Here & There: Horizonless Perspective of Manhattan

Posted to Maps  |  Nathan Yau

Jack Schulze provides this horizonless view of Manhattan:

Here & There is a project by S&W exploring speculative projections of dense cities. These maps of Manhattan look uptown from 3rd and 7th, and downtown from 3rd and 35th. They’re intended to be seen at those same places, putting the viewer simultaneously above the city and in it where she stands, both looking down and looking forward.

Imagine a person standing at a street corner. The projection begins with a three-dimensional representation of the immediate environment. Close buildings are represented normally, and the viewer himself is shown in the third person, exactly where she stands.

It takes a minute to wrap your head around the concept, but it’s an interesting one. It bet it’d be especially awesome if it were an interactive map that you could use while you roamed around a dense city. What do you think, cartographers?

[via kottke & waxy | Thanks, Jodi]


  • Looks interesting. It would be nice to see other examples, including cities that do not run in straight lines.

  • Looks like a half tube.

    “especially awesome if it were an interactive map that you could use while you roamed around a dense city.”

    or if your whole path from one place to another was enlarged with the rest of the city smaller to the side.

  • This looks rather like Larry Niven’s “Ringworld”…

  • Looks good and perhaps quite useful, but it kind of makes me dizzy…

  • This made immediate sense to me and I found it truly valuable. It’s a good thing I’m not in charge of “Metro Signage” or the Board of Tourism for my city, as I would install these things everywhere.

    It seems to solve the “You are here” problem that you run into with maps around town. Yes, you are here, but it isn’t clear which direction you are facing relative to the map with the red dot on it.

    This seems to work well in an area that is long, thin and on a grid like Manhattan or Seattle. I wonder how useful and clear it would be in a “round” city like Munich or London or Paris.

  • It also reminiscent of Arthur C. Clark’a “Rendezvous with Rama”.

  • Cool map! I see my apartment building.

    I realize it’s not the same thing, but I’m reminded of Ringworld as well, or a Dyson sphere.

  • This is incredibly easy to create, if you have access to GIS data or any other 3D version of Manhattan.

    Export Manhattan block boundaries, building footprints, and building heights in DWG format. Import the DWG file into Rhino.

    Extrude the footprints to the building heights. Add some detail to buildings near viewer and a bitmap of the street grid. Use the bend tool on the entire file.


  • @Evan – thanks for the tip! i bet that’ll come in handy one day :)

  • It would be fun to include quirky, permanent items in the immediate neighborhood- a sculpture, broken fenestration, a guy who is always sitting on his porch, a “secret” store or bar, a strange sign.

  • Very cool and very intuitive to me. Weird, I also thought of Arthur C. Clark’s Rama… I suppose that speaks to the power of his words to convey that image so well since I don’t think there were any pictures of it in the book.


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