Eclectic Maps

A blog about maps and unusual places.

The Viele Map

Posted on | March 16, 2012 | Comments Off

In 1865 Egbert Ludovicus Viele published his survey, “Sanitary and Topographical Atlas of the City and Island of New York.”  Superimposing Manhattan’s grid system over the marshes and waterways (almost all now hidden, if still extant) of the island.  The map is remarkable in that looking at it one can see what Manhattan island actually *is* (or was, perhaps) underneath all the concrete and steel.Viele Map Small

Almost 150 years later the map is still routinely consulted by engineers today – as this NY Times article illustrates – because accurately determining the locations of these waterways would be near impossible given today’s level of development.

To my surprise I was unable to find any high-quality digitized versions of the Viele Map online.  One website hosted a 9mb screengrab mash-up while the New York Public Library hosts the map online but only viewable with an applet. 

In 2000 the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Supply scanned a 400dpi copy of the Viele Map in five separate chunks.  The data is available at the NYPL and is stored in SID format.  I decided to convert the SID files to JPG’s (without reducing them in size) and to make them available to the public here.  At some point I will try to put together a full-resolution mash-up but for now here are the five sections of the Viele Map in all their high-res glory (click on the thumbnails to view or download):

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5
Viele Map Section 1 Viele Map Section 2 Viele Map Section 3 Viele Map Section 4 Viele Map Section 5
8800×11200 8800×11200 8800×11200 8800×11200 8800×11200
~10.2mb ~13mb ~12.2mb ~12.3mb ~11.4mb

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Posts about maps and places unusual, transitory, contested, imaginary, or just plain interesting.


Unless indicated otherwise all images are believed currently in the public domain or presented under the fair use doctrine. If you are the copyright holder to any uploaded work and believe this in error please send me an email: admin (at) eclectic maps dot com.

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