New York State Census: Digital Collections: New York State Library
"Article five of the first New York State Constitution of 1777 required that a census of its electors and inhabitants be taken "once in every seven years, after the taking of the said first census." The census of electors taken in 1790, 1795, 1801, 1807, 1814 and 1821 provided a basis for the reapportionment of senate and assembly districts. The second New York State Constitution, 1821, mandated that an enumeration of the inhabitants be taken in 1825 and at the end of every ten years thereafter. The Census of 1925 was the last census taken by the State. Amendments to the State Constitution approved by the voters in 1931 rescinded all sections of the Constitution which mandated that the state take a census every ten years for the purpose of apportionment. "
census  nys  archive  history 
19 days ago
Slavery's Traces: In Search of Ashley's Sack | Southern Spaces
"One of the most enigmatic objects on display in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is "Ashley's Sack." On loan from South Carolina's Middleton Place, this unbleached cotton sack features an embroidered text recounting the slave sale of a nine-year-old girl named Ashley and the gift of the sack by her mother. Until now, Ashley's identity has been unknown. New research by Mark Auslander traces Ashley's Sack from the initial gift during the era of slavery to the present."
usa  history  slavery  african.american 
december 2016
Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection >> Home
"Charles Weever Cushman, amateur photographer and Indiana University alumnus, bequeathed approximately 14,500 Kodachrome color slides to his alma mater. The photographs in this collection bridge a thirty-two year span from 1938 to 1969, during which time he extensively documented the United States as well as other countries."
photography  archive 
december 2016
The John Reps Travel Photographs | Urban Explorer
"Taken and gathered on globe-spanning travels undertaken by Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning Emeritus Professor John W. Reps from 1958 onwards, the collection’s 1,355 photographs, plans, and aerial images have been composed to support and advance instruction and research on the history of urban planning and comparative international or domestic spatial development, and to celebrate Emeritus Professor Reps’s pioneering contribution to the field."
photography  planning  archive 
december 2016
Actuarial Life Table
"A period life table is based on the mortality experience of a population during a relatively short period of time. Here we present the 2013 period life table for the Social Security area population. For this table, the period life expectancy at a given age is the average remaining number of years expected prior to death for a person at that exact age, born on January 1, using the mortality rates for 2013 over the course of his or her remaining life."
usa  statistics  death  dark.places 
november 2016
Trends Field Photo Map
Thousands of USGS field photos, tagged by land use
land.use  usa  archive  map 
september 2016
Alaska State Geo-spatial Data Clearinghouse (ASGDC)
State of Alaska GIS.
"Site optimized for IE 6 or above and Mozilla Firefox 2."
gis  alaska  archive 
august 2016
The Secret History of AMI | City Limits
"Crucially, however, the same legal language that gives Rockland and Westchester Counties their own AMIs requires that New York City's AMI still include data from those counties. In other words, New York City data no longer drags Westchester and Rockland AMIs down, but their data still yanks NYC's AMI up."
nyc  housing  history  ami 
july 2016
NJ CSO Group - CSO Notification System
"Sanitary sewer systems collect wastewater from homes, businesses and industries, and transport it to treatment facilities that remove pollutants and return the cleaned water to the environment. Some older sewer systems also collect stormwater runoff from streets and properties in the same sewer pipes. When it rains, sanitary sewage and stormwater mix together to form “combined sewage.” Sometimes, large quantities of stormwater produce too much combined sewage for the treatment facilities to process. When that happens, the excess amount of combined sewage can flow out to waterways from relief points known as “CSOs” (combined sewer overflows). Pollutants in these untreated or minimally treated discharges may make the waterways temporarily unsafe for contact.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulates CSOs through a permitting process. DEP requires that communities with CSOs notify the public when and where CSOs may be occurring as a result of wet weather. This website is intended to satisfy that requirement."
nj  sewer  water  environment 
july 2016
Syracuse CSO live map
"This website serves as a notification system to alert the public of the occurrence of combined sewer overflow (CSO) events and as a prediction of elevated bacteria levels in Onondaga Lake and its’ tributaries. This notification complies with the intent of New York State’s Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act (A.10585A / S.6268D) and complements Onondaga County’s efforts under the Save the Rain Program to reduce pollution to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries.
water  nys  syracuse  sewer 
july 2016
NYC DEP Waterbody alerts
"This application is based solely on rainfall data and the resulting Combined Sewer Outfall prediction models established, and does not reflect realtime dry-weather discharges or actions taken by DEP in emergency events."
nyc  water  pollution  cso 
july 2016
The Oblong in Pawling: A History of a Quaker Hill Community in the Hudson Valley - Hudson Valley Magazine - January 2013 - Poughkeepsie, NY
"here aren’t many Quakers in Quaker Hill anymore. But in the late 17th and 18th centuries, this hamlet in the town of Pawling was one of the most thriving Quaker communities in the country. It would be romantic to think the early settlers came to this area because of some great spiritual awakening or metaphysical yearning. But what drew them here was far more prosaic: real estate. It’s still a pretty good story, though.
oblong  quaker  nys 
july 2016
Oblong Meeting (Laid Down)
In 1731, the Colony of Connecticut ceded to the Colony of New York a two mile wide strip of land known as The Oblong, which ran from the vicinity of Ridgefield to its northern boundary. Quakers quickly settled in this area and, in 1740, requested permission from Purchase Meeting to establish a meeting and build a meeting house. This was granted and in 1742 a meeting house was built, directly across from the present building. In 1744 the groups at Oblong and Nine Partners became a monthly meeting. By 1763 tile building was too small for the rapidly growing membership and a petition was sent to the Quarterly Meeting for a new brick building 45 feet long and 35 feet wide. When consent arrived from the Yearly Meeting, the specifications read: "for a framed house of timber, the dimensions to be 45 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet stud to admit of galleries." All meetings of the Yearly Meeting were to assist in raising the necessary funds for its erection. The new meeting house was built in 1764, on the north side of the road, and still stands. In 1800, Oblong Monthly Meeting was transferred from Purchase to Nine Partners Quarter.
oblong  quaker  nys 
july 2016
The Oblong Historical Marker
Inscription. This marker denotes the western boundary of Connecticut under an agreement reached in 1683 between Governor Thomas Dongan of New York and Governor Robert Treat of Connecticut.

