The development of a gazetteer for New York City -- a digital dictionary of place names which will allow scholars, students, teachers, and the public to find and connect historic information about the city from the NYPL collection.
The New York Public Library seeks to build NYC Chronology of Place, a Linked Open Data gazetteer, enabling researchers to connect historical geographic places to fixed locations, and use the results to enhance their work. Gazetteers are dictionaries of place names which, when digital, act as location databases; services like Google Maps rely on gazetteers to link named places to map coordinates, the referential web of geography. In this project, NYPL will make an important contribution to the field, building a gazetteer to create, verify, and connect data about New York City’s places through time, from the early Lenape names to the skyscraper now being built at One World Trade Center. This project will help resolve the problem that place names, boundaries, and even natural features change over time. This project will extend NYPL’s work converting historical maps into data via a historical gazetteer.