Density and Connectivity: Land Use in Mid-Nineteenth-Century New York

In this seminar, Gergely Baics (Assistant Professor, Barnard College – ColumbiaUniversity) and Leah Meisterlin (Assistant Professor, GSAPP – Columbia University) will present their ongoing research on mapping nineteenth-century New York City.

Leveraging a new Geographic Information Systems dataset made available by the New York Public Library, Baics and Meisterlin explore mid-nineteenth-century New York’s land use environment, built and social density, and the connectivity afforded by Manhattan's famous grid plan.

In doing so, they present advanced GISmethods, and make the case for context-based and data-driven spatial analysis. They demonstrate how GIS mapping enables us to derive new questions, measures and approaches from the historical city, advancing our understanding of basic geographic principles such as what distance, near and far, meant in the nineteenth-century city.