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Old Maps of New York City - Untapped CitiesImage via NYPL Digital Collections

We know that Untapped Cities readers, like us, are obsessed with maps. You’ve taken our Fun Maps column to a whole new level these days and we’re loving it. For those that have a penchant for both history and maps, this new tool from the New York Public Library is for you. The NYC Space/Time Directory is like Google Maps but historical, and not just street view from the last ten years. This would be a time slider going back hundreds of years, where you can look up not only what a particular address looked like but also pull in cultural heritage material like old newspaper articles, census data, business directories, vintage photographs, literary references and more.

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Where do the cryptic designs on manhole covers come from? What is the meaning of those spray-painted neon symbols in the street? With this field guide in your pocket, the answers are close at hand. Ingrid Burrington’s Networks of New York: An Internet Infrastructure Field Guide is sure to change the way you look at the concrete jungle. (And the internet.)

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Perrysburg-NY-Tubuculosis Clinic-Abandoned Hospital-Lake Erie-New York-Johnny Joo-6

American photographer Johnny Joo hails from Ohio and is soon to be releasing his book, Empty Spaces. At just 24 years old, he began photographing abandoned spaces at just 16 years old. Fubiz recently shared his photographs of the abandoned J.N. Adams Memorial Hospital for tuberculosis patients in Perrysburg, New York off Lake Erie, south of Buffalo. What’s interesting about these photos, in addition to the abandoned nature which makes them visually fascinating, is how the architecture reflects so many of the medical beliefs of the time period.

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Cities Scaled Down to PixelsCities Scaled Down to 4×4 Pixels. Image via Neverbored

When you are living a city full of over 8 million people, it can be difficult to condense that city into one specific color, image or stereotype. Cities such as New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles are comprised of such a multitude of different people and place that condensing your visual impressions of a city into one predominant color sounds impossible, unless you are Kasper Gerroms, from the gaming website La Mosca.

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Redstone Rocket-Grand Central Terminal-1957-NYC-2

There’s a common misconception that ends up on a lot of “Secrets of Grand Central Terminal” lists (but not ours, of course!). It’s about the Redstone rocket, erected by the US military as a piece of showmanship to counter the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik. The Redstone was displayed in the terminal in 1957 for three weeks. This widely spread false fact is that the Redstone was so tall, it bore a hole through the top of Grand Central Terminal’s ceiling. The myth even goes as far to suggest that a hapless engineer didn’t do the math correctly. But this, as you can see in vintage photographs, was not the case.

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Map-NYC Proposed 5 Borough Ferry Network

There’s a lot of buzz about the expanded 5 borough ferry service Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in his State of the City address. Gothamist has a map of what that system would look like, which would connect Soundview in the Bronx to East 90th Street on Manhattan, Astoria to Roosevelt Island, Long Island City to Manhattan, South Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan and Staten Island, and a proposed route from Coney Island to Staten Island to Wall Street.

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