new system, dubbed NextGen, that uses GPS to create a sort of real-time social network in the skies. In theory, it should give pilots the data they need to route themselves—minus the huge safety cushions.

But NextGen needs some serious hardware: roughly $300,000 in new avionics equipment for every cockpit. That’s a lot of peanuts for the struggling airlines. Add to the tab nearly 800 new federally funded ground stations to relay each plane’s location and trajectory to every other plane in the sky and—by the time NextGen finally launches in 2025—the price tag could reach $42 billion.

Jetliner Photos: Jeffrey Milstein

In the meantime, the New York-area skies have seen a huge traffic bump over the past two decades—including a 48 percent increase between 1994 and 2004. So the FAA has set out to coax new efficiency from old technology.

To help reorganize this airspace, the FAA called on Mitre, a Beltway R&D firm that works exclusively for the government. Mitre’s scientists and mathematicians, in cooperation with some of the region’s air traffic controllers, are completely rethinking the flow of aircraft in and out of New York City. Current flight patterns evolved like a rabbit warren, with additions tacked on to an existing architecture. As airports grew busier and airplanes started flying higher and faster, that architecture became increasingly inefficient. The plan, the unfortunately named New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Redesign, aims to bring order to the air.

Think of it as a redrawn map of the roadways in the sky. While planes used to chug in and out of the city on a few packed roads, the redesign spreads out the aircraft by adding new arrival posts (exit ramps), departure gates (on-ramps), and takeoff headings (streets leading up to the intercity highways). But the biggest move will be making the space for all these additions. Mitre’s proposal is to extend the boundaries of this airborne city into a 31,180-square-mile area that stretches from Philadelphia to Albany to Montauk.

Unclogging the Skies

A new FAA plan—the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Redesign—aims to streamline the air traffic over New York. Here are two highlights.

Adding Lanes
Flights heading west out of New York have to squeeze onto two airborne highways over New Jersey before they merge with air traffic from the rest of the country. The redesign adds more lanes, allowing more planes to take off per hour.

Expanding Control
The New York regional air traffic control center is the busiest in the world. The redesign integrates its authority with other regional centers so controllers can direct planes that are farther away, clearing the high-altitude flight paths for through-traffic

The FAA started implementing the first part of the plan—the new takeoff headings—in December 2007 and should have the full strategy in place by 2012. By then the agencies hope to have reduced delays in New York by an average of three minutes per flight. And in a system as interconnected as the US air traffic network, those few minutes could quickly cascade into hours.

Continue reading at Wired . . .

Taking the Train: The Most Used Subway Systems in the US and Around the World (Good Magazine)

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

[Editor's note: This chart needs a per capita analysis and comparable accounting of subway milages but is super fun any how. Click image above for larger view, or follow link below. Happy birthday Katie Rose!]

Republished from Good magazine.
Orig pub date: Feb. 17, 2009.

Even though subways are a fuel-efficent way to move people around congested urban areas, Americans make poor use of them, probably because they are poorly funded and often don’t travel where we want to go. Right now, of the five most-used subway systems in the country, only New York City’s attracts as many riders as the five largest foreign subway systems.

A collaboration between GOOD and Robert A. Di Ieso, Jr.

View the original graphic | blog post.

A Year of Parking Tickets (NY Times)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

[Editor's note: This Google Maps mashup inside Flash shows color coded streets in New York City based on the number of parking violations. Preset zooms are provided to certain hot spots and but users can still auto-zoom to their own street addresses.]

Republished from the New York Times.
By Matthew Bloch and Amanda Cox.
Orig. pub. date: Nov. 26, 2008.

New York City agencies issued 9,955,441 parking tickets from July 2007 to June 2008.

Interact with the orignal Flash graphic at New York Times . . .

LimeWire Creator Brings Open-Source Approach to Urban Planning (Wired Mag)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

[Editor's note: Open Planning Project leverages P2P networking to make urban transportation safer, faster and more sustainable.]

Republished from Wired.
By Eliot Van Buskirk
Email

Originally published January 30, 2009

Mark_gorton

Entrepreneur Mark Gorton wants to do for people what he already helped do for files: move them from here to there in the most efficient way possible using open-source tools.

Gorton, whose LimeWire file sharing software for the open-source gnutella network was at the forefront of the P2P revolution nearly a decade ago, is taking profits earned as a software mogul and spinning them into projects to make urban transportation safer, faster and more sustainable.

You might call it a “P2P-to-people” initiative — these efforts to make cities more people-friendly are partly funded by people sharing files.

That’s not the only connection between open-source software and Gorton’s vision for livable cities. The top-down culture of public planning stands to benefit by employing methods he’s lifting from the world of open-source software: crowdsourced development, freely-accessible data libraries, and web forums, as well as actual open-source software with which city planners can map transportation designs to people’s needs. Such modeling software and data existed in the past, but it was closed to citizens.

Gorton’s open-source model would have a positive impact on urban planning by opening up the process to a wider audience, says Thomas K. Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, an organization that deals with urban planning issues in the New York metropolitan area.

“99 percent of planning in the United States is volunteer citizens on Tuesday nights in a high school gym,” Wright says. “Creating a software that can reach into that dynamic would be very profound, and open it up, and shine light on the decision-making. Right now, it becomes competing experts trying to out-credential each other in front of these citizen and volunteer boards… [Gorton] could actually change the whole playing field.”

Portland, Oregon has already used his open-source software to plan its bus routes. San Francisco, whose MUNI bus system is a frequent target of criticism, could be next to get the treatment. Gorton says he’s in talks with the city to supply transit routing software for MUNI that will do a much better job of keeping track of where people are going and figuring out how best to get them there. San Francisco “overpaid greatly” for a badly-supported proprietary closed-source system that barely works, according to Gorton, putting the city under the thumb of a private company that provides sub-par support.

“They’re frustrated and thinking about replacing it completely, and see the value of open-source because then they won’t have any of these support problems,” he said. “And they won’t be constantly at the mercy of the private companies that have these little mini-monopolies.”

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The Open Planning Project (TOPP) was Gorton’s first foray into urban planning, in 1999. It initially involved an ambitious plan to use open-source software to model public transportation and traffic systems in large cities.

“I was much more naive at the time,” he said. “I thought, ‘I can make software. I’ll go build an open-source traffic and transportation model, which will show how much better things can be, and then go magically adopt those solutions.”

But humans can be harder to program than machines, and sometimes a human-to-human interface works best. “We’ve actually been incredibly successful transforming policy in New York City without any models at all,” he added, though some residents complained about parking spaces morphing into bike lanes.

The quest to bring open-source software to real-world urban planning continued, following the clearance of a key hurdle: Before you can build a transportation model, you need to know where the roads are.

While public, that data was locked by private software used by public organizations and suffered from an overall lack of standards. Thus was born GeoServer, an open-source, Java-based software server that lets anyone view and edit geo-spatial data. Road information can now be painstakingly imported once from proprietary systems or entered from scratch, double-checked by other users, and rolled out to anyone who needs the data.

“It didn’t really exist before,” said Gorton. “Most of the data was run on software from a company called ESRI. Government agencies have this data, but it’s all running on proprietary systems and you couldn’t get access to it, or it was very hard to get access to it.” GeoServer now runs in thousands of places around the world for all sorts of reasons, according to Gorton, whenever an online app needs to know where roads are.

Continue reading at Wired magazine . . .