Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WalkNYC Map System in New York City

New in Chinatown this week the city erected a street map kiosk, part of a new pedestrian map system, called WalkNYC, that will start with just four kiosks in lower Manhattan. The city Department of Transportation hopes to install up to 100 by the end of the year all over Manhattan, as well as in parts of Queens and Brooklyn. More maps will also be posted in high-traffic subway stations and along Select Bus Service routes to replace the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's current neighborhood maps.

"There is a clear need for this system," said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city's Transportation commissioner, standing next to one of the gleaming black kiosks Monday afternoon. She noted that a recent survey found that one in three New Yorkers could not correctly identify north, and that at any given time, 10% of New Yorkers were lost. Never mind the tourists who struggle negotiating the streets of Manhattan.

In the months to come, the city says it plans to install more signs in Manhattan at "key crossings" in Manhattan's garment district; in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in Brooklyn; and in Long Island City, Queens.

The system is similar to a nine-year-old program in the U.K. called "Legible London" and was designed by with the help of British engineers. 

City officials said work was underway on a citywide map, the data of which will be made available to software engineers for smartphone app development. The full city map, which officials said will be more accurate than Google or other online maps, will be completed by the end of 2014.

Source Crains, 6/25/2013.

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