Webrings - Maps - Trolleys and More
Saturday, December 5, 2015
GeoReferencing a 1766 Red Hook and Downtown Brooklyn Map
I came across an interesting web site that deals with some of the material found here but in a more historical fashion. It is called Ephemeral New York https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/.
I came across an interesting map from that site. I was not able to get the source but it seems to be an early map of the City of Brooklyn in 1766-7. At that time, what is now the borough of Brooklyn, consisted of a number of small towns, some dating back to early Dutch settlement. Then, the town of Brooklyn was around the area nearest Manhattan (New York) and consisted of the area of present day downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook. The map was truncated so I could not get the names of the owners in the legend.
Using Adobe, I transfered the above map from a xxx file into a TIFF file, which is a raster file in ARCGIS. Using a modern street grid of Brooklyn ( from Bytes of the Big Apple), I started the georeferencing process. Notice from the old map the the coast line is not the same as we have today. Apparently, there have been much landfill in the past 250 years. Acting very fast, I did no research on the points listed on the map to get a more accurate overlay, but I did use one point on the old map where the road to Flatbush splits off from the road to Jamaica. This is the Flatbush Fulton Street intersection. The modern streets today may not be in the exact location shown on the map 250 years ago. I also picked a point near Wallabout Bay and crossed referenced it on a modern map since the shape of the coastline appears the same. I also picked an arbitrary point on Governours Island as well.
I noticed that the "hill" areas on the 1766 map appear somewhat accurate. One way to test this is to bring in a modern contour map and see if the concentration of contour lines really correspond to a hill on the 1766 map.
Although not shown on the subway map above, but the street elevation at Bergen and Smith Streets is 24 feet ( this will need to be verified ). This station may have had a water condition that resulted in the closing of the lower level (Express) platforms. This area may have been adjacent to the Gowanas Canal but the elevation is high. This will be discussed later. Thanks folks: Tramway null (0).