May is Bike Month in New York City!

NYCityMap has a number of resources for you cyclists out there including bicycle parking and bicycle routes.

Bicycle Parking

The bicycle parking layer includes both shelters and racks, they can be differentiated by their color. If you use the identify tool and select a bike shelter, the callout box provides additional information about the location of the shelter. If you use the identify tool and select a cityrack, the callout box provides additional information about the number of racks at that location.

And don’t forget, you can always use the find nearest tool to find the nearest bike parking to your destination.

Bicycle Routes

The bicycle routes layer includes class 1, 2, and 3 routes, connections, and advisories.

Class I routes represent a bridge, park, or separated on-street path.
Class II routes represent an on-street striped route.
Class III routes represent an on-street signed route.
Advisories indicate a situation about which cyclists should be aware, sometimes this is a closing, or an alert that bikes must be walked on the sidewalk, etc.

To learn more about Bike Month NYC go to bikemonthnyc.org.

The Buttonwood Agreement

While most people are familiar with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), its humble origin may be less well know. This prestigious institution can be traced back to a simple buttonwood tree in front of 68 Wall Street.
It was under this tree that, on May 17, 1792, twenty-four stock brokers signed what became known as the ‘Buttonwood Agreement’ which established the formation of the New York Stock & Exchange Board. In 1863, this name was shortened to its modern form, “New York Stock Exchange”. In 1903, the NYSE moved to its current location at 18 Broad Street.

Original Location – 68 Wall Street
Current Location – 18 Broad Street

Twenty blocks equals one mile

The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 was very specific about the size and spacing of the streets and avenues that made up the grid.  Each avenue was to be one hundred feet wide. The avenues in the center of the island were to be separated by 922 feet, and the avenues along the waterfront were to be slightly closer. The numbered cross streets running east-west are 60 feet wide, with about 200 feet between each pair of streets.  Each combined street and block face adds up to about 260 feet.  The result, 20 blocks equals approximately one mile!

NYC Neighborhoods

Although important to many for a variety of reasons and interests, New York City neighborhoods do not have precisely defined boundaries. I am sure if you asked nearly anyone in your neighborhood, even those with professed geographic knowledge and skills, they would come up with different boundaries. The general extent may be in agreement but the precise layout of its extents (so important to us geographers) is seemingly always a point of contention.

Neighborhoods unlike administrative or political districts do not have defined functions and therefore do not require the precise definition of their borders. Wikepedia defines neighborhood ‘as a geographically localized community within a larger city, town or suburb. Neighborhoods are often social communities with considerable face-to-face interaction among members.’ (Note: liberties were taken with the spelling of words within the definition.)

Neighborhood boundaries are dynamic and can expand and contract over time. Consider Chinatown and Little Italy in Manhattan, the latter is contracting while the former is expanding. This is largely due to population shifts and the influx of new immigrants but there are other factors that can lead to change. Newcomers also arrive on occasion to the patchwork of NYC neighborhoods (e.g., DUMBO in the gentrifying section of Brooklyn).  And names may change over time to ones more socially acceptable (e.g., Hell’s Kitchen is now largely referred to as Clinton).

As much as we would love to map NYC’s neighborhoods and provide them to our constituents, the task is an impossible one and certainly one if attempted that would cause great consternation and contention. Therefore for the foreseeable future, neighborhood boundaries shall be missing but the imprecise labels shall remain. But that should not prevent anyone from enjoying their neighborhood and its contribution to New York City as a whole.

Who says romance is dead?

Among the many artifacts which have shown up in our aerial photos since 1996, this is one of the more interesting ones.  We are not sure how things turned out nor how it was presented since NYCityMap did not exist back then.  Was his girlfriend due to arrive at LaGuardia the next day?  This artifact has been in our aerial photos since the 2004. We can only hope the answer was “Yes”!

Additional Information

Not only does NYCityMap display a wealth of information on the map, but it also gives you easy access to a host of additional city websites that can provide you with information specific to your search location.

Any time you Search for a Location, whether it is an address, intersection, place of interest, or borough block and lot, you can choose to expand your search result by selecting “Show Additional Information…”

This will open your search result and give you access to 4 new panes of information: Find Nearest, Building & Property Information, Neighborhood Information, and Elected Official Information. (Note: Building & Property Information is not available for Intersection searches.)

Building & Property Information

The Building & Property Information pane provides information specific to the searched building. In the first section of these results you’ll find information about square footage, number of floors, number of units, year built, landmark status, and more. In the second section of these results you’ll find links to other websites that provide building specific information. For example, there are links to the School & Zone Finder, Poll Site Locator, DCP Zoning Map, Tax and Property Records, and more.

Neighborhood Information

The Neighborhood Information pane also provides search location-based information, but focuses on websites that are at the community level rather than the building level. In the first section of these results you’ll find information about the community board of your searched location. In the second section of these results you’ll find links to other websites that provide community specific information. For example, there are links to Restaurant Inspection results for the ZIP code, My Neighborhood Statistics, NYC*scout MAP, Census Fact Finder, and more.

Elected Official Information

The Elected Official Information pane provides the Local, State, and Federal officials elected in the area of your search location.

Manhattanhenge

An interesting effect of the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 is that on certain days of the year, the sunset is lined up with the east-west streets on Manhattan’s grid. The grid network in Manhattan, as defined in the plan, is set 28.9 degrees east from due north. If it had been aligned due north, the effect would be seen on the spring and autumn equinoxes, when the sun sets on the east-west line. Instead, because of Manhattan’s tilt, those now take place about three weeks before and about three weeks after June 21, the summer solstice. This interesting solar event has been termed Manhattanhenge, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium.