Imagining New York's street grid applied to the entire world

ExtendNY is a Google Maps hack that literally extends Manhattan’s grid all across the surface of the globe, fulfilling the modernist dream of infinite expansion of geometric space–the entire world, primed for urban development. The physical grid has no center point, with the width of avenues (longitude) and cross streets (latitude) varying, it isn’t surprising that it doesn’t exactly line up with its virtual counterpart. Given that Manhattan exists on the surface of a sphere, the longitudinal lines bend toward each other, ultimately converging, while the streets, like latitudinal lines, are concentric circles and never intersect.

The project brings to mind both J.G. Ballard’s Concentration City, a globe-spanning metropolis whose geometric and economic strictures act as forces of oppression, and Saul Steinberg’s View of the World from 9th Avenue, which depicts Manhattan as the center of the civilized world and renders all outlying lands in a haze. Where Ballard’s story intimates the psychological and ecological conditions wrought by the continuous city, Steinberg’s view is more conservative. At least he’s looking in the right direction–all roads lead to Uzbekistan.

The Eiffel Tower at 64,857 and 12,770th.

Uzbekistan, Manhattan’s antipode.

This article originally appeared at Architizer.com, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent?

    In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.

  2. Environment

    The Story of the Great Lakes in 8 Maps

    The book Third Coast Atlas seeks to illuminate the Great Lakes—America’s “third coast”—through maps, plans, photos, and more.

  3. Climate Change

    Built-Out Barcelona Makes Space for an Urban Forest

    The city is planning a major green makeover to combat the heat island and create a more welcoming place for humans and animals alike.

  4. Downtown Roanoke is pictured.
    Life

    The Small Appalachian City That’s Thriving

    Roanoke, Virginia, has become what many cities of its size, geography, and history want to be. It started by bringing housing to a deserted downtown.

  5. How To

    Against Little Free Libraries

    Does that birdhouse filled with paperbacks on your block represent an adorable neighborhood amenity or the “corporatization of literary philanthropy”?