robertogreco + cartography   178

How Leonardo da Vinci made a "satellite" map in 1502 - YouTube
"It was a feat of technological and symbolic imagination. And it was pretty accurate, too.

Leonardo da Vinci’s known for his art and inventions — but also his groundbreaking maps, like this one of Imola, Italy. In this episode of Vox Almanac, Vox’s Phil Edwards explores how it was made.

Further reading:

1) John Pinto’s History of the Ichnographic City Plan is useful to understand the history of these maps.
2) Check out Portraying the City in Early Modern Europe: Measurement, Representation, and Planning by Hilary Ballon and David Friedman for more info.
3) If you want to dig deeper into early maps, Jessica Maier’s Mapping Past and Present: Leonardo Bufalini’s Plan of Rome is fascinating.

Please email Phil if you have trouble finding any of these papers.

Drafting 1502’s equivalent to a “satellite” map was a massive undertaking, and Leonardo managed to pull it off. His early map helped Italian politcian Cesare Borgia construct an idea of the town of Imola that was far more accurate than most contemporary maps. Through the use of careful measurements of angles and pacing out distances using a primitive odometer, Leonardo managed to create a map that was very close to accurate.

This map — an “ichnographic” map — was a step forward in portraying how maps could work to represent geography. Though it’s marked with some inaccuracies, it’s stunningly precise for the time and pushed forward the art of mapmaking. Leonardo’s Imola remains, even today, a remarkably useful guide to the city.

In Vox Almanac, Senior Producer Phil Edwards explains the world through history's footnotes.

Watch all of Vox Almanac here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dgzJQsAXfI&list=PLJ8cMiYb3G5dDYkBwaRB-0rp6GJ5vnMTe&pbjreload=10 "
leonardodavinci  maps  mapping  cartography  2019  history  1502 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
Remapping LA - Guernica
"Before California was West, it was North and it was East: the uppermost periphery of the Mexican Empire, and the arrival point for Chinese immigrants making the perilous journey from Guangdong."



"Open any contemporary map of LA and you can see the exact spot where the Mexican gives way to the American: Hoover Street, just west of downtown, in which angled Mexican streets bend to accommodate the US grid. In a 2010 essay, Waldie described that point as “crossing from one imperial imagination to another.” A shift in power, in place and identity—all marked by a single line.

***

In his map, Ord diligently marked street names, topography, and the families to whom designated agricultural lands belonged. (Many of these names now remain in Los Angeles memory as city streets: Sepulveda, Vignes, and Sanchez.) Ord, however, omitted one crucial feature: the plaza.

The city block that it occupies made it into the map. But the plaza itself went unlabeled. Perhaps it was an oversight, an urban feature that may have seemed inconsequential to a surveyor from the East Coast. The omission, however, marginalized a crucial feature of Los Angeles.

Under Mexican rule, the bare plaza—a photo from 1862 shows a rough square crisscrossed by footpaths—had been of critical importance. It anchored social and civic life in the city: a site of weddings and inaugurations, and, ultimately, the place where United States military commanders parked their troops when they invaded during the Mexican-American War—complete with brass band playing “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Even more, the plaza represents an important facet of the mestizo, an urban space that mixes elements of the indigenous and the European. In the early days of colonization, plazas in Spain were small, medieval affairs, tucked into a city’s available spaces. But plazas among Mesoamerican cultures were power centers—larger, more open, more ceremonial, more central, often surrounded by a settlement’s most important buildings. In his engaging 2008 book The Los Angeles Plaza, William David Estrada notes that the vibrant plazas that developed in Latin America, “especially in Mexico, were as much a product of the Indian world—the world of the Maya, Toltec, and Aztec before the conquest—as they were European.”

The Plaza de Los Angeles, therefore, is not simply a random green space. It is the urban embodiment of a non-Anglo, hybrid American space—American, in the sense of belonging to the continent, not simply the US. Of the 44 pobladores who arrived from Sinaloa, Durango, and Jalisco, and who founded the City of Los Angeles in 1781, only two were Spaniards. Most of the people were indigenous, mixed-race, black, or mestizo. The plaza was their shared space—a space that reflected the city’s location, not as a Western outpost, but as a Northern one.

Today, the Plaza de Los Angeles is lined with stately trees and punctuated by a bright bandstand. It is a prominent tourist attraction, part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument that includes nearby Olvera Street, a passageway stuffed with vendors dispensing ceramics, ponchos, and hot churros dipped in sugar and cinnamon. The plaza is no longer the center of civic life in Los Angeles, but it remains an important social space. On weekends, musicians entertain Latino families who attend religious services in the area, then descend on the square to eat and dance.

In the popular imagination, LA is often cast as a Westside yoga girl who’s into colonics and kale. But Los Angeles is more likely to be a little Mexican girl, grooving to a cover of “Juana La Cubana” in the plaza—a space her ancestors helped devise.

***

As important as the plaza has been to Mexican life, it has been critical for other groups, too—in ways both poignant and chilling. That takes me back to the simple map that hangs at the Chinese American Museum.

Shown on the map is a short lane that once ran parallel to Los Angeles Street, just off the plaza. Sometime during the era of Mexican independence, it became known as Calle de Los Negros. As the story goes, one of the alcaldes (mayors) of the era baptized the street after the mixed-race families who lived there, and the name stuck. After California was ceded to the US, Calle de Los Negros was Anglicized to “Negro Alley”—never mind that most the people who lived there by the end of the nineteenth century were Chinese.

Calle de Los Negros, in fact, was the site of a notorious riot known as the Chinese Massacre of 1871. The ruckus started when a white man was accidentally killed in crossfire between two Chinese groups. In the wake of his death, a mob of 500 people “of all nationalities”—including police officers, a city council member, and a reporter—began a brutal assault on any and all Chinese people living in Negro Alley. Some were lynched; others were shot. Bodies were mutilated and dragged. An estimated 17 people died; seven men were ultimately convicted for manslaughter.

It was an episode of vicious anti-Asian sentiment that drew international headlines. It also drew attention to a street whose name was born of racism—racism that carried into Los Angeles map-making. Calle de los Negros was frequently referred to in English as “Nigger Alley.” And in some early twentieth century maps, it is that appalling pejorative that appears as official map nomenclature, including on the historic sheet at the Chinese American Museum.

Today, all that remains of Calle de los Negros are the maps. The lane was later renamed Los Angeles Street. In the 1950s, it was razed and replaced with a freeway on-ramp and a parking lot. Sometimes ugly histories are also erased from the faces of cities and their maps.

In the 1930s, much of old Chinatown was bulldozed to make way for Union Station. The community was relocated a few blocks to the north, to a complex of fanciful buildings that bear the flourishes of Chinese temple architecture. The new Chinatown is less residential and more commercial, cluttered with restaurants and tourist markets and a photogenic statue of Bruce Lee (not to mention a singular Asian-Mexican gas station). Subsequent generations of Chinese immigrants have chosen not to live in this area. Instead, they have moved to communities such as Alhambra and Monterey Park, further east.

But one vestige of the old Chinatown still survives: the Garnier Building, a red brick, Romanesque Revival structure completed in 1890. The Garnier, which appears in the map at the museum, once served as an important hub for Chinese life in Los Angeles. It was here that residents could visit the herb shop, get access to financial services, and support organizations that fought for citizenship rights. (The Chinese Exclusion Act prevented Chinese Americans from applying for citizenship until 1943.)

The Garnier is now the home to the Chinese American Museum, which helps preserve the community’s history. A small courtyard marks the entrance to the museum, where paper lanterns bob in the breeze. It is a touch of Asia in a structure that lies between tilted streets with Spanish names, just steps from the Plaza de Los Angeles.

To look at Los Angeles as West is to see a charming, yet incomplete, picture of Los Angeles. It is one narrative that overwrites many. The Los Angeles of the West is a Los Angeles molded to Anglo preconception. It is a Los Angeles of railroads and Hollywood. It is the end of the line.

The Los Angeles of the North and the East has been here for centuries, and it is everywhere. It has given Los Angeles its name and its grid. It has shaped the city’s architecture and supplied its most distinctive flavors. It is Chicano teens drinking Taiwanese bubble tea on an avenue called Cesar Chavez. It is Latino families flocking to a 1960s American diner that’s been converted into a pan-Asian noodle joint. It is Asian low-riders and Salvadoran sushi chefs. It is the point of entry—the beginning."
carolinamiranda  us  california  losangeles  history  maps  mapping  cartography  2019  china  chinese  mexico  architecture  cities  plazas  power  east  west  orientation  chinatown  canon 
12 weeks ago by robertogreco
ATLAS OF PLACES
"ATLAS OF PLACES is a non-profit educational and political journal of architecture, landscape, urbanism, photography, cartography, print and academic. Its goal is to question the politics of places and to stand out in an increasingly uniform architectural media landscape for its critical vision/research, in-depth analysis of contemporary issues and publications that illuminate the state and relationship between architecture, technology and society. We produce and share essays, criticisms, photographies, maps, designs, narrative journalism, as well as academic projects and university publications that deserve a wide audience.

This journal is independent and is financed solely by the editor's personal investments and the reader's contributions. If you wish to help and make it evolve, please DONATE"
geography  landscape  urbanism  photography  cartography  maps  mapping  place  places  architecture 
october 2018 by robertogreco
A Map of Every Building in America - The New York Times
"Most of the time, The New York Times asks you to read something. Today we are inviting you, simply, to look. On this page you will find maps showing almost every building in the United States.

Why did we make such a thing? We did it as an opportunity for you to connect with the country’s cities and explore them in detail. To find the familiar, and to discover the unfamiliar.

So … look. Every black speck on the map below is a building, reflecting the built legacy of the United States.

Use the search bar to find a place and explore the interactive map below."

[via: https://twitter.com/emilymbadger/status/1050739811911442433

"The NYT published the most beautiful thing today: a map of every building in America

I love how you can see the ridges of Appalachia as negative space in the built environment

Why do different communities just *feel* different when you visit them? These underlying patterns are a large part of the answer."]

[See also:
https://github.com/gboeing/ms-bldg-footprints ]
maps  mapping  us  buildings  cartography  2018 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Japanese Designers May Have Created the Most Accurate Map of Our World: See the AuthaGraph | Open Culture
[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghiZVlfLdVg
"The currently accepted world map dates from 1569 when Gerardus Mercator originally designed it. Hajime Narukawa has been working on a more accurate version of the planet's continents for years now and was awarded the 2016 Good Design Award for his new world map."]
maps  mapping  2016  authagraph  projections  tessellations  hajimenarukawa  cartography  math  mathematics 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Mapping snowfall in the United States - Washington Post
"This map shows every inch of snow that fell on the lower 48 this year"
maps  mapping  snow  precipitation  2018  classideas  cartography  data 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Interactive Map: See How Birds Migrate Throughout the Western Hemisphere
[via: https://twitter.com/rileydchampine/status/968553128177143808

"Behold – a triumph in interactive cartography that shows the amazing migration patterns of 7 different bird species. Round of applause for @btjakes for this huge undertaking: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/03/bird-migration-interactive-maps/?beta=true … #WorkAtNatGeo = [animation]"]
birds  data  maps  mapping  nature  animals  migration  wildlife  cartography  classideas 
march 2018 by robertogreco
The “Terr-A-Qua Globe” | Pieces of History
"On October 21, 1969, a large, illuminated, rotating globe was dedicated in the Exhibition Hall at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

The globe was one of eight made by the Terr-A-Qua Globes & Maps Company of Santa Ana, California, between 1966 and 1973. The globes show, in raised relief, all three of the Earth’s surface features—ocean floor, ocean surface, and continental topography.

Renowned aerial photographer Talbert Abrams donated the globe to the National Archives in honor of retired Navy Captain Finn Ronne and his wife, Edith “Jackie.”

