March 22nd, 2011 marks the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Manhattan street grid plan proposed by John Randel. To celebrate this Birthday the New York Times has created a wonderful interactive feature charting the changes to the city over that period.
The feature packed Google map mash-up includes overlays of Randel’s 1811 map, another plan from 1836 showing Manhattan farms, a cool slider controlled map displaying street openings every year since 1842 and historic census data. Click the options in the side menu to view these.
Additionally, there’s a detailed article exploring the history of the plan, offering some contemporary analysis of its impact.