Heat Map of Illegal Dwelling 311 Complaints by SITU Studio
Although New York City has come a long way from the tenement days of yore, it still faces problems of illegal housing. In a city as dense in New York, the modern slum isn’t something low-rise and set apart from the rest of the urban fabric–it exists within our buildings. At a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, design firm SITU Studio created an urban heat map of 311 complaints to the NYC Department of Buildings for illegal dwellings. There’s no official number, with the complaint data “the only real indicators,” as SITU Studio partner Basar Girit tells Fast Company.
Artist and scientist Stephen Von Worley made these incredible “day glo” maps of a handful of the world’s major cities ostensibly to understand in his own words, “what other treasures I had missed.” The result from a data visualization standpoint is to give us an idea of how gridded a city is. A basic rundown of how these beautiful maps work: the roads that are oriented in the same direction have the same color. The thicker the lines, the more “grid-like” the area is.
You probably remember this image from 2009 but we thought we’d bring back the TED Talk that explains how landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson and illustrator Markley Boyer recreated what Manhattan looked like when English explorer Henry Hudson arrived in 1609. They used a British military map from 1776 to visualize the what existed on the island the Lenape called called Mannahatta. In order to deduce which ecosystems existed on the island pre-1609, Sanderson isolated the geographical elements from the 1776 map, studied the types of soil, rock, and climate of the different regions, and from there, the species of animal, fish, and plant life that corresponded to each habitat.
We’re always on the look out for fun maps of NYC and we came across this site recently, NYC Roads by Steve Anderson. It looks like it was laid out in the 1990s but it does have a nice archive of road maps, vintage photographs and more. The road map database goes from 1928 to the 1990s. Here are some highlights:
This 1928 road map of NYC and vicinity shows the state of the roads. Paved in black, improved in dash line and graded or dirt roads in white:
Image via Business Insider
Imagine this: You walk out of Port Authority after a long bus trip, and need to find your best friend’s apartment at 383 Madison Avenue. As you take your phone out of your pocket, a commuter with no patience for dawdlers rushes past you, bumping your arm, causing your phone to fall and smash into smithereens on the sidewalk. So what do you do? Luckily, there’s a mathematical formula that will help you estimate the cross street of any address in Manhattan, and all it requires is a bit of mental math.