From 1947 to 1948, Finn Ronne mapped the last unexplored coastline in the world. He discovered that the Weddell Sea and Ross Sea were not connected, confirming that Antarctica is a single landmass. Jackie accompanied him on the expedition and was the first woman to explore Antarctica.

In front of a crowd of over 100 people, Finn and Jackie accepted the globe on behalf of the American people in the spirit of exploration.

The $12,000 globe measures just over six feet in diameter and turns every three minutes. It has a horizontal scale of 103 miles to the inch and a vertical scale of one centimeter to a mile (for instance a 13,000-foot mountain appears one inch high). Ocean depths are shown through a transparent plastic surface.

The globe was part of the now defunct Center for Polar Archives, which was established in the National Archives in 1967 and held the papers of Captain Ronne. The Ronne papers now part of our donated collections.

After being on display on the exhibition side of the building, the globe moved to the Pennsylvania Avenue lobby.

In 1980 the National Archives loaned, indefinitely, the globe to the Library of Congress but borrowed it back in 2009 for the exhibit BIG! Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the National Archives.

It is currently back at the Library of Congress on display in the Geography and Map Division in the basement of the Madison Building. Unfortunately, the electric motor that allowed the globe to rotate has stopped working, as well as the internal fluorescent lights inside."
maps  mapping  2018  1969  globes  cartography  classideas  earth  geography 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Sensory Maps
"My name is Kate McLean, an artist and designer, creator of smellmaps of cities around the world. I focus on human perception of the urban smellscape. While the visual dominates in data representation I believe we should tap into alternative sensory modes for individual and shared interpretation of place.

Smells form part of our knowing, but are elusive, often disappearing before they can be described pinned down. Smell perception is an invisible and currently under-presented dataset with strong connections to emotions and memory. I am part of a small but growing number of innovative practitioners committed to the study and capture of this highly nuanced sensory field.

The tools of my trade include: individual group smellwalks, individual smellwalks (the “smellfie”), smell sketching, collaborative smellwalks, graphic design, motion graphics, smell generation and smell diffusion, all united by mapmaking. Download a copy of my smellfie guide to smellwalking.

In 2014 I worked with Mapamundistas in Pamplona creating a bespoke piece of design in situ late in October 2014 and year of “Smellmap: Amsterdam” research collaboration with Bernardo (Brian) Fleming of International Flavors and Fragrances saw a summary exhibition at Mediamatic in April 2014 and at IEEE VIS 2014 Arts Programme in Paris in November 2014.

This year I am working on a unique sensory audit with Guy’s Hospital and St. Thomas’ / FutureCity to generate a London Bridge smellmap for the KHP Cancer Arts Programme and am busy analysing the data and information from smellwalking in Singapore.

I am a PhD candidate (part-time) in Information Experience Design (IED) a the Royal College of Art, a marathon runner and snowboarder."

[via: https://twitter.com/the_jennitaur/status/930267808599961600

"where has this been all my life http://sensorymaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Smellwalk_Intro_Kit_%C2%A9KateMcLean_2015.pdf "]

[See also: https://twitter.com/katemclean ]
maps  mapping  datavisualization  visualization  dataviz  cartography  katemclean  sensory  senses  classideas  cities  sense  mapmaking  smell  sensoryethnography  ethnography 
november 2017 by robertogreco
US National Park Service Maps (@nationalparkmaps) • Fotos y vídeos de Instagram
"US National Park Service Maps 🗺 Maps created at Harpers Ferry Center, center for media services for the National Park Service. Download high resolution NPS maps at the link below. http://www.nps.gov/hfc/cfm/carto.cfm "
instagram  nationalparks  maps  mapping  cartography  instagrams 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Uber’s ghost map and the meaning of greyballing | ROUGH TYPE
"The Uber map is a media production. It presents a little, animated entertainment in which you, the user, play the starring role. You are placed at the very center of things, wherever you happen to be, and you are surrounded by a pantomime of oversized automobiles poised to fulfill your desires, to respond immediately to your beckoning. It’s hard not to feel flattered by the illusion of power that the Uber map grants you. Every time you open the app, you become a miniature superhero on a city street. You send out a bat signal, and the batmobile speeds your way. By comparison, taking a bus or a subway, or just hoofing it, feels almost insulting.

In a similar way, a Google map also sets you in a fictionalized story about a place, whether you use the map for navigation or for searching. You are given a prominent position on the map, usually, again, at its very center, and around you a city personalized to your desires takes shape. Certain business establishments and landmarks are highlighted, while other ones are not. Certain blocks are highlighted as “areas of interest“; others are not. Sometimes the highlights are paid for, as advertising; other times they reflect Google’s assessment of you and your preferences. You’re not allowed to know precisely why your map looks the way it does. The script is written in secret.

It’s not only maps. The news and message feeds presented to you by Facebook, or Apple or Google or Twitter, are also stories about the world, fictional representations manufactured both to appeal to your desires and biases and to provide a compelling context for advertising. Mark Zuckerberg may wring his hands over “fake news,” but fake news is to the usual Facebook feed what the Greyball map is to the usual Uber map: an extreme example of the norm.

When I talk about “you,” I don’t really mean you. The “you” around which the map or the news feed or any other digitized representation of the world coalesces is itself a representation. As John Cheney-Lippold explains in his forthcoming book We Are Data, companies like Facebook and Google create digital versions of their users derived through an algorithmic analysis of the data they collect about their users. The companies rely on these necessarily fictionalized representations for both technical reasons (human beings can’t be computed; to be rendered computable, you have to be turned into a digital representation) and commercial reasons (a digital representation of a person can be bought and sold). The “you” on the Uber map or in the Facebook feed is a fake — a character in a story — but it’s a useful and a flattering fake, so you accept it as an accurate portrayal of yourself: an “I” for an I.

Greyballing is not an aberration of the virtual world. Greyballing is the essence of virtuality."

[via: https://tinyletter.com/audreywatters/letters/hewn-no-204 ]
mapping  maps  technology  self  simulacra  nicholascarr  via:audreywatters  greyballing  uber  ideology  fictions  data  algorithms  representation  news  facebooks  fakenews  cartography  business  capitalism  place  google 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Patricio González Vivo & Jen Lowe - Guayupia — Territory
"“A more adequate definition of cartography needs to express not just the presence of geographical knowledge but also cosmographical or biographical information, such as the soul flight of shamans or the passage and pathways of gods, heroes, and ancestors.”*
We set out to make a map for our son, something to show him where he comes from, to explain the unlikely fact of his existence. We wondered: what could a map be?

We weren’t starting from scratch — Jen’s a data visualization expert and Patricio’s a digital artist at a mapping company — but we wanted this map to reflect our son’s Argentinian heritage, and we realized we knew nothing about the history of maps in South America. Our research turned up a rich history of native South American mapping, combining earth and stars* with humans, plants, animals, and gods, into complex cosmographical systems*. We learned that daily and annual shifts of the Milky Way were used by the Quechua people to keep track of time*. We were inspired by the mass migrations of the Tupi-Guarani people, as they searched for guayupia*, The Land Without Evil. In addition to native maps, we found shoreline sketches from European navigators’ rutters*, drawn to help them recognize harbors that were new to them. We found the more recent south-up maps of artist Joaquin Torres-Garcia*, and the comic artist Quino*.

Our son’s genealogy is vastly more colonialist than native. He’s descended from kings and soldiers and factory workers and farmers who crossed the Atlantic, settling the Americas at the cost of native lives and freedoms. Hundreds of years later, we are still travelling to find success, now even more frantically: we move every year and change jobs every few years; each move taking us further from family and friends. Our comforts still depend on the lives of others less free than ourselves. In our families, the relentless search for guayupia goes back generations. Does seeing the futility and cost of the search mean we’ll call it off? (In our hearts, this is an open question.)

We set out to make a map for our son; we made it south up, to establish his geographic first principles in the hemisphere where his family lives; we include the earth and stars and shorelines, to help him find his way to the gods and heroes he’ll map for himself."
patriciogonzálezvivo  jenlowe  maps  mapping  argentina  southamerica  2017  geography  place  inca  guayupia  colonialism  quino  joaquíntorres-garcía  quechua  navigation  time  astrononmy  américadelsur  perspective  cartography  neilwhitehead  genealogy  decolonization  guaraní  milkway  indigenous 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Mu Cartographer on Steam
"Colourful sandbox toy - Experimental treasure hunt. Manipulate an abstract machine to shape and explore colourful landscapes, and find the mysteries hidden in a shifting world."
steam  maps  mapping  cartography  edg  srg  videogames  landscapes 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Etrian Odyssey - Wikipedia
"Etrian Odyssey, released in Japan as Sekaiju no Meikyuu (世界樹の迷宮 Sekaiju no Meikyū?, literally "Labyrinth of the World Tree"), is a 3D dungeon crawler role-playing video game by Atlus for the Nintendo DS.

Gameplay

Drawing comparisons to titles such as Wizardry and The Bard's Tale,[1] Etrian Odyssey challenges players with exploring and mapping a vast dungeon. Players navigate through the dungeon in fixed increments. Time passes only when an action is taken, causing movement, random encounters, and combat to all be entirely turn-based. The game uses a first-person view to present the dungeon using a combination of relatively simple 3D computer graphics for environments and single-frame 2D sprites for enemies.

Etrian Odyssey requires that players maintain their own map by annotating (with the stylus) a small map displayed on the DS's touchscreen. The player is free to map accurately or haphazardly. However, the player cannot draw their own symbols, and must instead use the game's limited set of pre-designed symbols. The game also limits the number of symbols that can be used for each level map.

In addition to normal random encounters, the player must overcome "FOEs" (Field On Enemies), which are exceptionally powerful monsters which wander around the dungeon in much the same way as the player's party, advancing whenever the player does. The AI of FOEs varies, but most will wander the dungeon in a set circular path until they sense the player's party, after which they will move directly towards the party. If the player encounters an FOE in an area with multiple FOEs, it is possible for a second or even third FOE to join the battle if it reaches the party before they defeat the first one.

Like most early RPGs, Etrian Odyssey uses custom characters from a number of different character classes. While only five characters can be in the party at a single time, a much larger number can be created and kept in waiting back at the "guild hall". Characters can be switched in and out of the party when in town, so if a given specialty is needed for a specific obstacle, the party can be tailored appropriately. The player allocates skill points to specific skills during level advancement."
via:tealtan  games  gaming  videogames  nintendo  nintendods  maps  mapping  rpgs  cartography  srg  edg 
july 2016 by robertogreco
CARTO — Predict through location
"CARTO is an open, powerful, and intuitive platform for discovering and predicting the key insights underlying the location data in our world."
maps  mapping  cartography 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Walkabout Map Style · Mapzen
"A few months ago we asked ourselves: how could we celebrate walking? Today we introduce Mapzen’s latest cartography: Walkabout.

Walkabout features walking paths & hiking trails early, emphasizes outdoor attractions with bright green-blue icons, and shows where the ups and downs are with hill shading. From a morning jog to a slow stroll with friends, in the city to the backcountry, Walkabout evokes the places we’ve played outdoors and inspires us to “get outside”.

Walkabout joins Mapzen’s other house styles: Bubble Wrap, Refill, Zinc, and Cinnabar and is available immediately in default, more labels, and no labels basemap versions.

