The New York Public Library Asking For Help In Geotagging

The NYPL or the New York Public Library is known to have a wide collection of photographs as well as New York City Illustrated Map. These illustrations have been made decades upon decades ago. With the help of these, one will be able to have a visual timeline of how the metropolis came to be what it is now. The problem with these amount of images on hand that have been taken years ago, there is not enough titles and descriptions to identify each of them while others have no information regarding its location. Some have very spare details scribbled on them such as the photograph depicting an elevated train with words Brooklyn, N.Y. written on it or simple descriptions such as New York City park in winter.

This is the reason why the NYC Space/Time Discovery decided to introduce an online tool called Surveyor that will enable the crowd to geotag and provide much detailed information like the perspective from where the photographer took the picture.

According to the engineer of the Space/Time Directory, Bert Spaan, majority of their photographs as well as drawings don’t have enough information or accurate details on them. He also said that he got the inspiration from OldNYC made by Dan Vanderkam that utilized location metadata found on the back of the images that contains texts and titles in order to create a map of the thousands of photographs that are all taken in New York City. They have a lot more that he is looking for a solution on how to organize and identify them a lot faster.

The NYC Space/Time Directory is a project initiated in order to provide services to the current maps and geospatial data that the New York Public Library has accumulated. The service will include a digital time travel in order to speed things up. On April of this year, the directory was able to launch the Maps by Decade which aims to plot around 5,000 digital New York City Illustrated Map and street maps. From there, they will be able to create georectified maps with the help of the Map Warper as well as digital copies of the map collections.


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