The New York Public Library presents
Kill Time. Make History.
Welcome citizen cartographers!
Help unlock New York City's past by identifying
buildings and other details on beautiful old maps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Library is training computers to recognize building shapes and other data on digitized insurance atlases. Via these easy, bite-sized tasks, you can help check the computers' work and capture other valuable information.
try any task you like, see which one(s) you like best
WHY THIS MATTERS
Imagine if maps had a magic switch
that let you explore the geography of the past.
The Library wants to do this for New York City, turning historical atlases into time machines.
To do it we need to harvest all the fantastic detail from the original maps: building footprints, addresses, construction materials etc. — clues that will help unlock a million stories. With this information organized and searchable, you can ask new kinds of questions about history. Peel back the layers of the city and replay its growth. 'Check in' to vanished establishments and meet their ghostly proprietors. Or discover related historical documents (newspapers, photographs, business directories…) linked by place and time.GET STARTED