The Visual Index to the Virtual Archive is an innovative visually-based interface that uses a 3-D computer model of Manhattan as a click-on map, allowing Web visitors to view the city, present and past, and to access the Museum's collections through an on-line, searchable database. The idea of a visual index to the collection recognizes the importance of graphic representation in both the medium of the website and in the way that visitors, virtual or actual, come to understand and comprehend a city through its geography and landmarks.
The Skyscraper Museum is located in Lower Manhattan and celebrates the history of skyscrapers with particular emphasis on New York. The site contains information about the museum with directions, exhibit descriptions, and news. The most helpful resources for online researchers are the web projects that include many computer-generated models of New York's real estate development over time and space. The VIVA Project offers a digital model of Manhattan that viewers can navigate to see the sky-line of various neighborhoods. Eventually, browsers will be able to click on specific buildings to find descriptions of their histories as well as historic photographs, although this feature is only available for Lower Manhattan at present.