The Greatest Grid


Before the Grid

Randel Composite Map

With the aid of digital technology, the Museum of the City of New York fused the 92 Randel Farm Maps to create a composite interactive map. The composite map creates a unified picture that is geographically oriented and easy to navigate. Where the individual sheets have been stitched together, there may be minor distortions and some words may be partially or wholly cut off.

To support its interactivity, the composite map has been georectified. The avenues run parallel to the island, tilting to the northeast, rather than true north. The deviation from true north is close to 29 degrees. Read More

The georectification enables users to relate the composite map to the city today by using the slide to transition between past and present, or by typing a modern address in the address finder.

The map is searchable by name, building and place, and geographic feature. The list of people includes every name written on the original folios, although in some instances the name may not be visible on the composite due to the distortion described above. Whenever possible, the list provides a complete name, even if the name is incomplete or abbreviated on the map. In the event of different spellings, names are standardized by the spelling most frequently used. Land owned by multiple parties is indexed under the name of each landowner.

The building and place index includes those with a given name; some generic items without specific names, such as stable, garden, barn, and dwelling, are not captured in the index. The stone monuments are also not indexed, because they appear on every block.

The indexes direct you to each occurrence of a given word on the map. While some roads may continue for miles, if the name appears only once, it is called out only once. It should be noted that the indexes take you only to written words, not graphic symbols. The map is rich with visual information like contour lines, hills, and fields, to which the indexes do not point.

The composite map does not identify each folio number. In order to locate the folio and see it in its entirety, note the cross streets on the composite map and go to the gallery index, where you can find the corresponding folio(s). Show Less