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Open Access Maps at NYPL

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The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded (!), through the Map Warper. First, create an account, then click a map title and go. Here’s a primer and more extended blog post on the warper.

Plan of Bay Ridge Parkway, Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot Landscape Architects, 1895 What’s this all mean?

It means you can have the maps, all of them if you want, for free, in high resolution. We’ve scanned them to enable their use in the broadest possible ways by the largest number of people.

Though not required, if you’d like to credit the New York Public Library, please use the following text "From The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library.” Doing so helps us track what happens when we release collections like this to the public for free under really relaxed and open terms. We believe our collections inspire all kinds of creativity, innovation and discovery, things the NYPL holds very dear.

Sanitary and social chart of the Fourth Ward of the City of New York, to accompany a report of the 4th Sanitary Inspection District. 1864 A little background on how we got here… We’ve been scanning maps for about 15 years, both as part of the NYPL’s general work but mostly through grant funded projects like the 2001 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded American Shores: Maps of the MidAtlantic to 1850, the 2004 Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded Building a Globally Distributed Historical Sheet Map Set and the 2010 NEH funded New York City Historical GIS.

Through these projects, we’ve built up a great collection of: 1,100 maps of the Mid-Atlantic United States and cities from the 16th to 19th centuries, mostly drawn from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection; a detailed collection of more than 700 topographic maps of the Austro-Hungarian empire created between 1877 and 1914; a collection of 2,800 maps from state, county and city atlases (mostly New York and New Jersey); a huge collection of more than 10,300 maps from property, zoning, topographic, but mostly fire insurance atlases of New York City dating from 1852 to 1922; and an incredibly diverse collection of more than 1,000 maps of New York City, its boroughs and neighborhoods, dating from 1660 to 1922, which detail transportation, vice, real estate development, urban renewal, industrial development and pollution, political geography among many, many other things.

We in the Map Division are all very excited about this release and look forward to seeing these maps in works of art, historical publications, movies, archaeological reports, novels, environmental remediation efforts, urban planning studies and more… Enjoy!

* The maps may be subject to rights of privacy, rights of publicity and other restrictions. It is your responsibility to make sure that you respect these rights.

Comments

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Open Access Maps at NYPL

What a wonderful gift! Thank y'all so very much!

Maps

I Wish to view the maps. Thank you!

Low resolution

The maps are low resolution not hiogh resolution because not all texts on the maps can be read. Generally speaks NYPL erroneously of high resolution if low resolution is meant.

Low resolution

Klaus, I'm using a high speed connection in New York City (*not* at the NYPL) and the resolution seems fine for zooming. I did notice a slight delay as the higher resolution zoomed section came into focus (as if the server had to download an additional file). I was looking at Faden's A plan of New York Island (1776) (Image ID: 1261077). The server might be slowed by traffic. You might also have a connection issue.

Maps

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

High res version are not free

Just so you know, its free to download a low resolution version. Its $50 each to download a high resolution copy. I'm am not quit as impressed as I was before.

free

The maps are indeed free, in both senses of the word. There are two places to see the maps (maps.nypl.org and digitalcollections.nypl.org), but only one where you can download (maps.nypl.org)... here are the instructions from the post: "The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded (!), through the Map Warper. First, create an account, then click a map title and go." Enjoy! Matt

Nice! Such a great thing for

Nice! Such a great thing for a library to do. Thank you!

Spectacular

A huge thank you to the NYPL for this resource, and doubly so for explicitly using public domain licensing. It is so easy for information to be lost over long periods of time (the recent damage from Sandy is a sobering reminder of how much can be lost in a single night) and the best answer to that ever-present threat seems to be redundancy - making sure copies of historical records exist in as many places as possible. NYPL's release of these maps with both high digital image quality and open licensing is a stellar example of using modern technology to achieve that end - well done! *applause*

Thank YOu

This is absolutely incredible!!!!! As a teacher these maps are invaluable!! Thank you so much for doing this!

Stopped working?

So the website seems to have stopped responding. I managed to georefence 3 maps before it came to a grinding halt. It stopped completely on firefox, then I switched to rekonq, but it's not working on this browser now either. All it does is says 'connecting' it does not even time out. I can't download any maps (for offline georeferencing in ArcMap or QGIS) either. Too much traffic or time for a server reboot?

