NYC Planimetric Update 2014/16

Background

For those wondering exactly what planimetrics are and why they should care, read on. Otherwise, you can skip to the last paragraph and download the data here.

Planimetric mapping is the capture of geographic features from aerial survey (i.e., capture of aerial photography) that are traditionally mapped in two dimensions and are therefore exclusive of elevation.  Quite simply these are the visible features that can be digitized from aerial photography. Often referred to as planimetric features or simply planimetics, these geographic features in their sum total essentially represent the base map data (i.e., layers) for a specific area.

NYC DoITT first developed a planimetric database in 2000. The data was captured from the first ‘modern’ aerial survey of the New York City that took place in 1996. Referred to as the NYC Landbase, components of this effort were the establishment of:

  • a ‘database design’ (the delivery was ArcInfo coverages);
  • coverage parameters (e.g., scale, projection, precision, fuzzy tolerance and dangle length);
  • the specific features to be captured;
  • and a classification scheme (i.e., feature codes).

The delivery of the data was by 2,500′ x 2,500′ tiles, which directly corresponded to the orthophotography tiles.

Updates

A subsequent ad-hoc update to the planimetric database was done in 2004. This update was based on aerial surveys from 2001 (Manhattan and Staten Island) and 2002 (Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens). This update conformed to the previous database design. In 2006, DoITT formalized the update frequency of  the planimetric database and aerial surveys. The aerial photography would be captured on a two-year cycle and the planimetrics a four-year cycle. With the first regularly-scheduled planimetric update to be based on the 2006 aerial photography.

With each subsequent update, refinements have been made. New features and domains have been added,  obsolete features have been removed, features are captured in three dimensions, a seamless database is produced and the time between aerial capture and delivery of planimetrics shortened.

Year of Update

A lot of work goes in to producing the planimetrics. The orthophotography takes from nine to twelve months to deliver. A spring capture in 2014 is therefore delivered in 2015. The planimetric features themselves also take from nine to twleve months. All of this is a long way of explaining why data from 2014 is published in 2016. It takes time.

2014 Update

For the 2014 update, additional refinements were made. Skybridges were captured as separate features (sub type within building footprints). Below is an example of a skybridge connecting 3 and 4 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn.

skybridge

Previous (2010) and current (2014) representation of skybridges.

Cooling towers are a new feature capture – see example below. This data will be published in the next couple weeks.

coolingtower

Cooling towers – black rectangles

 

 

Curblines are a new separate feature. Previously curblines were a subtype in Pavement Edge. Pavement Edge features were segmented at the apex of each edge and a unique ID was assigned. These IDs were then transferred to the Citywide Centerline.

pavementedge

Pavement edge with Blockface ID

As with the previous update, all of the individual data sets are on the open data portal. New with this update is a comprehensive database that contains all of the data sets. Additionally, the data were tagged with ‘planimetrics’ and ‘doitt gis’ to simplify search and discovery. Lastly, previous blog posts will be updated with any new or updated data urls. Happy mapping!

Make your own map of NYC

So you want to make a map of NYC. You are familiar with the NYC Open Data Portal but have had some difficulty in finding all the data you need. You have the requisite software to construct the map (e.g., QGIS, ArcGIS, MapBox Studio, etc.) and the basic skills to do so. Perfect, read on.

This post is intended to provide a single source for the map ingredients. It is not intended to be the map cookbook. It’s up to the reader (i.e., mapper) to decide on data to include, colors, symbols, labels, fonts, etc.

NYC Planimetrics

The table below lists NYC DoITT geospatial data on the Open Data Portal and provides a very basic description of each data set. For more detailed information, see the included metadata. The table is grouped into core basemap features and other DoITT data.

The first grouping of data comprises the data used to construct the above map. These data are referred to as the planimetrics (aka NYCMap). Planimetrics are features captured from aerial photography and represent the City’s basemap. These features are updated on a four year cycle. Most but not all features are provided to the public. Utility structures is one that is not due to security concerns. For an historical perspective and to see how far we have come, read the following article on NYCMap. *Note the full article requires a subscription.

The second group represents other NYC DoITT data that may be of interest but is not necessary for producing a basemap. Some of these data are maintained directly by DoITT and others are compiled from agency sources. We do our best to keep these data current.

The last group includes notable geospatial data sets not managed by DoITT and agency sites where spatial data can be found.

Feature Name Notes/Alternate name Download URL
DoITT Boardwalks Boardwalks http://bit.ly/1AgMGek
Building footprint Permiter of base of building with height http://bit.ly/2gj5p1m
Contours Two-foot contours http://bit.ly/1xzWbBJ
Hydrography Water bodies http://bit.ly/1GXHvSp
Hydrography Structures Manmade features at the waterfront http://bit.ly/1qVgBAn
Medians Physical separation between travel lanes. http://bit.ly/2gsQPHZ
Miscellaneous Structures Billboards, sign gantrys, etc. http://bit.ly/2gsY2HS
Open Space City and Non-City parks and fields http://bit.ly/1xp4KSu
Parking Lots Paved parking areas http://bit.ly/1rZDCof
Pavement Edge Perimeter edge of pavement http://bit.ly/1q69NxX
Retaining Walls Where elev difference >= 10 feet http://bit.ly/2hc1V2i
Roadbed Roadway (polygon) http://bit.ly/1sNPqbn
Sidewalks Sidewalks in the right-of-way http://bit.ly/1s33RLE
Shoreline features NYC shoreline http://bit.ly/1BJo2EL
Swimming pools Inground only http://bit.ly/2hdo9nt
Cooling towers Ventilation and cooling towers > 4′ in diameter. http://bit.ly/2hdrGlH
Additional DoITT Spatial Data
Address Points Point representing addresses. http://bit.ly/2hbXu7H
Citywide Street Centerline CSCL; includes Bike lanes http://bit.ly/1zVbRmk
Digital Elevation Model One-foot DEM http://bit.ly/1sNY0GQ
NYC Wi-Fi Hotspot Locations Open and fee-based public wifi http://bit.ly/1wOcEiX
After-School Programs City-funded programs http://bit.ly/1BJnv5S
Agency Service Center Walk-in service centers http://bit.ly/1xxtqYZ
Greenthumb Community garden program http://bit.ly/1uEYXWv
Business Improvement Districts BIDS http://bit.ly/1qpzSiP
Individual Landmarks Individual, scenic and interior landmarks http://bit.ly/1ClycWj
Historic Districts Designated historic districts http://bit.ly/1G9V6HA
NYCHA Developments New York City Housing Authority http://bit.ly/1vkNxZJ
Zip Code Boundaries Zip code polygons http://bit.ly/1Ha4JVx
Data Services / Ready-to-use data
Building footprints and subway lines, stations and entrances Auto-synched on CARTO http://bit.ly/2gtoIs3
Notable Non-DoITT Spatial Data
Digital Tax Map DOF tax map; inlcudes blocks, lots, air rights, etc. http://bit.ly/1gfX6gs
Bytes of the Big Apple Various data sets including MapPLUTO http://on.nyc.gov/1wBowrp
Dept. of Transportation Various data sets & feeds http://on.nyc.gov/1yiQTtX

Every effort will be made to ensure the above table is complete and the links are current. If you find an error or omission, please feel free to add a comment below to let us know. Lastly, check back periodically as this table will be expanded as newer data sets are published.

Last updated: 12/09/2016

Happy mapping!