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Explore NYC Parks-Take Me On An Adventure-NYC BIg Apps-2

Did you know that New York City has over 1,900 parks? And 1/5 of the city’s land is devoted to green space. But with parks under so many different jurisdictions, ranging from city, state, national to private, it can be tricky figuring out what park is the right one for your particular adventure, especially if you’re not headed to one of the big dogs like Central Park or Prospect Park.  One of the grand prize winners of this year’s NYC BigApps competition is Explore NYC Parks, an app and website developed by a 26-year old developer to solve just that.

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Urban Layers-Downtown Manhattan-Morphocode-NYC

“…each block is covered with several layers of phantom architecture in the form of past occupancies, aborted projects and popular fantasies that provide alternative images to the New York that exists.”

A map tool that opens with a quote from Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York? How could we resist? Urban Layers by Morphocode allows you to trace the building history of New York City starting in 1765–with an added bonus of using up-to-date mapping tools like Mapbox to make everything look pretty and open source data like PLUTO and NYC Building Footprints. Those of us in the urban planning world use these data sets frequently, but this is a wonderful and fun way to introduce the general public to it.

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As part of the Open House New York Weekend, on Saturday, October 11th Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will offer the public an exclusive look at a series of original maps housed in the Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street. Highlights will include the 1811 Commissioners’ Plan and the Randel Farm Maps, two snapshots of the history of the development of Manhattan’s streets as we know them today.

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smellmap-manhattan-NYC-funmaps-untappedcities

Have you ever walked by a particularly strong stench at a street corner and suddenly had the urge to give it a closer smell to really dissect its nuances? Well, us neither. But a few brave pioneers have taken it upon themselves to create their own smellmaps, fascinating guides that showcase a city’s range of olfactory experiences. In this interactive New York Times map of Manhattan (from 2009 but still awesome), Jason Logan provides encyclopedic entries for each neighborhood’s smellscape.

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Times Square Midtown Vice Map-Office of Midtown Planning and Development-Mayor John Lindsay-Massage Parlors-Prostitution-NYC-2

In 1973, things were pretty dicey in New York City. The economy was tanking, crime was up, and Times Square was nothing like it is today. In fact, in 1973 the Office of Midtown Planning and Development was created by Mayor John Lindsay to begin the “cleaning up” of Times Square and vicinity. First on the list of attack were massage parlors, seen as a breeding ground for the prostitution industry that was openly operating on street corners. Lindsay proclaimed that “phony massage parlors [were] nothing more than fronts for houses of prostitution.”

This map by the Office of Midtown Planning and Development locates the massage parlors, spas, “presumed prostitution hotels,” single room occupancy hotels (SRO), peep shows, live burlesque shows, and adult book and video stores in Midtown.  

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Paris-Metro Burger-Fat Map-Fun Maps-Untapped CitiesThe Paris Metro Burger Fat Map (Photo via Fast and Food)

This is a map for the J. Wellington Wimpy in your group. It’s well-known that Paris has gotten deep into a Brooklyn obsession, offering up hip joints for gourmet coffee, lobster rolls, Brooklyn Brewery, and many things American.

In this  collaboration with Fast and Food, FraisFrais and Thrillist (who have produced a similar maps for bars in NYC), life has become so much easier for the burger lovers of France, as well as burger obsessed tourists to find burger joints on each of the 14 lines that make up the Paris metro. And we’re not talking about McDonalds and Quick. Continue on for a more detailed look at this map.

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