Explore Walkabout below and scroll down for a visual tour of this signature cartography."
mapzen  maps  mapping  classideas  walking  sanfrancisco  cartography  2016  hiking  terraingeraldinesarmiento  nathanielvaughnkelso  walkabout 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Parachutes | Instructions for landing in the 21st century
"
“‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice . . . ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’” — Lewis Carroll

Unlike a book, cards are unbound, unnumbered, and give no indication of any order. Free of the constraints of linearity, cards move in many directions. They rub up against one another and generate unforeseen connections. And as the reader moves through them, they begin to work a simultaneous effect. A pack of cards doesn’t mount an argument or tell a story, but uncovers a terrain.
“The same or almost the same points were always being approached afresh from different directions, and new sketches made . . . if you looked at them you could get a picture of the landscape. Thus this book is really only an album.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

Our approach, however, is nothing new. Parachutes follows a long tradition of fragmentary thinking, from the heady and enigmatic (McLuhan’s Distant Early Warning and Eno’s Oblique Strategies) to the methodical and encyclopedic (IDEO’s Method Cards and W.I.R.E.’s Mind the Future). Placing ourselves in their midst, Parachutes was born from the need to think in both parts and wholes.
“No one fragment carries the totality of the message, but each text (which is in itself a whole) has a particular urgency, an individual force, a necessity, and yet each text also has a force which comes to it from all the other texts.” — Hélène Cixous

Though diverse in their topics and far-reaching in their speculations, these cards have a definite subject matter. Without speaking too much for the text itself—a sin every introduction is fated to commit—we try to make sense of a world in which hyperconnectivity has flattened space and collapsed time, untethered us from our bodies and fractured our identities; where static objects have given way to fluid experiences and organizations call forth communities of interaction rather than make products for individual consumption.

Despite the supremacy of technology—and yet, somehow, because of it—people have never been in a better position to understand what it means to be human. In this tightly knit latticework of activity and feeling and thought, our connection with others can be felt as subtly and yet as directly as if we were swimming in a school of fish. Our study, now as ever, is the human being.

Above all, our aim has been to dismantle clichéd forms of thinking—the maps that lead us astray—in order to view the territory with fresh eyes. As we parachute into the reality of the 21st century, we survey the land from a variety of elevations and scales, vistas and vantage points. Only in that way could we observe the land’s depth as well as its extent. Only when we consider both dimensions do essential patterns emerge.
“Writing has nothing to do with meaning. It has to do with landsurveying and cartography, including the mapping of countries yet to come.” — Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

In the end, however, there can be no grand conclusion. One must always move forward, chart new territories, assimilate new findings. No all-seeing summit could be reached that would not be blind to itself. Alas, and yet thankfully, we are forever amid the trees."
classideas  books  cards  publishing  linear  lewiscarroll  wittgenstein  obliquestrategies  srg  methodcards  marshalmcluhan  fragmentarythinking  hyperconnectivity  gilleseleuze  félixguattari  thinking  order  disorder  juxtaposition  howwered  deleuze&guattari  cartography  linearity  organization  hélènecixous  hypertext  connections  media  technology  business 
june 2016 by robertogreco
What Happened to Google Maps? — Justin O'Beirne
"Given these trends, it's likely that Google Maps was optimized for mobile — and this explains some of the changes we observed earlier.

Unfortunately, these "optimizations" only served to exacerbate the longstanding imbalances already in the maps. As is often the case with cartography: less isn't more. Less is just less. And that's certainly the case here.

Google should add some of the cities back to its maps, and the maps would be better and more balanced."
maps  mapping  googlemaps  cartography  design  2016  justino'beirne 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Mapping Mountains · Mapzen
"I’ve been spending a lot of time over the mountains of Northern California lately. To view mountains from above is to journey through time itself: over ancient shorelines, the trails of glaciers, the marks of countless seasons, and the front lines of perpetual tectonic struggle. Fly with me now, on a tour through the world of elevation data:

[image]

If you see something above that looks like a lightning storm in a Gak factory, you’re in the right place. This is a “heightmap” of the area around Mount Diablo, about 30 miles to the east of San Francisco. The stripes correlate to constant elevations, but they’re not intended to be viewed in this way – the unusual coloring is the result of the way the data is “packed” into an RGBA image: each channel encodes a different order of magnitude, combining to form a 4-digit value in base-256.

The data originates from many sources, including those compiled by the USGS and released as part of The National Map of the United States. Mapzen is currently combining this data with other global datasources including ocean bathymetry, and tiling it for easy access through a tile server.

When “unpacked,” processed, and displayed with WebGL, this data can be turned into what you were maybe expecting to see:

[image]

This is a shaded terrain map, using tiled open-source elevation data, drawn in real time by your very own browser, and looking sweet.

We’re processing this data with a view toward custom real-time hillshading, terrain maps, and other elevation-adjacent analysis, suitable for use by (for instance) the Tangram map-rendering library.

Why, you ask, and how? I’m glad you asked. For the Why, come with me back through time, to the past."
peterrichartdson  2016  mapzen  maps  mapping  mountains  elevation  cartography  webgl  california  bayarea  mountdiablo  visualization 
march 2016 by robertogreco
OpenLayers 3 - Welcome
"A high-performance, feature-packed library for all your mapping needs.

FEATURES

Tiled Layers
Pull tiles from OSM, Bing, MapBox, Stamen, MapQuest, and any other XYZ source you can find. OGC mapping services and untiled layers also supported.

Vector Layers
Render vector data from GeoJSON, TopoJSON, KML, GML, and a growing number of other formats.

Fast & Mobile Ready
Mobile support out of the box. Build lightweight custom profiles with just the components you need.

Cutting Edge & Easy to Customize
Map rendering leverages WebGL, Canvas 2D, and all the latest greatness from HTML5. Style your map controls with straight-forward CSS."

[via: http://elasticterrain.xyz/
via: https://twitter.com/moritz_stefaner/status/711850707859673088 ]
gis  javascript  mapping  maps  opensource  cartography  webdev  openlayers  webdesign 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Against Infographics - Art Journal Open
"When design is excellent, graphics reveal data, writes the infographics guru Edward Tufte.1 Good information graphics allow the reader to see relationships not apparent in data without visual form. In principle, such graphics do not impose interpretations but, by showing relationships, make interpretations possible. In Tufte’s oft-quoted phrase: “Good design is clear thinking made visual.”2 Things become considerably more difficult, however, if, pace Tufte, your analytic goal is to complicate rather than to simplify, to open multiple avenues of inquiry, and, most important, to challenge the stability of underlying data, in fact or in principle.

All of these complexities are probed intensely in Depictions, an ongoing print series by the Dutch artist Gert Jan Kocken (b. 1971). Depictions consists of room-size maps of European cities during the Second World War—Rome, Vienna, Munich, and Berlin along the north-south axis of fascism; London, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Łódź, Warsaw, and Stalingrad along the east-west corridor of conflict—each built up in layers from dozens of source maps unearthed in archives. Kocken’s three-by-four meter Depictions of Berlin, 1933–1945 (2010), for example, is constructed from 104 historical maps, which the artist scanned, georectified, layered into a single digital image, and rendered as a C-print. The resulting composite is a welter of information representing the breakneck change, contradictory claims, and massive data production of the Second World War.

Visually, Kocken’s Depictions are both familiar and strange. Anyone who knows Berlin, particularly the internal borders drawn in 1945 and ossified in the Berlin Wall that remain central to the city’s identity, will easily recognize the terrain of Depictions of Berlin. But other cartographic ghosts visible in the work are invisible on the ground. In Kocken’s map, along with the outlines of the wall, we see the process of ethnic cleansing as registered in contemporary reports, the footprint of Germania, the megacity with which Hitler intended to replace Berlin, and the view from Allied bombers. At once, the Depictions series draws on the data-rich tradition of monumental history painting, as seen, for example, in Albrecht Altdorfer’s The Battle of Alexander at Issus (1529), and on the defocalizing, allover paintings of Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and other artists working in the 1940s and 1950s. Kocken’s Depictions are simultaneously narrative and aleatory."



"For infographic purposes, there are a number of more obvious ways to deal with historical maps than Kocken’s approach. In the first place, we have the computer interface. Clearly, this is a resource available to Kocken, as his maps all pass through digital mediation on their way to their final printed form. One can easily imagine, for example, a mapping application that allows users to pick and choose among the 104 maps that constitute Kocken’s Depictions of Berlin, selecting display options such as color, opacity, and so forth. And, indeed, many such engines exist. Moreover, with the right approach, even Kocken’s print artifact could be rendered more legible. Kocken chose a different angle, allowing competing stories to conflict visually as well as epistemologically. In places, this conflict produces illegibility not unlike what we find in the dark regions of the Ypres map; in other places, coherences and transparencies are themselves a surprise.

In an age of infographics, we tend to forget that infographics age and the foreignness of old graphics matters to our understanding of them. Kocken’s Depictions show us that information graphics are always historical and conveying their opacity is as much a part of the historical project as is translating them into a contemporary visual language."
via:shannon_mattern  ambiguity  cartography  epistemology  complexity  art  maps  mapping  gertjankocken  danielrosenberg  2016  edwardtufte  visualization  infographics  berlin  amsterdam  rotterdam 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Why Digital Maps Are Inaccurate in China | Travel + Leisure
"One of the most interesting, if unanticipated, side effects of modern copyright law is the practice by which cartographic companies will introduce a fake street—a road, lane, or throughway that does not, in fact, exist on the ground—into their maps. If that street later shows up on a rival company’s products, then they have all the proof they need for a case of copyright infringement. Known as trap streets, these imaginary roads exist purely as figments of an overactive legal imagination.

Trap streets are also compelling evidence that maps don’t always equal the territory. What if not just one random building or street, however, but an entire map is deliberately wrong? This is the strange fate of digital mapping products in China: there, every street, building, and freeway is just slightly off its mark, skewed for reasons of national and economic security.

The result is an almost ghostly slippage between digital maps and the landscapes they document. Lines of traffic snake through the centers of buildings; monuments migrate into the midst of rivers; one’s own position standing in a park or shopping mall appears to be nearly half a kilometer away, as if there is more than one version of you on the loose. Stranger yet, your morning running route didn’t quite go where you thought it did.

It is, in fact, illegal for foreign individuals or organizations to make maps in China without official permission. As stated in the “Surveying and Mapping Law of the People’s Republic of China,” for example, mapping—even casually documenting “the shapes, sizes, space positions, attributes, etc. of man-made surface installations”—is considered a protected activity for reasons of national defense and “progress of the society.” Those who do receive permission must introduce a geographic offset into their products, a kind of preordained cartographic drift. An entire world of spatial glitches is thus deliberately introduced into the resulting map.

The central problem is that most digital maps today rely upon a set of coordinates known as the World Geodetic System 1984, or WGS-84; the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency describes it as “the reference frame upon which all geospatial-intelligence is based.” However, as software engineer Dan Dascalescu writes in a Stack Exchange post, digital mapping products in China instead use something called “the GCJ-02 datum.” As he points out, an apparently random algorithmic offset “causes WGS-84 coordinates, such as those coming from a regular GPS chip, to be plotted incorrectly on GCJ-02 maps.” GCJ-02 data are also somewhat oddly known as “Mars Coordinates,” as if describing the geography of another planet. Translations back and forth between these coordinate systems—to bring China back to Earth, so to speak—are easy enough to find online, but they are also rather intimidating to non-specialists.

While algorithmic offsets introduced into digital maps might sound like nothing more than a matter of speculative concern—something more like a dinner conversation for fans of William Gibson novels—it is actually a very concrete issue for digital product designers. Releasing an app, for example, whose location functions do not work in China has immediate and painfully evident user-experience, not to mention financial, implications.

One such app designer posted on the website Stack Overflow to ask about Apple’s “embeddable map viewer.” To make a long story short, when used in China, Apple’s maps are subject to “a varying offset [of] 100-600m which makes annotations display incorrectly on the map.” In other words, everything there—roads, nightclubs, clothing stores—appears to be 100-600 meters away from its actual, terrestrial position. The effect of this is that, if you check the GPS coordinates of your friends, as blogger Jon Pasden writes, “you’ll likely see they’re standing in a river or some place 500 meters away even if they’re standing right next to you.”

The same thread on Stack Overflow goes on to explain that Google also has its own algorithmically derived offset, known as “_applyChinaLocationShift” (or more humorously as “eviltransform”). The key, of course, to offering an accurate app is to account for this Chinese location shift before it ever happens—to distort the distortions before they occur.

