NYC Playgrounds from above

A designers intent is not always clear or evident from the ground. For playgrounds that may be even more true to the children the space was designed for. I’ve always thought about how designs transfer from the drawing board to the real world. Clearly some work and some do not. The reasons behind success and failure vary greatly. What is clear to us seeing these from above is that NYC possess some very interesting playgrounds.

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There is certainly the intent to teach. I found five playgounds teaching geography with maps of the USA. There were others with the letters of the alphabet as an educational embellishment. While still other playgrounds pay homage to their surroundings (whale). Hopefully the playgrounds are successful and enjoyed by those they were intended to serve. Below is a sampling of a few. Use NYCityMap to locate these and perhaps uncover other gems throughout the City. Gladly most are more interesting from the ground…

The Legend of NYCityMap…

Even after using NYCityMap once, we hope it becomes clear that a wealth of information is displayed in the application. The basemap (i.e., primary map data excluding dynamic layers) alone is particularly complex and replete. One of the original design goals for NYCityMap was to keep the cartographic symbology simple and self-explanatory. In the event that this goal has not be achieved and to provide a visual reference, the following sample map is provided. This visual explanation, or legend, shows the symbols presented on the basemap.

As you can see, there certainly is no dearth of data in NYCityMap!

Stranded at the Drive-in…

One of the great things about viewing vintage aerial photography is the ability to see locations of things that previous generations routinely enjoyed. Case in point… drive-in movie theaters.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the hey day of drive-in movie theaters, there were over 4,000 of them across the United States. Of course, New York City was no exception, housing a couple of the outdoor cinemas. Unfortunately, thanks to ever rising property values, these nostalgic gems no longer exist. However, we were able to locate some of them in the 1951 aerial photographs.

The Whitestone Drive-In in the Bronx.

The Fabian (Staten Island) Drive-In.

And lastly,we spotted this one, The Bayshore Sunrise Drive-In, but since it is outside the five boroughs, it doesn’t really count. 😉

Let us know if you spot any interesting landmarks!

NYCityMap 7.0 Release Notes

1951 Aerial Photos

We’ve added the 1951 aerial photographs to NYCityMap. Now you can view aerial photography from 1924, 1951, 1996, 2006 and 2008.

The scanned 1951 aerial images were acquired from the Department of Records. DoITT staff georeferenced (i.e., established the position of the images with respect to actual ground locations) the images by using visually identifiable landmarks that existed in 1951 and were present in the current aerials. An additional entry was added to the aerial slider giving the public an additional year to stop at while working their way back in time. Historians may note that this was the year that the United Nations headquarters opened in New York City, which is seen below. Although the resolution cannot compare to current imagery due to advances in camera technology, the 1951 aerails provide an important historical archive that is being made available to the public through NYCityMap.

Improved Service Centers Naming

The city can tend to use a lot of acronyms and we realize that the public may not always have familiarity with these acronyms, so we’ve renamed our Service Center selections to be more clear.

Bicycle Routes

We’ve updated the bicycle routes and symbology.

Old Symbology New Symbology

Adult and Continuing Education (OACE)

Adult and Continuing Education locations were added to the Education menu.

The New York City Office of Adult and Continuing Education (OACE) is the largest provider of adult literacy education services in the state. They are an integral part of the City of New York Department of Education’s District 79 – Alternative Schools and Programs.

OACE offers over 900 classes for adults age 21 and over. Operating four Adult Learning Centers located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. They offer day and evening classes Monday through Saturday at more than 300 sites in all five boroughs, including public schools, community centers and faith-based organizations. Students can take classes at any of the sites, regardless of which borough they live in. All classes are taught by certified teachers and are offered free of charge (tuition-free).

To find a site near you, click the map below or visit NYCityMap.

Improved Printing Functionality

In the previous version of NYCityMap printing would fail if you had a PDF from a previous print open. This bug has been fixed and you can now print as many times as you like without saving the PDF.