Mapping New York

by Don Friedman on October 21, 2016

The Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum, by OptimumPx:


An article from Curbed, about a new book and exhibit on the topic of mapping New York is here. Many maps are discussed and many are worth discussing, but my favorite is the tourist favorite: the huge scale model of the city hosted in the Queens Museum.

The Panorama was created for the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park. Growing up in Flushing right after the fair, I spent a decent amount of time in the park among the remaining fair structures. There was a ride at the panorama left over from the fair, where you got in an amusement-park-like train and were driven around the perimeter of the map to see it from different angles. It’s been decommissioned for decades, but I loved that train when I was a kid.

I’m not sure why the Panorama is so effective. It gives a view similar to that from an airplane window during the approach to LaGuardia airport, but without haze or the limitations of trying to capture the whole sight through a small window. It might be something as simple as this: there are a million buildings in the city, give or take a few thousand, and the Panorama has them all.

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