In addition to all this, Chinese geographic regulations demand that GPS functions must either be disabled on handheld devices or they must be made to display a similar offset. If a given device—such as a smartphone or camera—detects that it is in China, then its ability to geo-tag photos is either temporarily unavailable or strangely compromised. Once again, you would find that your hotel is not quite where your camera wants it to be, or that the restaurant you and your friends want to visit is not, in fact, where your smartphone thinks it has guided you. Your physical footsteps and your digital tracks no longer align.

It is worth pointing out that this raises interesting geopolitical questions. If a traveler finds herself in, say, Tibet or on a short trip to the artificial islands of the South China Sea—or perhaps simply in Taiwan—are she and her devices really “in China”? This seemingly abstract question might already be answered, without the traveler even knowing that it’s been asked, by circuits inside her phone or camera. Depending on the insistence of China’s territorial claims and the willingness of certain manufacturers to acknowledge those assertions, a device might no longer offer accurate GPS readings.

Put another way, you might not think you’ve crossed an international border—but your devices have. This is just one, relatively small example of how complex geopolitical questions can be embedded in the functionality of our handheld devices: cameras and smartphones are suddenly thrust to the front line of much larger conversations about national sovereignty.

These sorts of examples might sound like inconsequential travelers’ trivia, but for China, at least, cartographers are seen as a security threat: China’s Ministry of Land and Resources recently warned that “the number of foreigners conducting surveys in China is on the rise,” and, indeed, the government is increasingly cracking down on those who flout the mapping laws. Three British geology students discovered this the hard way while “collecting data” on a 2009 field trip through the desert state of Xinjiang, a politically sensitive area in northwest China. The students’ data sets were considered “illegal map-making activities,” and they were fined nearly $3,000.

What remains so oddly compelling here is the uncanny gulf between the world and its representations. In a well-known literary parable called “On Exactitude in Science," from Collected Fictions, Argentine fabulist Jorge Luis Borges describes a kingdom whose cartographic ambitions ultimately get the best of it. The imperial mapmakers, Borges writes, devised “a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.” This 1:1 map, however, while no doubt artistically and conceptually wondrous, was seen as utterly useless by future generations. Rather than enlighten or educate, this sprawling and inescapable super-map merely smothered the very territory whose connections it sought to clarify.

Mars Coordinates, eviltransform, _applyChinaLocationShift, the “China GPS Offset Problem”—whatever name you want to describe this contemporary digital phenomenon of full-scale digital maps sliding precariously away from their referents, the gap between map and territory is suitably Borgesian.

Indeed, Borges ends his tiniest of parables with an image of animals and beggars living wild amidst the “tattered ruins” of an abandoned map, unaware of what its original purpose might have been—perhaps foreshadowing the possibility that travelers several decades from now will wander amidst remote Chinese landscapes with outdated GPS devices in hand, marveling at their apparent discovery of some parallel, dislocated version of the world that had been hiding in plain view."
via:tealtan  maps  mapping  gps  cartography  china  borges  gis  2016 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Frances Stonor Saunders · Where on Earth are you? · LRB 3 March 2016
"The one border we all cross, so often and with such well-rehearsed reflexes that we barely notice it, is the threshold of our own home. We open the front door, we close the front door: it’s the most basic geographical habit, and yet one lifetime is not enough to recount all our comings and goings across this boundary. What threshold rites do you perform before you leave home? Do you appease household deities, or leave a lamp burning in your tabernacle? Do you quickly pat down pockets or bag to check you have the necessary equipment for the journey? Or take a final check in the hall mirror, ‘to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet’?

You don’t have a slave to guard your door, as the ancients did, so you set the alarm (or you set the dog, cave canem). Keys? Yes, they’re in your hand. You have ‘the power of the keys’, the right of possession that connects you to thousands of years of legal history, to the rights of sovereigns and states, to the gates of salvation and damnation. You open the door, step through, and turn to close it – through its diminishing arc, the details of your life inside recede. ‘On one side, me and my place,’ Georges Perec wrote:
The private, the domestic (a space overfilled with my possessions: my bed, my carpet, my table, my typewriter, my books, my odd copies of the Nouvelle Revue française); on the other side, other people, the world, the public, politics. You can’t simply let yourself slide from one into the other, can’t pass from one to the other, neither in one direction nor in the other. You have to have the password, have to cross the threshold, have to show your credentials, have to communicate … with the world outside.

You lock the door. You’ve crossed the border. You’ve ignored Pascal’s warning that all humanity’s misery derives from not being able to sit alone in a quiet room. When the Savoyard aristocrat Xavier De Maistre was sentenced to six weeks’ house arrest for duelling in 1790, he turned his detention into a grand imaginary voyage. ‘My room is situated on the 45th degree of latitude,’ he records in A Journey around my Room. ‘It stretches from east to west; it forms a long rectangle, 36 paces in perimeter if you hug the wall.’ And so he sets off, charting a course from his desk towards a painting hung in a corner, and from there he continues obliquely towards the door, but is waylaid by his armchair, which he sits in for a while, poking the fire, daydreaming. Then he bestirs himself again, presses north towards his bed, the place where ‘for one half of our life’ we forget ‘the sorrows of the other half’. And so on, ‘from the expedition of the Argonauts to the Assembly of Notables, from the lowest depths of hell to the last fixed star beyond the Milky Way, to the confines of the universe, to the gates of chaos’. ‘This,’ he declares, ‘is the vast terrain which I wander across in every direction at leisure.’

Whether around your room in forty days, or around the world in eighty days, or around the Circle Line in eighty minutes, whether still or still moving, the self is an act of cartography, and every life a study of borders. The moment of conception is a barrier surpassed, birth a boundary crossed. Günter Grass’s Oskar, the mettlesome hero of The Tin Drum, narrates, in real time, his troubling passage through the birth canal and his desire, once delivered into the world, to reverse the process. The room is cold. A moth beats against the naked light bulb. But it’s too late to turn back, the midwife has cut the cord.

Despite this uncommon ability to report live on his own birth, even Oskar’s power of self-agency is subject to the one inalienable rule: there is only one way into this life, and one way out of it. Everything that happens in between – all the thresholds we cross and recross, all the ‘decisions and revisions that a minute will reverse’ – is bordered by this unbiddable truth. What we hope for is safe passage between these two fixed boundaries, to be able to make something of the experience of being alive before we are required to stop being alive. There’s no negotiating birth or death. What we have is the journey.

On the evening of 3 October 2013, a boat carrying more than five hundred Eritreans and Somalis foundered just off the tiny island of Lampedusa. In the darkness, locals mistook their desperate cries for the sound of seagulls. The boat sank within minutes, but survivors were in the water for five hours, some of them clinging to the bodies of their dead companions as floats. Many of the 368 people who drowned never made it off the capsizing boat. Among the 108 people trapped inside the bow was an Eritrean woman, thought to be about twenty years old, who had given birth as she drowned. Her waters had broken in the water. Rescue divers found the dead infant, still attached by the umbilical cord, in her leggings. The longest journey is also the shortest journey.

Already, in the womb, our brains are laying down neural pathways that will determine how we perceive the world and our place in it. Cognitive mapping is the way we mobilise a definition of who we are, and borders are the way we protect this definition. All borders – the lines and symbols on a map, the fretwork of walls and fences on the ground, and the often complex enmeshments by which we organise our lives – are explanations of identity. We construct borders, literally and figuratively, to fortify our sense of who we are; and we cross them in search of who we might become. They are philosophies of space, credibility contests, latitudes of neurosis, signatures to the social contract, soothing containments, scars.

They’re also death zones, portals to the underworld, where explanations of identity are foreclosed. The boat that sank half a mile from Lampedusa had entered Italian territorial waters, crossing the imaginary line drawn in the sea – the impossible line, if you think about it. It had gained the common European border, only to encounter its own vanishing point, the point at which its human cargo simply dropped off the map. Ne plus ultra, nothing lies beyond.

I have no theory, no grand narrative to explain why so many people are clambering into their own hearses before they are actually dead. I don’t understand the mechanisms by which globalisation, with all its hype of mobility and the collapse of distance and terrain, has instead delivered a world of barricades and partition, in which entire populations seem to be living – and dying – in a different history from mine. All I know is that a woman who believed in the future drowned while giving birth, and we have no idea who she was. And it’s this, her lack of known identity, which places us, who are fat with it, in direct if hopelessly unequal relationship to her.

Everyone reading this has a verified self, an identity, formed through and confirmed by identification, that is attested to be ‘true’. You can’t function in the world without it: you can’t open a bank account, get a credit card or national insurance number, or a driving licence, or access to your email and social media accounts, or a passport or visa, or points on your reward card. You can’t have your tonsils removed without it. You can’t die without it. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, whether you like it or not, the verified self is the governing calculus of your life, the spectrum on which you, as an individual, are plotted from cradle to grave. As Pierre-Joseph Proudhon explained, you must be ‘noted, registered, enumerated, accounted for, stamped, measured, classified, audited, patented, licensed, authorised, endorsed, reprimanded, prevented, reformed, rectified and corrected, in every operation, every transaction, every movement.’"



"All migrants know that the reply to the question ‘Who on earth are you?’ is another question: ‘Where on earth are you?’ And so they want what we’ve got, a verified self that will transport them to our side of history. Thus, the migrant identity becomes a burden to be unloaded. Migrants often make the journey without identity documents, and I mentioned one reason for this, namely that the attempt to obtain them in their country of origin can be very dangerous. Others lose them at the outset when they’re robbed by police or border guards, or by people traffickers en route. Many destroy them deliberately because they fear, not without reason, that our system of verification will be a mechanism for sending them back. In Algeria, they’re called harraga, Arabic for ‘those who burn’. And they don’t only burn their documents: many burn their fingertips on hobs or with lighters or acid, or mutilate them with razors, to avoid biometric capture and the prospect of expulsion. These are the weapons of the weak.

The boat carrying more than five hundred Eritreans and Somalis sank off Lampedusa in October 2013, barely three months after the pope’s visit. Whether they had lost their identity papers, or destroyed them, when facing death the people on board wanted to be known. As the boat listed and took on water, and with most of the women and children stuck below deck, those who knew they wouldn’t make it called out their names and the names of their villages, so that survivors might carry ashore news of their deaths.​5 There isn’t really any other way: there’s no formal identification procedure for those who drown. In Lampedusa’s cemetery, the many plaques that read ‘unidentified migrant’ merely tell us that people have been dying in the Mediterranean for at least 25 years – more than twenty thousand of them, according to current estimates.

Everyone must be counted, but only if they count. Dead migrants don’t count. The woman who drowned while giving birth was not a biometric subject, she was a biodegradable one. I don’t want to reconstitute her as a sentimental artefact, an object to be smuggled into the already crowded room of my bad conscience. But … [more]
borders  identity  cartography  francesstonorsaunders  georgesperec  lampedusa  güntergrass  refugees  identification  personhood  geopolitics  legibility  mobility  passports  pierre-josephproudhon  globalization  thresholds  homes  milankundera  socialmedia  digitalexhaust  rfid  data  privacy  smartphones  verification  biometrics  biometricdata  migration  immigration  popefrancis  facialidentification  visas  paulfussell  stefanzweig  xenophobia  naomimitchison  nobility  surveillance  intentionality  gilbertharding  whauden  lronhubbard  paulekman 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The story behind one cool LA map - LA Observed
"This map of the Los Angeles basin and beyond was drawn by Jack H. Moffett and published in 1970. At Los Angeles Magazine, map curator Glen Creason of the Los Angeles Public Library waxes about the beauty of the creation. If you ever take in the maps that are out for display on the bottom level of the Central Library, in the history department, those are Creason's babies.

