Most people look to Google Maps to help navigate the present. For Brooklyn-based programmer and designer Justin Blinder, though, Google Maps is an apt device for understanding the past — and potentially the future. Utilizing Maps to showcase the facelift that New York City has received under the Bloomberg administration, Blinder sheds light on gentrification, urban planning, and their implications for some of New York’s oldest neighborhoods.
Blinder made great use of NYC Department of City Planning’s PLUTO dataset to create his Vacated photo project. With that digital storehouse at his fingertips, Blinder successfully scoured for buildings constructed within the past four years and then used Google Street View’s cache to distill years of structural revamping into a single frame.