The Greatest Grid

The Master Plan of Manhattan
June 2015

In collaboration with MediaCombo and the Museum of the City of New York, I designed and developed two interactive historical maps to for an online exhibition about the origin of the grid plan for Manhattan.

The original 1811 Commissioners' Plan was brought to life with annotations which highlight various aspects of the initial conception of the grid. And the Randel Farm Maps (a 92-volume survey map of Manhattan in the 1810s on the eve of the grid) was composited into a single composite image, from which we indexed and made available every text on the map: landowners, physical features, roads and buildings.

Both maps were georectified, tiled and presented as fully interactive web maps, with the ability to browse, search, zoom and compare against the modern street grid of Manhattan.

Initial view of 1811 plan
Annotation to 1811 plan, showing the Parade Ground which was proposed but never built
Initial view of the composite Randel Farm Map
Browsing the indexed names on the Randel Farm Map
The origin of the numbered grid, at Broadway and Houston, with the modern street grid partially revealed

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge; use arrow keys to go backwards and forwards in the slideshow.