In this map, it's the mountains and the relationship of the ranges and rivers that make it special. It's also a great reminder of how the land actually lines up here, the physical orientations that you can lose track of staying in the city all the time. The Pacific Ocean is the dominant environmental feature of Los Angeles and the mountain ranges are a close second, but sometimes people forget about both. Creason has a bigger version of the Moffett map with his piece [http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/see-the-mountain-ranges-of-los-angeles/ ]."
losangeles  maps  mapping  jackmoffett  glencreason  cartography 
january 2016 by robertogreco
The City of the Global South and its Insurrections: Algiers, Cairo, Gaza, Chandigarh, and Kowloon | THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE
"On November 10th, I was invited by friend Meriem Chabani to give a small lecture in Paris in the context of the exhibition New South that she curated around six architecture students’ thesis projects engaging cities of the Global South in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Burkina Faso, Morocco and the Canaries. I started writing a digest of this presentation here the next day but the Nov. 13 attacks occurred and I am profoundly sadden to announce that, Amine Ibnolmobarak, the brilliant and kind author of the project for Mecca in this exhibition, was killed in the shootings. Despite the shock of this news and the difficulty to mourn in the maddening noise of the journalistic and political state of emergency, his friends gathered around his family, and remembered with emotion his life in the great hall of the Beaux Arts school last Friday.

The City of the Global South and its Insurrections: Algiers, Cairo, Gaza, Chandigarh, and Kowloon ///

This presentation constitutes a rather shallow examination of five cities’ reciprocal influence between their urban fabric and their insurrections and counter-insurrections operations. In order to make the presentation clearer, I produced a few new maps and thus propose to include my slides here, as well as a few notes to explain them."



"CONCLUSION ///

The criminalizing discourses that took the Kowloon Walled City for object as well as its inhabitants, even if based, to a certain degree on a actual facts, is common to all neighborhoods presented here. These discourses construct an imaginary of these neighborhoods that prepares the policed and/or militarized interventions against the urban fabric and its inhabitants. The insurrections evoked throughout this presentation are sometimes less the historical accomplishment of their inhabitants than a narrative forced upon them in order to (re)gain the full political control of these urban formations. As described in another recent article, the rhetorical use of “bastions” or “strongholds” to talk about these neighborhoods or other similar ones, contributes (more often than not, deliberately) to their transformation or demolition orchestrated by the State, sometimes including the very lives of their inhabitants (like in the case of Gaza)."
algiers  algeria  cairo  egypt  gaza  palestine  chandigahr  india  kowloon  hongkong  china  northafrica  asia  globalsouth  léopoldlambert  cartography  history  cities  urban  urbanism  architecture  design  insurrection  colonialism  decolonization  colonization  lecorbusier  battleofalgiers  alilapointe  tahrir  tahrirsquare  militarization 
december 2015 by robertogreco
A Matter of Perspective | somethingaboutmaps
"Today I wanted to share with you a little project of mine from a few months ago, which may best be described by the question: What happens if you take the shoreline of a lake, cut it, and unfurl it?"
maps  mapping  math  mathematics  geography  python  via:vruba  cartography  danielhuffman 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Smartphones and the Uncertain Future of 'Spatial Thinking' - CityLab
"Your brain is indeed relaxing. In a handful of studies conducted over the last decade in the United States, England, Germany and Japan, researchers have shown that GPS navigation has a generally pernicious effect on the user's ability to remember an environment and reconstruct a route. Toru Ishikawa, a spatial geographer at the University of Tokyo, quantified the difference in a study published earlier this year. Asked to recall various aspects of their surroundings, participants using GPS navigation performed 20 percent worse than their paper-map peers.

As Ishikawa pointed out to me, these findings raise questions beyond urban anthropology. Spatial thinking helps us structure, integrate, and recall ideas. It's less an independent field of study than a foundational skill; a 2006 report from the National Research Council called spatial literacy the "missing link" in the K-12 curriculum at large.

Navigating is among the greatest incubators of that ability. A sophisticated internal map, as a famous study of London cab drivers showed, is tied to greater development in the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for spatial memory. In another study, participants with stronger hippocampus development tended to navigate with complex cognitive maps, while those with less developed spatial memory memorized turn-by-turn directions.

Isn't it ironic: the easier it is for me to get where I'm going, the less I remember how I got there. As a conscious consumer of geographic information, should I be rationing my access to navigation tools—the mental equivalent of taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator?"



"It's too early to toll the bell for human navigation. GPS remains a clumsy accessory for a pedestrian, frustrating on a bicycle, and impossible on a motorcycle. There are indications that regular car commuters, too, may be impervious to the commands of the dashboard gods. "In general, the reason there's traffic is that people take the same way even if there's a different route," says Julie Mossler, head of global communications and creative strategy at Waze. Old highways die hard.

It seems that digital maps haven't rid wayfinding of its personal touch; rather, they are just beginning to properly incorporate it. New products in consumer mapping respond to the hegemonic efficiency of tools from Garmin, TomTom, and others. A handful of services cater solely to joggers. Yahoo Labs is attempting to quantify a nice walk based on crowd-sourced impressions of the city. A Dutch cartographer aims to chart the streets you have or haven't traveled. Every few months, it seems, some entrepreneur is embroiled in controversy over a map service showing neighborhoods that the user should avoid. The worldwide map, like the sprawling territory of the Internet itself, is balkanizing into a set of increasingly specialized "maplications."

The casualty of this gradual fine-tuning, I think, is chance. Routes were once conceived in a febrile mix of logic, accident, and instinct. Today's data-driven apps have mastered logic. They have registered road traffic, train delays, and the other accidents of travel. They have also, by explicitly catering to each of our effable desires, rendered human navigational impulse an eccentricity.

It's still possible, of course, to take a walk or go for a drive; to open your mind and let the city deliver, in Walter Benjamin's phrase, its "hints and instructions." The reverie of wandering, on foot or on wheels, can't be calculated by an algorithm or prescribed by an app.

But technology doesn't go away when you don't use it. From now on, an aimless jaunt is marked not only by openness to the stimuli of the physical world, but by the strain of blocking out their virtual counterparts. Contingent on technophobic self-control, wandering has lost its essential ease."
spatialthinking  cartography  mapping  maps  navigation  2014  via:shannon_mattern  gps  smartphones  orientation  wayfinding  walking  googlemaps  driving  cars  publictransit  memory  henrygrabar 
july 2015 by robertogreco
How to Avoid Being Fooled by Bad Maps - CityLab
"Maps are big these days. Blogs and news sites (including this one) frequently post maps and those maps often go viral—40 maps that explain the world, the favorite TV shows of each U.S. state, and so on. They’re all over Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and news organizations are understandably capitalizing on the power that maps clearly have in digital space: they can visualize a lot of data quickly and effectively. But they can also visualize a lot of data inaccurately and misleadingly.

A map is not just a picture—it’s also the data behind the map, the methodology used to collect and parse that data, the people doing that work, the choices made in terms of visualization and the software used to make them. A map is also a representation of the world, which in some ways must always be a little inaccurate—most maps, after all, show the roughly spherical world on a flat surface. Certain things are always left off or highlighted while others are altered, as no map can show everything at once. All of those choices and biases, conscious or not, can have important effects on the map itself. We may be looking at something inaccurate, misleading, or incorrect without realizing it.

As Mark Monmonier writes in the fantastic book How to Lie With Maps, Americans are taught from an early age to analyze and understand the meaning and manipulation of words, such as advertising, political campaigns, news and the like (to be “cautious consumers of words” as he puts it) but they are rarely taught the same skills about maps.

Education about using maps (and geography as a whole) is not thorough or common in U.S. schools. The high school Advanced Placement exams for human geography only started being offered in 2001*, for example, and many top private universities do not offer geography as a subject. Harvard dropped it in 1948, which some academics blame for kicking off a decrease in the learning of geography across the country.

Numerous studies report that the vast majority of Americans lack geographic literacy and are unable to find places like Afghanistan or Iraq on a map, let alone understand more complex spatial relationships about them—where are things, why are they there, how does that influence other things? (Harvard, to its credit, formed a Center for Geographic Analysis in 2006.) If they think of it at all, many Americans think geography is just memorizing a list of state capitals or looking at pictures of cool animals in National Geographic.

It’s no surprise then that people often assume maps are accurate, because it’s so often unclear how they are made—maps are “arcane images afforded undue respect and credibility” that are “entrusted to a priesthood of technically competent designers and drafters,” as Monmonier puts it. Almost everybody can write, but not everyone can make a map.

At the same time, the use of geographic information systems (GIS) has exploded as computers and software get more powerful and less expensive. New web mapping tools and the availability of data are democratizing cartography, allowing almost anyone to attempt mapmaking—something that was formerly possible only for experts or users of specialized software. That means many more people are creating their own maps, which is surely a good thing, but it also means that there are many more inaccurate, incorrect maps out there—either by design (to push viral or push a viewpoint) or because the creators don’t fully understand what they’re doing.

Maps are still fun, even the inaccurate ones. But there are a few steps you can take and concepts you can keep in mind to avoid being fooled by a map."
data  maps  mapping  infographics  cartography  epistemology  geography  education  literacy  classideas  andrewwiseman  markmonmonier  deception  titles  viaLshannon_mattern 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Redrawing the map | Boston Society of Architects
"Given the proliferation of GPS devices and interactive mapping online, it’s easy to declare the traditional map obsolete. Intuitive turn-by-turn directions have replaced road atlases, Google has upgraded the static map with everything from real-time traffic to restaurant reviews, and Wikipedia has taken the place of the hefty geography textbook. Is there any hope for a cartophile? Will the stand-alone map, lovingly produced and custom designed, be only a niche product for rich collectors and Luddites?

Framing the question that way is misleading because it conflates two separate changes in recent geographic knowledge. One is the shift from paper to the screen. And yes, even though wall maps still have an important size advantage, it is, indeed, difficult to see much future for the traditional coffee table atlas, road map, or topographic quad. But the other shift is much more important, and here the digital realm offers a huge advantage.

The proliferation of new spatial tools — everything from the GPS and GIS (Geographic Information System) to the easy availability of statistical and environmental data sets — is making certain kinds of mapping more relevant and ubiquitous than ever. We are not facing the decline of maps, but a shift from maps as repositories of geographic fact to maps as interpretive, argumentative, and unapologetically partial. Cartographic authorship has changed dramatically as well, since scholarship, design, and craft are now increasingly mingled. Mapping is no longer a specialist pursuit anxious about its scientific credentials; it is instead a powerful form of everyday communication. Whether these new maps appear on paper or online is largely irrelevant."
cartography  data  mapping  maps  2015  via:shannon_mattern  gps  gis  interpretation  partiality  williamrankin 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Knowing is Not Naming by Xiaowei Wang | recaps
"We never spoke about the end of empires, but when it happened, we had not seen each other for years. Somehow it escaped our taxonomy of the world, in between the causally symmetric balances and the notes you kept in the cabinet of a northeast institution, in a town with any latitude and longitude. Like our speech to each other, you defied my intuition, kept order and categories until rationale was exhausted.

It happened first on your end of the world, when you gave a night’s walk and noticed the trees full of luminaries. You said to me over the phone how it began on Mott St., an intersection with waning gingkos and brick clad buildings. You thought they were off season holiday lights; decorations for no one’s party.

You knew no one better to call, so it was the first time I heard your voice in years. I was alone in an apartment without furniture, body pressed against the floor, monitoring tiny earthquakes against the house’s wood frame as you hurriedly conspired with me about the emergence of these little creatures: Lux meridiani.

The aftershock of your voice arrived when I could count time in non-linear cycles again. Measurements and miles, the ratio of one encoded word to another were forgotten. I built systems of knowledge with others, in gardens and warehouses, gallery walls and sheets. The small radio you gifted me playing Brigitte Fontaine no longer held sound or gravity.It was those insects that arrived first in your port. Our classification scheme made during my aftershock became a world itself, a procedure that was defined after it had happened. It was a fidelity of information that could only ascribe the certainty of persistent learning, a final becoming of what one so deeply desired. A difficulty in routine.