Stopped working?

It seems to have stopped responding. I managed to georefence 3 maps before it came to a grinding halt. It stopped completely on firefox, then I switched to rekonq, but it's not working on this browser now either. All it does is says 'connecting' it does not even time out. Too much traffic or time for a server reboot?

map warper up and running?

It seems to be up and running again. Is it responding from your end?

Thank you!

As someone who has always loved maps, let me thank you for taking the lead and doing this! What a wonderful way to make the maps available to the widest possible audience. Librarians and teachers are the most valuable people in any society, and this release is just another way of showing that.

Beautiful! Thank you!

Beautiful! Thank you!

Misleading?

It seems a little misleading. These are NOT high res images available for download, as the website seemed to be saying. It's $50 for the high res files....

There are two sites - are you checking at the right one?

The instructions say you can view them on digitalcollections.nypl.org as well, but there's only one site where you can download them, and there they should be free: maps.nypl.org

I was wrong - forgive me!

I just posted saying that they weren't available as high res - I was wrong! You just need to log in first into the map warper. If I had read the information carefully I would have seen this. Amazing maps!!

Fantastic!

Thank you, this is absolutely fantastic!

Hi Matt, yes the website

Hi Matt, yes the website seems more responsive today - thank you for looking into it! However, I'm finding a lot of maps aren't loading so I can't georeference them (e.g. 16758) Awesome job you're doing. I'm a GIS professional so I have a natural interest in this sort of thing. I'll try and geoference as many as I can.

maps not loading

Thanks for pointing this out. We are aware that some of the maps of Manhattan (recently scanned) are not loading. We have identified the technical issue and it will be fixed soon. Thanks for your patience and kind words!

Map Warper

I love the maps and have been trying to use Map Warper to geofence Map 5056937. Are there problems with the Map Warper site? I have a high speed internet connection but find that it is very slow and sometimes crashes.

wow

I love maps. I will now become lost in your wonderful collection. My thanks goes out to the people who came up with this idea!

Not to hijack this thread -

Not to hijack this thread - but lots of EU map datasets have been released here: http://labs.europeana.eu/data/maps/

Cadastral (property) maps from Austrian Empire on Gesher Galicia

The Austro-Hungarian Empire maps are wonderful to be able to view online, but if you want to get down to the town level of detail, take a look at Gesher Galicia's cadastral map room: http://maps.geshergalicia.org. We've been scanning and stitching these 19th century property maps (feldskizzen, indikationskizzon, color cadastral) spanning almost 100 years which show houses, synagogues, churches, castles and more, many with the names of the landowners written on them. Towns completed are listed alphabetically. High res means you can zoom in to view extraordinary detail. (We are a non profit special interest group for those of Galician background. Landowner records complement the maps in the All Galicia Database: http://search.geshergalicia.org.) Home page: www.geshergalicia.org

Thanks for Christmas in April

This release is just wonderful. I love both the content that's available and the belief behind it - that providing open access inspires creativity, innovation and just cool stuff! Thank you.

maps

thank you so much for this great present to all f us. regards from basel/switzerland. benjamin krüger

Great Stuff.

Now, this is what libraries are for! Now can we give Anthony Marx and the CLP a one-way map to Palookaville?

Inaccurate

I tried to use one of these going cross town and got terribly lost. You should really update them.

NYPL map bonanza

When I lived in NYC while working with the United Nations, I spent many hours enjoying the library's map collection and talking with the head librarian, Alice Hudson, and her colleagues. I was deeply impressed with their generously of both time and material. I repaid their generosity with several small donations of maps published by the United Nations – the early Asia Highway project maps – and from my personal collection of US state 'service station' road maps. Alice was important during the creation of Map Division and its magnificent collection and its dedication to community service. Thank you, Alice.

Ray Vellest

These maps are beautiful pieces of art, and the fact these are being distributed entirely for free is an opportunity one cannot let pass, I'm looking forward to create something with these now. Oh, and for those complaining, yes, it's true that some maps are not loading, but I guess this is a temporary problem that will soon be fixed, rather than a problem with the maps themselves.

OpenSeadragon?

This is wonderful! Have you considered using OpenSeadragon for even better zooming? http://openseadragon.github.io/

digitallied maps

Excellent quality of this material!

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