First off, who knew there was a census for trees? The tree census takes place every ten years, with the last census in 2005 and the next one occurring this year. Jill Hubley, a web developer from Brooklyn, has put together a beautiful interactive map of New York City’s tree distribution, based on the 2005 census. She also filed a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request for the 1995 tree census, and will have the results at the end of this month. This means she’ll be able to compare the tree cover evolution in New York City over time, accounting for the city’s Million Trees Initiative, and later add this year’s results.
Madison Square Park and Flatiron Building in Pac-Man mode on Google Maps
If you read in the news yesterday that you could play Pac-Man in Google Maps, but didn’t get to it–do not fret. It’s still available. Just navigate to Google Maps on your desktop browser and you’ll see the normal option to toggle to Google Earth in the bottom left, and a new icon to toggle to Pac-Man mode. Most fun is that you can choose anywhere around the world, and that becomes your game frame. There’s sound too, but luckily it defaults to mute so your coworkers may not hear the siren sounds coming from your computer.
Heat map of operating systems: Red = iOS, Green = Android, Purple = Blackberry
As part of a presentation for DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference, NYU Clinical Professor of Marketing Scott Galloway, who is also the founder of research firm L2, presented a heat map of mobile operating systems in New York City created on Mapbox by GNIP, a social data resource. Galloway says that the wealthier areas of Manhattan correlate with iOS usage, while “as you go into the lower income households and suburbia, Android lights up.” He also makes a note, “By the way, if you see purple in the middle lighting up, that’s Jurassic Park. That’s the dinosaurs using Blackberry.” While the composite map is certainly impactful, it’s another example of how maps can be misleading–a subject we previously explored with Runkeeper in “Beautiful Maps and the Lies They Tell.”
“Map Showing Location of Odor Producing Industries of New York and Brooklyn,” 1870 from Columbia University Rare Books and Manuscript Library
Last week, we showed photographs from the Untapped Cities tour of Dead Horse Bay, including the “fun” fact that odors from the noxious industries there were once so bad, they’d cause evacuations of the hotels on Manhattan Beach. This week, Tanvi Misra at City Lab has uncovered a great “stench map” made by the New York City Metropolitan Board of Health in 1870. Unlike a map of what the sewers smelled like in 1910 we previously covered which locates smells at the point of smell, the Board of Health stench map locates “offensive traders,” or the industrial culprits of the smells.
Thanks to a tweet from the Muncipal Art Society, we can’t stop staring at this map of New York City as Tron. Those familiar with the science fiction film Tron by Steven Lisberger will remember Jeff Bridges inside the mainframe of a computer. This article shows screenshots of the interactive map found on Github by New York City based lab Mazen using its Tangram engine, but click through to spend a few minutes starting and zooming around a computerized New York City.
In three days, the New York Public Library is holding a public meeting to discuss the renovation of the main branch at Bryant Park at 42nd Street and the Mid-Manhattan Library. Last year, following extensive public protest, the contentious plan to move the stacks off-site was shelved (no pun intended). Still, the organization The Committee to Save NYPL believes there are still some unanswered questions about the renovations, which they detail here.
Untapped Cities reader @TOPOS_lab has shared with us a cross-section illustration of what the stacks look like underneath Bryant Park. Next time as you sit taking in a summer film at Bryant Park or having lunch on the lawn, remember that 1.5 million books are beneath your feet (in addition to the remnants of bodies from an old burial ground).