Project Panel: Mapping Historical New York

Wright Kennedy, Columbia University

This roundtable discusses Historical New York City (HNYC), an interactive web platform that visualizes communities and landscapes of New York City between 1850 and 1920. Historical New York City is an interdisciplinary effort to bring together myriad research and archival collections on the city, presented in a webmap designed for scholars, teachers, and the general public alike. The project used spatial history and historical GIS methods to develop and facilitate the integration of disparate data sources. The U.S. Decennial Censuses provide the foundational datasets for HNYC. We built and augmented time-sensitive historical address locators, which allowed us to geocode residents by home address, neighborhood, community, and broader administrative units. We cleaned and geocoded the roughly six million census records from 1850, 1880, and 1910. Additionally, the HNYC project developed techniques to incorporate historical city directory information, insurance atlases, and a variety of other map-based sources into the platform. Through these efforts, we seek to create research tools that center critical perspectives on GIS, to develop pedagogical resources, and to foster public understanding of historical urban experiences. During this roundtable, project members will offer critical reflection and answer questions on the different facets of the project, ranging from spatial linkage methods, design, and project management methods.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 230. Project Roundtable: Mapping Historical New York City