Search New York Public Library’s Digital Collections with Surveyor

Surveyor is a geotagging tool designed to enhance the metadata of items within NYPL Digital Collections. It allows you to view and place images on a map of New York City. With each contribution through Surveyor, users create new knowledge about the Library’s collections!

As the NYPL receives and analyzes Surveyor submissions, they build out mechanisms to address quality control issues and develop a new map interface to allow for interactive exploration of geotagged items. A dataset containing the locations of all geotagged photos and images will be made available for download in NYPL’s NYC Space/Time Directory.

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To learn more about how Surveyor works together with other NYPL projects, read blog post on

Collection Resources

Surveyor currently contains items from the following collections:

Source Code

Surveyor is open source, and is built using open source libraries and open data. It’s easy to adapt Surveyor and use it to geotag your own photo collections. See GitHub for more information.

“Thank you” Animals

Every time you geotag an item, an animal “thanks” you. The images of the animals are sourced from public domain items within Digital Collections.

Wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat

Animal Digital Collections Identifier
Chinese owl 510d47da-9f1f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat 510d47da-9ed9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Asiatic wildcat 510d47da-9eda-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Black-necked stork 510d47da-9f5a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tawny eagle 510d47da-b502-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Bengal horned pheasant 510d47da-9f4a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Armed balistes 510d47da-9f7d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Doubtful toad 510d47da-9f72-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Indian crested porcupine 510d47da-b4f3-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Spinose land terrapin 510d47da-c2ed-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Collared hedgehog 510d47da-9f12-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


Surveyor is part of the NYC Space/Time Directory. The goal of this project is to—through a variety of resources—unlock the potential of historical maps and provide opportunities to explore urban history across space and time.

Major support for the NYC Space/Time Directory is provided by the Knight News Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Knight Foundation Logo


Surveyor allows users to geotag items within NYPL Digital Collections associated with varying levels of descriptive text and metadata. Portions of the Surveyor experience are inherently visual, anticipating that users will geotag items based largely on the appearance of landscapes or landmarks within images.

Tools such as Surveyor enrich our metadata and allow us to use it in different ways to improve accessibility. As a result, we are increasingly able to provide better experiences with our collections for all users—regardless of their abilities.

If you encounter any accessibility shortfalls when using Surveyor, or would like to provide other feedback, please email or call 917-275-6975 (TTY 212-930-0020).

To learn more about the accessibility of NYPL web sites and mobile applications, see Web & Mobile Accessibility Policy.