I saw you weeks later on the TV screen at the deli, on a show filled with gleaming smiles, taut faces and perpetual ticker. You looked tired, thin, with less hair and more gravitas. The reporter asked your opinion on the plight that was at full rage in all known urban areas of North America. My eyes were ready for the invasion in sunny California, where endless summer and relentless beauty overwhelmed my walks and daily reckonings.

New York was first hit the hardest – a glowing light in all street trees on darkened winter days to evenings: persistent radiance. I imagined you from the confines of a light drenched “day”, tracing cartographic vectors of botanical disease, examining shipping container seals, in entomology departments echoing with rubber soled shoes and wool, practicing progressive devotion at the altar of naming.

I wrote all that I could follow, sending you messy notes on maps, telling you it was the geography of will that could only manifest such an insect plague. An alienation of latitude, a degree of material difference in fate that marked us unable to comprehend emergence any more than the life of the pharoah ant or the dragonfly. We exhausted our reserves of trade, wrote: it would be enough to accept defeat from this false economy into the next period of unnamed exchange.

It was my last letter to you that allowed me to forget our geographies and Linnaean schemes. You had stopped replying and I had found the perpetual light of evenings past, a blanket to sleep in periods of short duration. What did time or hours mean anymore, when I had forgotten dusk as a category and day as a known escape?

We awaited your team’s verdict, exactly where Lux meridiani appeared or evolved from, and which numbered crate from a precise longitude or latitude it arose. My neighbors went on with their hours. There were no more lights inside houses, only black curtains drawn tightly. Pundits and scientists enjoyed showing satellite images of the world at “night”, composited into one gleaming beacon where every pixel of continent was white. Days of rain were welcomed as relief to our thirst for some darkness, some contrast in quiet.

A year later, without any results, conclusions or reports with modest covers, you disappeared with all your notes and books. It was then I recalled clearly the first time you looked at me, lips curled asking if I only tolerated bad news.

It was this bad news that made our fiction: The first time you kissed me next to the sundial, during the autumn when sundials still signified movement. A roccoco frame, gold, 4cm in width and height, shaded behind a velvet cloche. Olfactory dislocation, the ancient image of darkened alleys where mystery might have kept itself, a time when engines of recoding were somewhere between ecology and industry, and the rustle of plastic and tinny coos of zippers. A time when projections of desires still existed in the last coordinate of black. The melancholy of pleasure: placed between lines of parameters, poetry and disaster.

“Knowing is not naming”

This workshop/teach-in will focus on the notion of the Anthropocene and the underpinnings of environmental change as a geographical issue, generated by the tension between classification, remote sensing and ground truthing.

Through specific case studies of “natural disasters”, we will look at the systems of land use classification and how ideology is embedded in these ways of categorizing and ordering nature. Beginning with the earliest botanical gardens as a method to classify novel fauna from imperial conquest to the technologic determinism that continues to imbue indices of urbanization and human extents, we will understand hierarchies created by floristic maps more deeply and develop new ways to reconfigure some of the most embedded categories we have towards land use.

Lux meridiani accompanies this workshop as a cartographic fiction built on existing data. By playing with thresholds in the geographical data and reorienting certain land use classifications, Lux meridiani takes the continuous exchange of invasive insects through global trade to imagine the emergence of a new, unknown species that infests street trees in urban areas with relentless luminescence. In this fable, Lux meridiani explicitly states what has been happening all along; that the recoding of our environment has been an economic rather than ecological engine all along."
xiaoweiwang  art  taxonomy  names  naming  cartography  luxmeridiani  anthropocene  2015  landuse  categorization  classification  nature  geography  insects  environment 
april 2015 by robertogreco
National Geographic Found
"On stick-charts, the sticks represent wave patterns and shells mark the atolls. Marshall Islands, Micronesia, May 1967."
micronesia  maps  mapping  stickcharts  marshallislands  1967  geography  cartography  navigation 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Chimurenga Chronic | now-now, a pan African gazette - in print quarterly and online
[via: “What If Maps Were Made By Africans For Their Own Use? | Chimurenga’s New Issue is a Must Read”

http://brittlepaper.com/2015/03/maps-africans-chimurenga/

"CNN calls Chimurenga Chronic “Africa’s answer to the New Yorker.”

But the truth is the New Yorker has nothing on the Cape Town-based magazine. Chimurenga Chronic is edgy and experimental in a way that the New Yorker could never be.

The reason for this is simple. When you set out to capture the complexities of Africa’s contemporary moment, you have no choice but to be boundary-pushing.

The pan-African spirit of the magazine is channeled through some of the most beautifully provocative writings on African art, culture, and politics.

Every issue of Chimurenga Chronic is curated to retool the language and images we use when we think about Africa. But the latest issue on maps and cartography is particularly so.

It begins with a question: “what if maps were made by Africans for their own use, to understand and make visible their own realities or imaginaries?”

You dont’ have to know too much about the history of imperialism to know how heated and controversial the issue of maps, especially as it relates to the African continent, has been. Maps are not bad in themselves. They let us abstract space so that we can better imagine it. Maps are like mirrors that reflect to us the spaces we inhabit. That’s why whoever maps out a space has control over how space is perceived and how this perception enables us to make the world we live in.

What Chimurenga does is try to figure out what Africa looks like when it is mapped by Africans for Africans and not by powerful imperial powers for their own interests."]
africa  maps  mapping  cartography  magazines  chimurengachronic 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Mapping the Sneakernet – The New Inquiry
"Digital media travels hand to hand, phone to phone across vast cartographies invisible to Big Data"



"Indeed, the song was just one of many media files I saw on people’s phones: There were Chinese kung fu movies, Nigerian comedies, and Ugandan pop music. They were physically transferred, phone to phone, Bluetooth to Bluetooth, USB stick to USB stick, over hundreds of miles by an informal sneakernet of entertainment media downloaded from the Internet or burned from DVDs, bringing media that’s popular in video halls—basically, small theaters for watching DVDs—to their own villages and huts.

In geographic distribution charts of Carly Rae Jepsen’s virality, you’d be hard pressed to find impressions from this part of the world. Nor is this sneakernet practice unique to the region. On the other end of continent, in Mali, music researcher Christopher Kirkley has documented a music trade using Bluetooth transfers that is similar to what I saw in northern Uganda. These forms of data transfer and access, though quite common, are invisible to traditional measures of connectivity and Big Data research methods. Like millions around the world with direct internet connections, young people in “unconnected” regions are participating in the great viral products of the Internet, consuming mass media files and generating and transferring their own media.

Indeed, the practice of sneakernets is global, with political consequences in countries that try to curtail Internet access. In China, I saw many activists trading media files via USB sticks to avoid stringent censorship and surveillance. As Cuba opens its borders to the world, some might be surprised that citizens have long been able to watch the latest hits from United States, as this Guardian article notes. Sneakernets also apparently extend into North Korea, where strict government policy means only a small elite have access to any sort of connectivity. According to news reports, Chinese bootleggers and South Korean democracy activists regularly smuggle media on USB sticks and DVDs across the border, which may be contributing to increasing defections, as North Korean citizens come to see how the outside world lives.

Blum imagines the Internet as a series of rivers of data crisscrossing the globe. I find it a lovely visual image whose metaphor should be extended further. Like water, the Internet is vast, familiar and seemingly ubiquitous but with extremes of unequal access. Some people have clean, unfettered and flowing data from invisible but reliable sources. Many more experience polluted and flaky sources, and they have to combine patience and filters to get the right set of data they need. Others must hike dozens of miles of paved and dirt roads to access the Internet like water from a well, ferrying it back in fits and spurts when the opportunity arises. And yet more get trickles of data here and there from friends and family, in the form of printouts, a song played on a phone’s speaker, an interesting status update from Facebook relayed orally, a radio station that features stories from the Internet.

Like water from a river, data from the Internet can be scooped up and irrigated and splashed around in novel ways. Whether it’s north of the Nile in Uganda or south of Market St. in the Bay Area, policies and strategies for connecting the “unconnected” should take into account the vast spectrum of ways that people find and access data. Packets of information can be distributed via SMS and mobile 3G but also pieces of paper, USB sticks and Bluetooth. Solar-powered computer kiosks in rural areas can have simple capabilities for connecting to mobile phones’ SD cards for upload and download. Technology training courses can start with a more nuanced base level of understanding, rather than assuming zero knowledge of the basics of computing and network transfer. These are broad strokes, of course; the specifics of motivation and methods are complex and need to be studied carefully in any given instance. But the very channels that ferry entertainment media can also ferry health care information, educational material and anything else in compact enough form.

There are many maps for the world’s internet tubes and the electric wires that power them, but, like any map, they reflect an inherent bias, in this case toward a single user, binary view of connectivity. This view in turn limits our understanding of just how broad an impact the Internet has had on the world, with social, political and cultural implications that have yet to be fully explored. One critical addition to understanding the internet’s global impact is mapping the many sneakernets that crisscross the “unconnected” parts of the world. The next billion, we might find, are already navigating new cities with Google Maps, trading Korean soaps and Nigerian comedies, and rocking out to the latest hits from Carly Rae Jepsen."
access  africa  internet  online  connectivity  2015  anxiaomina  bigdata  digital  maps  mapping  cartography  bias  sneakernets  p2p  peer2peer  uganda  music  data  bluetooth  mobile  phones  technology  computing  networks  northkorea  christopherkirkley  sms  communication  usb  andrewblum  sneakernet 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Findery | Javier Arbona - Academia.edu
"In sum, what makes Findery’s approach compelling is a deeply modern cartographic sensibility—a Cartesian map—that undergirds the represented com munity, which then clusters around a shared sense of place. If Findery presents places as a seamless, fluid, and utterly comprehensible environment, however, it glosses over the reality of place as a jumble of conflicting geographies. Put differently, Findery facilitates the combination of a modern cartographic sensibility with a community that shares a passion of—and for—a mediated place.

The peril of this powerful fusion is that although geography is not destiny, a community can come to believe it is, especially when the aerial viewpoint of maps is involved. What will the community end up doing to attain its presumed destiny if it involves, for example, land clearance or privatization? Or, in another sense, how much can a social network based on geography—and owned by a handful of founders and investors—popularize a given geographic destiny if it comes to be exploited by a territorial agency, colonial government, or larger corporation? And yet a geographical app can also work in the hands of communities struggling to free themselves from imposed destinies— whether it is used to document neglected public schools or illegal settlements."

Two final points will serve to navigate these opposing tensions.

First, the visual imagination of place-based communities along the imperceptible lines of vast and abstract electronic networks has a much longer trajectory than the contemporary web. Mark Wigley has written about the confraternity among Marshall McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, and Constantinos Doxiadis. Findery is at the tail end of the network “echoes” (as Wigley calls these) predating the web that enmesh places into a lattice of tele-connected temporal frames for efficient spatial labor-production coordination. As far back as 1938, Fuller envisioned buildings giving way to what he called a “world wide dwelling services network,” and Findery contains the code to further such a vision. But Fuller hardly imagined the forms of totalizing governance, not to mention surveillance, that would thrive on today’s networks.

Second, the cartographic web has many roots, not the least of which is military (i.e., for targeting), and it also happens to depend on the military domination of the aerial and astral surveying spaces themselves. In the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency’s director, John McCone, instituted the agency’s science and technology branch to satisfy his lust for advanced aerial photography and U-2 spy planes. Sociogeographical apps echo this visual craving for information (and related information-gathering government and business enterprises) that intensified during the Cold War.

