MAP: The New York Time’s Literary Map of Manhattan

New York Time's Literary Map of Manhattan

New York City and Manhattan specifically is a frequent setting in literature, poetry, and non-fiction works. In 2005, the The New York Times asked its readers to submit the names of locations in Manhattan that appeared in literature. The result was one of the most influential early digital literary maps.

During my interviews with other book and literary mapmakers, they frequently cited the Literary Map of Manhattan as the inspiration for their own mapping activities. The map, which is a relic of earlier website design, remains clean and functional. The overview map is easy to navigate, and the popup windows are neatly organized.

I admire the map for its creation through user input, an attribute I hope to bring to Booma. The map’s focus on a single area makes the content fairly easy to organize and navigate; however, the map only scratches the surface of the many rich descriptions of the city. This approach, which shows a collection of works in an area without delving into the individual works, is fairly popular. They are relatively easy to create since a single location comes to represent an entire work. The data then is also easy to manage because every point is on the same level of importance making it unnecessary to create any type of hierarchy for the data.

View the map here:

What do you think of the New York Times’ approach? Know of a book or literary map that we should share? Send your thoughts to

See the rest of our posts about maps here: