The World as NYC

A map of Central Asia if it were on the NYC street grid

This morning I was treated (thanks to a link on Alex Kain’s Facebook page) to an interactive map of the world in which longitude and latitude are replaced by a global extension of Manhattan’s grid of streets and avenues. Not only did this make me homesick for the city I love, but by some magic of the cartographer’s art I cannot begin to understand, it also turns out that the “North Pole” in this reoriented map lies in central Uzbekistan. (I live nearby at 46,302nd Avenue and 115,257th Street.)

It would certainly make it easier to navigate the Central Asian steppe if every few blocks there were a pair of signs indicating the coordinates. Of course, not even these would be sufficient to help a contemporary young New Yorker; s/he would nonetheless still need a smartphone map app to figure out north from south, but it would sure beat navigating by the nearest sand dune or hillock.

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