Later the Treaty of Dover signed on May 14, 1731 moved the western border of Connecticut about two miles farther east to the present border between the two states, thus creating the area since known as “The Oblong” sixty miles long and approximately two miles wide extending from the southern border of Massachusetts to Long Island Sound.
oblong  object  nys 
july 2016
Gerrymandering Demo
Gerrymandering is the drawing of political districts to gain advantage beyond what would accrue by natural patterns of population. Gerrymandering can benefit an individual legislator or a whole political party. This site is principally concerned with partisan gerrymandering, the establishment of an overall advantage across an entire state.

Partisan gerrymandering is considered justiciable by the United States Supreme Court, but a nationwide standard has not been established. Below are online calculators for simple statistical tests described in "Three Tests for Practical Evaluation of Partisan Gerrymandering," by Samuel S.-H. Wang, 68 Stanford Law Review 1263 (2016). This approach was awarded a prize in Common Cause's 2016 First Amendment Gerrymander Standard Writing Competition.
politics  mapping 
july 2016
"Maperitive is a FREE desktop application for drawing maps based on OpenStreetMap and GPS data. You can define what gets on the map and how it is painted. You can also export these maps into bitmaps and SVG files and print them."
gis  mapping  openstreetmap 
june 2016
Take 2 - A Photo Archive of City Streets -
about Percy Loomis Sperr, "Official Photographer for the City of New York"
photography  nyc  history 
may 2016
Prospect Park's Ravine Inching Closer to Past -
"Each rock, from huge boulders to smaller stones, was numbered."
brooklyn  history  park  erratic  news 
may 2016
All Prior Art – Algorithmically generated prior art
All Prior Art is a project attempting to algorithmically create and publicly publish all possible new prior art, thereby making the published concepts not patent-able. The concept is to democratize ideas, provide an impetus for change in the patent system, and to preempt patent trolls. The system works by pulling text from the entire database of US issued and published (un-approved) patents and creating prior art from the patent language. While most inventions generated will be nonsensical, the cost to computationally create and publish millions of ideas is nearly zero – which allows for a higher probability of possible valid prior art.
bot  patent  art 
april 2016
The Vertical Space Problem: Rethinking Population Visualizations in Contemporary Cities
bivariate mapping of population density vs imputed residential floorspace per person
mapping  cartography  population  census 
april 2016
Akitu Festival - Livius
"Akitu: the Babylonian New year's festival, celebrated to honor the supreme god Marduk, his crown prince Nabû and other gods...

On 4 Nisannu, the high priest of the Esagila (šešgallu) opened the festival, saying that the new year had begun"
babylon  calendar  history 
march 2016
An Empirical Study of Algorithms for Point-Feature Label Placement

A major factor affecting the clarity of graphical displays that include text labels is the degree h which labels obscure display features (including other labels) as a result of spatial overlap. Point-feature label placement (PFLP) is the problem of placing text labels adjacent to point features on a map or diagram so as to maximize legibility. This problem occurs frequently in the production of many types of informational graphics, though it arises most often in automated cartography. In this paper we present a comprehensive treatment of the PFLP problem, viewed as a type of combinatorial optimization problem. Complexity analysis reveals that the basic PFLP problem and most interesting variants of it are NP-hard. These negative results help inform a survey of previously reported algorithms for PFLP; not surprisingly, all such algorithms either have exponential time complexity or are incomplete. To solve the PFLP problem in practice. then, we must rely on good heuristic methods. We propose two new methods, one based on a discrete form of gradient descent, the other on simulated annealing, and report on a series of empirical tests comparing these and the other known algorithms for the problem, Based on this study, the first to be conducted, we identify the best approaches as a function of available computation time.
cartography  algorithm  label 
march 2016
Algorithms for the multiple label placement problem
by Konstantinos G. Kakoulis, Ioannis G. Tollis
We consider the problem of positioning text or symbol labels associated with graphical features of two dimensional maps (geographical or technical) or drawings. In many practical applications each graphical feature may have more than one label. The need for assigning multiple labels is necessary to display different attributes of an object. Even though many algorithms exist for the labeling problem, very little work has been directed towards positioning multiple labels per graphical feature in a map or drawing. We refer to this problem as the Multiple Label Placement (MLP) problem. In this paper we present a model and expand the rules that govern a good assignment of several labels per graphical feature. In addition we introduce techniques to solve this problem. We have applied these techniques to drawings of graphs, and we present very encouraging experimental results.
cartography  labels  algorithm 
march 2016
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