The slider image above was created using JuxtaposeJS, a tool created by Knight Labs of Northwestern University. Finding a present day picture that would fit nicely with the 1870 “Currier & Ives Map of The City of New York” was surprisingly challenging.

When visitors think of New York City, what comes to mind is its iconic skyline. But long before we could capture it on picture, artists worked their magic to visualize what only the seagulls could see. Once technology caught up to our imagination, photographers raced to satisfy our insatiable desire to view New York from above. Scroll down to see the city grow up through a montage of those works:

1850s Manhattan and Brooklyn by Theodore Muller
The 1870 Currier & Ives “Map of the City of New York.” This panoramic drawing includes the Brooklyn Bridge, whose construction began this year, opening in 1883
“New York and Brooklyn” sketched by Parsons and Atwater, published by Currier & Ives in 1892
“The City of Greater New York” by Charles Hart; 1905. You can see the addition of three bridges (from north to south, the Queensboro, Williamsburg, and Manhattan).
“View of the City of New York and Vicinity” by August R. Ohman & co. from 1907.
Go to the Library of Congress site to see the incredible building by building detail of this map.
“Birdseye View of Lower Manhattan.” An engraved copper plate made by W.T. Littig & Co, from a panoramic watercolor by Richard Rummell (1848–1924), circa 1914. Public domain.
1924 Aerial Photo of Lower Manhattan. Credit: Library of Congress
A 1931 Aerial of Lower Manhattan. Look closely, and you can see the Empire State Building.
Source: Fine Art America
Aerial View of Manhattan Island, looking from Central Park Reservoir down to the tip of the Island, New York, New York, 1953. The Hudson River is on the right and the East River on the left.
(Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
1971 Aerial of Manhattan. Note the incomplete Twin Towers in the foreground.
A pre-9/11 aerial of NYC in 2001 by Carol Highsmith

And NYC Today:

Good night from the city that never sleeps.

Kai Oishi

Evolution of NYC

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