Fuller and McCone come together as two faces of the same coin to suggest that the view from above has a history not only of being monodirectional but also of serving as an infrastructure of control from afar. Geographic social media contribute to a subjectivity that remains ambivalent toward this uneven distribution of power and produces knowledge from an ultimately untenable standpoint: close-up at a distance. One can thus be misled by the false impression that one has godlike capabilities, simultaneously possessing a detached, celestial view and having an effective mode of up-close agency or contestation—literally—in one’s hands. These are, in other words, tools that are fundamentally disorienting in space and time—and they demand to be exploited as such.
javierarbona  maps  mapping  socialmedia  findery  2015  reviews  cartography  surveillance  place  geography  buckminsterfuller  marshallmcluhan  constantinosdoxiadis  markwigley  johnmccone  power  legibiity  community  destiny 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Humane Representation of Thought on Vimeo
"Closing keynote at the UIST and SPLASH conferences, October 2014.
Preface: http://worrydream.com/TheHumaneRepresentationOfThought/note.html

References to baby-steps towards some of the concepts mentioned:

Dynamic reality (physical responsiveness):
- The primary work here is Hiroshi Ishii's "Radical Atoms": http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/inform/
- but also relevant are the "Soft Robotics" projects at Harvard: http://softroboticstoolkit.com
- and at Otherlab: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gyMowPAJwqo
- and some of the more avant-garde corners of material science and 3D printing

Dynamic conversations and presentations:
- Ken Perlin's "Chalktalk" changes daily; here's a recent demo: http://bit.ly/1x5eCOX

Context-sensitive reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/

"Explore-the-model" reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/ExplorableExplanations/
- http://worrydream.com/LadderOfAbstraction/
- http://ncase.me/polygons/
- http://redblobgames.com/pathfinding/a-star/introduction.html
- http://earthprimer.com/

Evidence-backed models:
- http://worrydream.com/TenBrighterIdeas/

Direct-manipulation dynamic authoring:
- http://worrydream.com/StopDrawingDeadFish/
- http://worrydream.com/DrawingDynamicVisualizationsTalk/
- http://tobyschachman.com/Shadershop/

Modes of understanding:
- Jerome Bruner: http://amazon.com/dp/0674897013
- Howard Gardner: http://amazon.com/dp/0465024335
- Kieran Egan: http://amazon.com/dp/0226190390

Embodied thinking:
- Edwin Hutchins: http://amazon.com/dp/0262581469
- Andy Clark: http://amazon.com/dp/0262531569
- George Lakoff: http://amazon.com/dp/0465037712
- JJ Gibson: http://amazon.com/dp/0898599598
- among others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_cognition

I don't know what this is all about:
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/responses.html

---

Abstract:

New representations of thought — written language, mathematical notation, information graphics, etc — have been responsible for some of the most significant leaps in the progress of civilization, by expanding humanity’s collectively-thinkable territory.

But at debilitating cost. These representations, having been invented for static media such as paper, tap into a small subset of human capabilities and neglect the rest. Knowledge work means sitting at a desk, interpreting and manipulating symbols. The human body is reduced to an eye staring at tiny rectangles and fingers on a pen or keyboard.

Like any severely unbalanced way of living, this is crippling to mind and body. But it is also enormously wasteful of the vast human potential. Human beings naturally have many powerful modes of thinking and understanding.

Most are incompatible with static media. In a culture that has contorted itself around the limitations of marks on paper, these modes are undeveloped, unrecognized, or scorned.

We are now seeing the start of a dynamic medium. To a large extent, people today are using this medium merely to emulate and extend static representations from the era of paper, and to further constrain the ways in which the human body can interact with external representations of thought.

But the dynamic medium offers the opportunity to deliberately invent a humane and empowering form of knowledge work. We can design dynamic representations which draw on the entire range of human capabilities — all senses, all forms of movement, all forms of understanding — instead of straining a few and atrophying the rest.

This talk suggests how each of the human activities in which thought is externalized (conversing, presenting, reading, writing, etc) can be redesigned around such representations.

---

Art by David Hellman.
Bret Victor -- http://worrydream.com "

[Some notes from Boris Anthony:

"Those of you who know my "book hack", Bret talks about exactly what motivates my explorations starting at 20:45 in https://vimeo.com/115154289 "
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574339495274876928

"From a different angle, btwn 20:00-29:00 Bret explains how "IoT" is totally changing everything
https://vimeo.com/115154289
@timoreilly @moia"
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574341875836043265 ]
bretvictor  towatch  interactiondesign  davidhellman  hiroshiishii  softrobotics  robots  robotics  kenperlin  jeromebruner  howardgardner  kieranegan  edwinhutchins  andyclark  jjgibson  embodiedcognition  cognition  writing  math  mathematics  infographic  visualization  communication  graphics  graphicdesign  design  representation  humans  understanding  howwelearn  howwethink  media  digital  dynamism  movement  conversation  presentation  reading  howweread  howwewrite  chalktalk  otherlab  3dprinting  3d  materials  physical  tangibility  depth  learning  canon  ui  informationdesign  infographics  maps  mapping  data  thinking  thoughts  numbers  algebra  arithmetic  notation  williamplayfair  cartography  gestures  placevalue  periodictable  michaelfaraday  jamesclerkmaxell  ideas  print  printing  leibniz  humanism  humanerepresentation  icons  visual  aural  kinesthetic  spatial  tactile  symbols  iot  internetofthings  programming  computers  screens  computation  computing  coding  modeling  exploration  via:robertogreco  reasoning  rhetoric  gerrysussman  environments  scale  virtualization 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Maps as Media: New Fall 2015 Studio – Words in Space
"coming fall, I’ll introduce a new hybrid theory-practice studio course: Maps as Media. Here’s my tentative course description:

Maps reveal, delineate, verify, orient, navigate, anticipate, historicize, conceal, persuade, and, on occasion, even lie. From the earliest maps in cave paintings and on clay tablets, to the predictive climate visualizations and crime maps and mobile cartographic apps of today and tomorrow, maps have offered far more than an objective representation of a stable reality. In this hybrid theory-practice studio we’ll examine the past, present, and future – across myriad geographic and cultural contexts – of our techniques and technologies for mapping space and time. In the process, we’ll address various critical frameworks for analyzing the rhetorics, poetics, politics, and epistemologies of spatial and temporal maps. Throughout the semester we’ll also experiment with a variety of critical mapping tools and methods, from techniques of critical cartography to sensory mapping to time-lining, using both analog and digital approaches. Tentative course requirements include: individual map critiques; individual final critical-creative projects in a format of each student’s choosing; and small-group projects completed in collaboration with NYPL Labs and the NYPL Map Division, in support of their work on the Knight Foundation-funded Space/Time Directory.

I welcome overtures from potential guest speakers, hosts of field trips and/or other cartographic excursions, and especially creative, tech-savvy, GIS-fluent teaching assistants!"
shannonmattern  2015  maps  mapping  cartography  history  visualization  media  classes 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Missing Maps: nothing less than a human genome project for cities | Cities | The Guardian
"A huge number of the world’s most vulnerable human settlements have remained unmapped ... until now. Enter an unprecedented plan to map the world’s forgotten places"
osm  openstreetmap  cartography  mapping  maps  2014  edg  cities 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Diane Goes For You
"Here you can see the places that I visited as requested by people who had found an interesting location on Google Maps. Upon visiting these locations, I answered questions that people had asked about them and presented the answers here on this website."



"1. About:

"In the new empire of Google, it may seem to us that the whole world can be known without getting up from our chair, whithout turning our eyes away from the computer. Of course this is not true. Hopefully it will never become true. Even on the most detailed satellite view, the world remains strange and unknown. In order to have a closer look on this unknown world, Diane Rabreau is ready to get up from her chair and to be your explorer."
Till Roeskens, artist explorer.

2. What is Diane Goes For You:

It's a "service to individuals" and a game I purpose you to play.
If there is any place on earth you would like to know more about, if there is any spot on Google's satellite view that seems strange to you or that inspires you any question for which the answer can't be found online but only by going there for real, send me the geographic coordinates and I will try to go there one day and tell you what I saw and experienced.

3. How it started:

I started my explorations in January 2013. A first trip took me around France and Belgium, and a second one – thanks to the partnership of Rotterdam Film Festival– all around Europe.

4. Why I am doing this:

The little game of walking on Google Maps as if it was real is something I often do when I'm bored and I waste my time. There are thousands of us who play this game, because it's a great one, it's like a world conquest. There is too many things to know on Earth, and if we had to visit all of these things, we would need more than one lifetime. What is the point in visiting a place if, upon going there we feel like we know it already because the internet refers to it a thousand times? Can't an ordinary field lost in the Belgian countryside have the same emotional value as an Egyptian pyramid? Oddly, there's no information about what here looks like a section of a road in a Parisian building site. We don't know where it goes or where it comes from. It raises questions but there's no one to answer them because nobody cares. You care and I care too. This "section of road" could be of a huge interest or it could be nothing, whatever, we just want to know.
I have the time and the enthusiasm, therefore I am offering this service to individuals. Let's build together an infinite encyclopaedia made up of unknown destinations."
cartography  art  exploration  googlemaps  mapping  dianerabreau  via:jenlowe 
december 2014 by robertogreco
The architects of apartheid | Cities | The Guardian
"Picturing place: A map can seem a simple thing, yet the act of holding it, studying and discussing the contents illuminates how they operate as practical and rhetorical tools for control, as demonstrated in South Africa during apartheid"

[See also (related to the series "Picturing Place"):
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/urbanlab/research/picturingplace ]
maps  mapping  politics  policy  urbanism  urbanplanning  planning  apartheid  southafrica  africa  racism  cartography  power  control  oppression  history  1950s  picturingplace  photography 
december 2014 by robertogreco
BBC - Future - The last unmapped places on Earth
"But even the most detailed maps cannot get around one fundamental problem in the way of creating a near-perfect cartographic representation for any place in the world: the incredible pace of change, both human and nature-made, that characterises life on the planet. Some cities in Asia and Africa, Gupta says, are undergoing so much construction that Google Maps have been unable to keep up. At the same time, natural landscapes are constantly in a state of flux – now, more so than ever. Islands are being devoured by the sea, ice floes are disappearing, shorelines are eroding and forests are being cleared. “The very moment you build a perfect map of the world is the moment it goes out of date,” Gupta says. “The real world will always be a little bit ahead of how we represent it, because change is constant.”

In that sense, the entire world is undermapped, and it will always remain that way. A birds-eye view of a city tells you it’s there, but not how to navigate through all corners of it. A foldout map is a relic of the time it went to print, unable to take into account earthquake destruction, new roads or renegotiated borders. And Google Maps can provide turn-by-turn instructions for biking from London to Brighton, but fails utterly when asked to do the same for traversing a Brazilian favela or the Gobi desert’s dunes.

Even our best maps, then, are merely more up to date and truer to place than others. Our age-old quest to capture uncharted land and space will never end."
maps  mapping  2014  cartography  change  cities  urban  urbanism  africa  asia  nature 
december 2014 by robertogreco
MAPMAKER MANIFESTO * YOU ARE HERE & SO AM I
"The Manifesto

Speak in pictures whenever possible. Structure your data, but be sure to leave room for the unstructured. Mate function and form in equality. Transform the ambiguous, obscure, and complex into beautiful, engaging, and accessible. Represent data with accuracy. Remember it is made by humans and subject to inaccuracy. Let the data say what it wants to say. Respect the message. Strike a balance between the literal, the abstract, and the artistic. Know when to show the dots on the map or just the dots themselves. Make your own map. Share it. Make your own data. Share it too. Remember why you are making the map and who you are making it for. Remember that everyone is a mapmaker. Remember to make maps together.

Design your life like you’d design a map.
● Mate function and form in equality.
● Represent data with accuracy.
● Remember that data is made by humans and sometimes inaccurate.

Live your life like you’d follow a map.
1. Determine You are here.
2. Observe what is around your location.
3. Decide where you want to go and your mode of transportation.
4. Go!
5. Change direction if you change your mind.
6. Archive the map when it doesn’t work anymore.
7. Don’t listen to the computer if you disagree with it.

***

Manifesto Notes

This world does not only belong to you and to me, but to every person and living creature on it. If we want to continue to live on this earth, then we must change our interactions with it.

