Culture

NY Developer Creates Street View of the Big Apple For 1930-40s'

NY Developer Creates Street View of the Big Apple For 1930-40s'

So, 720,000 photos taken between 1939 and 1941 sitting around in the New York City Municipal Archives had been digitalized a couple of years ago. The photos were taken to catalog every building in the municipality for the New York City Tax Department, with the collaboration of then-newly-formed Works Progress Administration.

These photos had been sitting around digitized and tagged. Until NY full-stack software engineer Julian Boilen decided to create a retroactive street view out of them. Of course, you can't "walk" around the streets as you can in Yandex or Google, it's still quite impressive though. He says "Zoom in. Every dot is a photo."

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In 1939 a group of photographers dispatched around boroughs of the city for a project that aimed to ease the process of determining the value of properties around the city. Today, they have a different value as a mirror to the past.

The map makes it really convenient to look up your neighborhood or the landmarks of the city, some photos also include shops and diners, and there are people caught up in some frames. People had an interesting clothing taste it seems.

If the pictures we share here piqued your interest you can browse through the collection for yourself. There are over one and a half million images, that's a lot of dots to click.

You can find Julian Boilen's GitHub here (nice pun on the username jboolean by the way)

You can begin surfing the map here.

If you are a New Yorker or have a history with the Big Apple, NYC Municipal Archives also have a mail address that can help you locate your building. The e-mail address is: [email protected]


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