NYC Space/Time Directory

Let's build the future of New York City's past

with support from

The New York Public Library is creating a digital time-travel service for New York City with historical maps, collections rich in geospatial data, and the public's help.

The NYC Space/Time Directory will make urban history accessible through a set of resources including: a searchable atlas of New York past, an historical location directory and geocoder, a set of APIs and data sets, and a discovery tool linking NYPL collections together in an historical and geographic context.

These explorations will provide a way for scholars, students, enthusiasts, and librarians to explore New York City across time periods and to add their own knowledge and expertise.

With the NYC Space/Time Directory we're developing a programming model and freely accessible codebase for other cities, libraries, and individuals to map and explore history. Data sources are listed in our related resources section below and those interested in working with our open source projects can visit GitHub to get started!

Ready to travel through time and space? Explore our Space/Time resources below to start discovering and contributing to New York City history.


Contribute to the Space/Time Directory and explore library materials with these interactive tools built on historic maps, our vast photography collections, and more!


The table below lists datasets used in the NYC Space/Time Directory. The data files are in the NDJSON format (one JSON object per line) — for more information about the Space/Time data model, see GitHub.

See the spacetime-data repository on GitHub for examples on how to use Space/Time data.

Dataset Data License
Boundaries of thousands of maps from Map Warper, NYPL's tool for rectifying historical maps
Objects Meta ZIP CC0
Boundaries of Manhattan's administrative regions, from 1703 to 1895
Objects Meta ZIP CC0
Manhattan and Brooklyn street centerlines, traced from a 1854 fire insurance map by Mauricio Giraldo
Objects Meta ZIP CC0
Contains the location of 39516 photos from Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s collection, taken from Dan Vanderkam's OldNYC project.
Objects Meta ZIP Apache


Historical Data & Maps at NYPL is a series of public workshops and talks which will highlight different parts of New York City's history using data and maps from the NYC Space/Time Directory. In this series, we will focus on making new maps with old data using open source mapping tools, and learning how to use the Library's open data sets and APIs to tell stories about New York City’s history by finding and combining materials from the NYPL’s Digital Collections.

Past and upcoming events:

Title Date


The table below lists open source repositories made for the NYC Space/Time Directory that might be useful in other projects, too. More repositories can be found on Space/Time's GitHub page.

Repository Description
Simple JSON API for small crowdsourcing apps used in different NYC Space/Time Directory projects
Extract/Transform/Load tool for Space/Time data
Command line tools for NYC Space/Time Directory data

Tools & Experiments

Take a peek into the Space/Time Directory workshop! We're sharing prototypes, proof of concepts, and visualizations the project as they're made.

Related resources

Browse related Library resources including digitized materials, data sets, APIs, and much more!