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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Map of the New York Waterfront in the 1940's from the Rutger's University Map Lab

  Rutgers University in New Jersey has a map lab site that has links to all sorts of historical, geological, typological and so on maps.  Other map sites are linked and much information can be obtained.  Although I probably should not post their maps, I am doing it for research purposes only.

Please see the map below:

This very interesting map shows the railroads that had terminals on the west bank of the Hudson River across from Manhattan in the 1940's.  To reach Manhattan, passengers needed to take a ferry across the river.  Many of the former streetcar lines in Manhattan greeted these passengers.  Please take a look at the western shore of Manhattan and the lower east side towards Brooklyn.  Many piers existed for commerce and the Port of New York was an important one.  Today, the Port of New York is not so strong because of the change of technology how shipping is handled (containers).  Many of the piers near the former World Trade Center are gone.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Some Flooding Scenario Maps for Greenpoint and Long Island City

  In the maps below, I show some flooding scenarios based on  New York City RIM files.  These maps are produced on a "what if" basis if the polar ice caps should melt at a steady pace going to the year 2080.  These flood maps seem to be based on elevation.  In the recent local news, in the real estate sections are reporting  increased building activity in the Greenpoint and Long Island City areas of Queens.  Many of these zones of increased building activity are taking place a few hundred feet or less near the waterfront.  I am sure that the developers of these projects are taking into effect future water levels.  I would like to tell my readers that they should not make any decisions based on these maps.  I cannot tell if these maps are accurate or if the water level will rise due to melting ice caps.  I thought that the readers should be aware of this, if they are not so already.  Last weekend, the "G" train that was closed down for underwater tube reconstruction reopened.  It goes through the target area.  These Greenpoint tubes suffered much water damage due to superstorm Sandy.  I also wanted to show  mapping techniques as well.  It is possible to get a typographic map of New York City from the Rutgers' University Map Lab and bring it into a ARCGIS map. What is nice is that this file does not need to be geo referenced.

In the above map, I bring in the street pattern for Greenpoint Brooklyn and Long Island City Queens.  The black thick lines are the subway routes in the area.  You will see three flood scenarios for the area for years 2020, 2050 and 2080.  The location of the "G" line is indicated.  The "G" train crosses the Newtown Canal as indicated by the arrow.

In the map above, I brought in one flood stage scenario (2020), subway routes and a typographic map from around 1975 of the area.  This can be obtained from the Rutgers" University Map Lab.  It can be added to an ARCGIS map very easily.  At the Rutgers University Map Site, select New York City Typographic Maps.  Choose the "tile" that you need and download it as zip file to your desktop.  Open your already existing map in ARCGIS and add the *.tiff file after the file that was downloaded was unzipped.  It does not need to be geo referenced which can be a pain.

The map above is produced by GRASS and shows the direction and strength of water flow for the area based on rain and elevation.  The direction and thickness of the bars shows flow and direction.

I am not an expert in reading this but it seems that surface waterflow is not an issue for the area.  Notice the big waterflow vector for the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the left of the map.

Please ignore the legend.