Friday, October 09, 2015

GIS Mapping of New York City

Before Times Square and Rockefeller Center:  Interactive GIS Mapping of New York City

The Welikia Project (formerly the Mannahatta Project) is an interactive mapping project by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to reconstruct and map how the island of Manhattan looked in 1609 when Henry Hudson discovered the island.  The project details how development has altered the natural ecosystems of Manhattan, including showing where water flowed and species of trees.

By cross-referencing data from soil samples, historical maps, and field studies and using GIS mapping, scientists/cartographers from the WCS created an interactive map of the heart of New York City.  Users can zoom in on any block or input a specific address to see what was happening at that location in 1609. 

The map uses data and layers from Oasis NYC (Open Accessible Space Information System) to show wildlife, landscapes, and modern day aerial photography.  Users can see how the Lenape Native Americans used the specific block—for example, in the modern location of Central Park for fishing and hunting.  A list of wildlife and plants living at the site is populated.  Topographic elements like elevation, bedrock geology, and hydrology are detailed.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library offers access to ESRI GIS software and online GIS tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, in-house GIS data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist.  The GIS Research Area is equipped with 28 high-end Lenovo ThinkCentre N58 computers, and faculty may reserve the area for instructional or working lab sessions. 

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

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