Communion Of Dreams

Mannahatta Project.
May 17, 2009, 9:56 am
Filed under: Climate Change, Science, tech

Just a brief post this morning to pass on this:

Mannahatta Project Recreates What New York City Looked Like 400 Years Ago

* * *

Included was a map from 1782, when the British occupied New York during the Revolutionary War. It is an incredibly detailed and accurate map, showing brooks, hills, marshes, forests and streets. Features were sketched with pen and ink, then hand-colored with blue, pink, brown and green watercolor.

It is an invaluable window into long-ago Manhattan, a Manhattan that already was ecologically altered by European immigrants, but nothing like the massive changes that would come with the 19th and 20th centuries.

What if, Sanderson immediately wondered, he was to use his landscape ecology skills and layer that map over a modern map of Manhattan? Could he get them to mesh? Would he be able to discern if today’s Times Square was once meadow or marsh, wet or wooded? What was Greenwich Village long ago? What, in fact, did Manhattan look like 400 years ago, when Henry Hudson sailed past Manhattan on a September day?

The result can be found here: The Mannahatta Project.

Jim Downey

(Hat tip to ML!)

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