For the past four hundred years, the island that so many New Yorkers call home has been changed by the people who lived there. Manhattan is now a super metropolis with 8 million inhabitants, but take a look at the earliest known map of New Amsterdam, as it was then called, and you’ll see a very different island.
During this time frame, the area was known both as New Amsterdam and New York, but the name Manhattan remained throughout.
During this time, the island was a “thinly populated, uncomfortable and muddy place.” In fact, everything north of the Canal was either wild or farmland. When the English took over in 1664 they renamed the city New York.
To create these maps our researchers started by searching through various archives, including the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress, for maps that showed all or significant portions of Manhattan. They then selected maps to represent each century in order to show the changes throughout time. Once a series of maps were chosen, they went on to research each one individually to understand the most significant locations and changes that occurred over the years in between.
via Vivid Maps