27 Maps Showing How NYC Evolved

NYC wasn’t always so big.

1. In 1764, New York was a small fort and trading post on the tip of Manhattan.

J.N. Bellin / Via davidrumsey.com

2. By 1776, it had expanded slightly further up the island.

3. In 1829, NYC had moved further up the island and small cities were growing across the East River.

But most of current NYC was just farmland.

D.H. Burr / Via davidrumsey.com

4. By 1834, Brooklyn had become its own city.

H.S. Tanner / Via davidrumsey.com

5. 1836 saw cities develop in New Jersey too.

J. Disturnell / Via davidrumsey.com

6. By 1856, the NYC grid system was fairly well established.

J.H. Colton / Via davidrumsey.com

7. Although, as of 1856, there were still no bridges and boats were the only method of transportation off of Manhattan.

8. By 1863 Brooklyn was heavily populated, Astoria was becoming a city in its own right, and Central Park existed.

M. Dripps / Via davidrumsey.com

9. 1868 saw the further expansion of the grid into the Bronx.

Beers, Ellis, & Soule / Via davidrumsey.com

10. Long Island City existed by 1873.

Beers, Comstock & Cline / Via davidrumsey.com

11. In 1891 almost all of Manhattan was developed, at least with roads.

Julius Bien / Via davidrumsey.com

12. By 1895, good quality roads crisscrossed most of the city.

R.D. Servoss / Via davidrumsey.com

13. In 1909, the part of Queens east of Astoria was still green and mostly untouched.

C.S. Hammond & Co. / Via davidrumsey.com

14. In 1916, an idea was floated to dam the East River, and increase the length of Manhattan.

15. Grand Central Station was a major hub by 1918.

Rand McNally / Via davidrumsey.com

16. The subway was in use by 1924.

It is represented by the green lines.

Rand McNally / Via davidrumsey.com

17. The subway expanded quickly by 1926.

18. By 1939, plans were already drawn up to expand public transit.

19. In 1948, a number of new lines were added.

20. In 1967, the USSR commissioned a map of the greater New York area.

USSR / Via davidrumsey.com

21. By 1971, the subway was huge.

MTA / Via reddit.com

22. NASA took a satellite photo of NYC in 2002.

NASA / Via en.wikipedia.org

23. In 2006, NYC matched multiple states combined in population.

24. NYC in 2010 was a melting pot, though still surprisingly segregated.

Red is white, blue is black, green is Asian, orange is Hispanic, gray is other, and each dot is 25 people.

25. In 2011, someone made a map of NYC based on Twitter and Flickr information.

Orange dots are locations of Flickr pictures. Blue dots are locations of tweets. White dots are locations that have been posted to both.

26. The latest form of the subway in 2013.

27. And now, we all have Google Maps.

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