It’s not uncommon to wonder what a street looked like in centuries past, and if you’re in New York City, finding that out has gotten a whole lot easier. OldNYC is a project which plots historic data from the New York Public Library collection of photographs on top of Google Maps for a rich and revealing look at the city’s changing appearance from the 1870s to the 1970s.
The project predominantly pulls from the work of Percy Loomis Sperr, who documented the massive changes to the city from the late 1920s to the early 1940s. The creators of the project tapped into the library’s Milstein Collection which houses some 80,000 original photographs of New York City.
“The creators of this site associated latitudes and longitudes to the images in the Milstein collection. This process is known as geocoding. Doing this allows the images to be placed at points on a map, which enables new ways of exploring this collection.
They also detected individual photos on the original Milstein scans and extracted them. This reduced the appearance of large borders or multiple small images.”
(via Laughing Squid)