In order to change, we must understand reality.
It may be too late to change climate change, the death of bees, the melting of icecaps, the rise of the sea.

But it is not too late to understand how we might adapt to it.

When you look at a map, there are a few key steps to determining direction:
1. The first step is defining, “You are here.”
2. The second step is determining what is around you.
3. The third is to decide where to go (what to pursue) and the kinds of paths to follow (how to get there).

We mapmakers and visualizers of data are well­-equipped for this task.

It is up to us to share data and information, so that we can make the map of Now.

It is up to all of us to to draw the path to our future, and to determine our navigation style.

Let us make this map together.
Let us see our data and allow it to change our direction.
Then we must see the data.
We must know the information. We make the data.
It belongs to all of us.
Function. Form. Motility. Pursuit of beauty.
It is important to remember, we are all makers of maps.
If it's as much about the journey as the destination, then how we get there is as important as the paths we take."
cartography  maps  mapping  infovis  data  place  classideas  manifestos  2014  stamen  stamendesign 
november 2014 by robertogreco
prosthetic knowledge — DroneDeploy Cloud-based serive offers real-time...
"Cloud-based serive offers real-time drone cartography for personal or business use.

DroneDeploy makes Drone Operations Simple.

DroneDeploy.com is a smart drone management platform that helps you get stuff done with drones. It’s built to be simple, safe and powerful, controlling multiple drones, from anywhere, on any device.

Making flight plans has never been easier - just describe your mission, and DroneDeploy will build a dynamic flight path that avoids other aircraft, airports, and even urban areas while respecting local laws.

DroneDeploy also makes it easy to fulfil the purpose of missions, with a growing selection of Apps that enable a number of operations, including seamless photo-stitching and object identification. Our APIs are simple and open to developers."
drones  droneproject  aerialimagery  2014  dronedeploy  cartography  maps  mapping 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Louisiana Loses Its Boot — Matter — Medium
"The boot-shaped state isn’t shaped like a boot anymore. That’s why we revised its iconic outline to reflect the truth about a sinking, disappearing place."

[See also: http://projects.propublica.org/louisiana/ ]
cartography  climataechange  maps  mapping  2014  louisiana  history  brettanderson 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Ethan Marcotte - The Map Is Not The Territory on Vimeo
"When we create for the web, we participate in a kind of public art. We code, we design, we build for an audience, and our work feels successful when—if—it’s met with their delight. We shape digital experiences that provide a service, or that create joy, or that simply connect readers with words written half a world away. But in this session we?ll instead look at some ways in which our audience reshapes the way we think about our medium, and see where they might be leading us—and the web—next."

[See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_enhancement ]
ethanmarcotte  cartography  history  design  responsivedesign  2012  technology  progressivenenhancement  smartphoneonly  accessibility  webdesign  webdev  web  internet  online  audience  maps  mapping  responsivewebdesign 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Making Better Digital Maps in an Era of Standardization - CityLab
"Using pre-digital techniques as inspiration, three cartographers lead the charge against cookie-cutter digital maps."



"Not at all. Many cartographers are developing digital, open-source tools that look back to a pre-digital era to make maps that are uniquely designed to a particular purpose. Here are three who are leading in the charge against cartographic standardization and toward beautiful, functional maps."
maps  mapping  cartography  aesthetics  design  2014  bernhardjenny  tompatterson  danielhuffman  laurabliss  opensource  digital 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Twitter / tanehisicoates: So kids. Grammar is good. Even ...
"Would take an entire course on french prepositions and pronouns. Understanding what connects to what is the hardest part."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500661582977069056

"I've heard entire sentences in French, understood every word and found the sentence incomprehensible. Culprit? Pronouns and prepositions."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500661812069928960

"Also a good reason for English-speaking kids to master the basics of English grammar. I am suffering for that now."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500662013186818048

"French would be a lot easier if I hadn't had to to also learn the difference between a "direct object pronoun" and "indirect." At 38."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500662284684111872

"So kids. Grammar is good. Even the people teaching aren't always so good. Grammar is more than pedantry. It's cartography."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500662519619649536 [bookmark leads here]

"This is the consensus. RT @JimBuhler: .@tanehisicoates I never really understood English grammar until I learned German."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500663065202147330

"Worst word in the world. "Some of" is a close approximation. RT @nothingsmonstrd: @tanehisicoates I wish I understood "en." Still baffled."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500663705928220672

"Problem is that most of us encounter "grammar" via people who like to employ it to signal a kind of superiority."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500664335895896064

"But you SHOULD know how to use prepositions--but not because it impresses other snobs. Understanding language is good--ebonics or otherwise."
https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/500664706907242496
ta-nehesicoates  language  french  grammar  prepositions  pronouns  english  cartography  superiority  condescension  snobbiness 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Journey to the Centre of Google Earth - Simon Sellars
"Google Earth is more than the God’s-eye view – more than just us mortals seeing through the eyes of God. In Google Earth, we are God. We see over, under, inside and out. We see into the beyond, with a second sight unavailable to our mortal selves. We see ghosts of dead friends and dead strangers. We see ourselves. If the colonial God’s-eye view in Mercator maps is an uneasy settling of the planet (hoping the savages will stay in their place and not upset the prescribed order), then Google Earth, with its forking paths Google Maps and Google Street View, is a parallel world bleeding into this one."



"Paul Virilio, urbanist and theorist of cyberculture, once told an interviewer about a science fiction story in which artificial snow was seeded with tiny cameras and dropped from planes. He explained, “when the snow falls, there are eyes everywhere. There is no blind spot left.” The interviewer asks: “But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind.” Desperate, I will dream that same dream, but even gouging out my eyes – all eighteen of them – will not be enough, for the imprint will remain, the augmented overlay, glowing like tracer bullets in the radioactive darkness of the mind’s eye. Remember, I can never unsee.

Then I will dream of death, but even death won’t save me, for I will have left enough data, enough tweets, enough cookies and enough honey traps from my online browsing patterns to allow unscrupulous marketers to harvest the information and construct a digital version of me. It will be a magnificent feat of malware, social engineering composed of my online leavings. This digital construct will traverse the Google Earth just as I do now. It will spam my friends and family, and it will tweet the same observations about Street View as I do. Actually, not “the same observations about Street View as I do”, but “the same observations because it is me”. No one will tell the difference. In the future, we are all sentient spambots.

My digital doppelganger will see me in Google Earth, reflected in the hubcap of the Street View car. It will see me reflected in the illusory facade of the PricewaterhouseCoopers building, watching myself watching the Barcode Project. It will see me in the machine, which has taught me how to remember a past I never had and a future I will never see.

The machine will teach my doppelganger how to live, at the same time as it teaches me how to die. No one will tell the difference."
maps  mapping  simonsellers  2014  googlemaps  googlestreetview  streetview  googleearth  cartography  time  paulvirilio 
june 2014 by robertogreco
History of Cartography: Volumes One, Two, and Three
"The first volume of the History of Cartography was published in 1987 and the three books that constitute Volume Two appeared over the following eleven years. In 1987 the worldwide web did not exist, and since 1998 book publishing has gone through a revolution in the production and dissemination of work. Although the large format and high quality image reproduction of the printed books (see right column) are still well-suited to the requirements for the publishing of maps, the online availability of material is a boon to scholars and map enthusiasts.

On this site the University of Chicago Press is pleased to present the first three volumes of the History of Cartography in PDF format. Navigate to the PDFs from the left column. Each chapter of each book is a single PDF. The search box on the left allows searching across the content of all the PDFs that make up the first six books."
cartography  maps  mapping  books  toread 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Comic Cartography
"All sorts of maps from all sorts of comics // Updated twice daily"
tumblr  maps  mapping  cartography  comics 
february 2014 by robertogreco
The Paper Town Academy: John Green at TEDxIndianapolis - YouTube
"John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green's books have been published in more than a dozen languages.

In 2007, Green and his brother Hank ceased textual communication and began to talk primarily through videoblogs posted to YouTube. The videos spawned a community of people called nerdfighters who fight for intellectualism and to decrease the overall worldwide level of suck. (Decreasing suck takes many forms: Nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight poverty in the developing world; they also planted thousands of trees around the world in May of 2010 to celebrate Hank's 30th birthday.)

Although they have long since resumed textual communication, the brothers continue to upload two videos a week to their YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers. Their videos have been viewed more than 200 million times, and their channel is one of the most popular in the history of online video. Green has more than 1.2 million followers.

Big Idea: "The Paper Town Phenomenon"

When we think of education as a school-based phenomenon, we do a disservice both to students and to the rest of us. Green argues that we should imagine education as a kind of cartography, and discuss how online communities are helping to build learning maps that will encourage students. From YouTube to tumblr to the Khan Academy, the line between education and entertainment is blurring, and as these tools reach more and more people. The youth of today are quietly becoming the best-informed, most intellectually engaged generation in world history."
via:lukeneff  johngreen  papertowns  trapstreets  learning  zefrank  youtube  curiosty  education  opportunitycost  howwelearn  communities  online  web  internet  community  conversation  passion  enthusiasm  schools  schooliness  maps  mapping  cartography  exploration  learningspaces  vlogbrothers  2012  lifelonglearning  unschooling  deschooling  learningnetworks  nerdfighters 
february 2014 by robertogreco
No Old Maps Actually Say 'Here Be Dragons' - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
"Here be dragons. The words supposedly contain every difference between ancient maps and our own. Where old maps were illustrated and incomplete, ours are accurate and photographed from the sky. Old maps were pricey and precious; ours are nearly free and ubiquitous.

Most importantly: Old maps—early modern European maps—contain uncharted territory, across which beasts rumble and serpents writhe. They have dragons.

Our technology might be indistinguishable from magic, but it does not contain magical creatures. Google Maps does not have dragons.

Or that’s the story, anyway. But I’d always wondered: Do any old, original maps actually say those words, “Here be dragons?” 

The answer, it seems, is … No.

Not a single old paper map presents those exact words—“Here be dragons”— in the margins or otherwise. Nor does any paper map include “Hic sunt dracones,” the words’ Latin equivalent. 

But a globe does."



"But if Here be dragons is only on one map, why do we think of it as “typical?” Erin C. Blake, now a curator of special collections at the Folger Shakespeare Library, muses:
It must at least pre-date the publication of Dorothy L. Sayers' short story "The Learned Adventure of the Dragon's Head" in Lord Peter Views the Body (London: Gollancz, 1928), in which a character refers to having seen "hic dracones" on an old map [spotted by both Andrew S. Cook and Benjamin Darius Weiss]. Does it pre-date the publication of the text of the LenoxGlobe in 1879? Why dragons, and not one of the other terrifying creatures depicted on old maps?


The final answer, Blake writes, may be just this: “We don’t know.”

Maybe it’s this: Those famous words served as a warning to the map’s original users and a kind of flourish from the map’s artisan makers. To us, they seem to comment both on the travails of the terrain (“We don’t know what’s here!”) and about the dangers of ignorance (“There might as well be dragons in this unknown spot!”).

Now, we use here be dragons to name our novels full of knights and kings, our treatises on fantastic maps, and even our investigations into extraterrestrial life. The words remind us how different our modern-day map-making is: Shot from cameras in the sky, and available on every smart phone, maps are ubiquitous and photographic, and, the creatures they catalog are too small to see."
robinsonmeyer  maps  mapping  history  2013  cartography  monsters  herebedragons  globes  erinblake  fantasy 
december 2013 by robertogreco
What Screens Want by Frank Chimero
"We need to work as a community to develop a language of transformation so we can talk to one another. And we probably need to steal these words from places like animation, theater, puppetry, dance, and choreography.

Words matter. They are abstractions, too—an interface to thought and understanding by communication. The words we use mold our perception of our work and the world around us. They become a frame, just like the interfaces we design."



"When I realized that, a little light went off in my head: a map’s biases do service to one need, but distort everything else. Meaning, they misinform and confuse those with different needs.

That’s how I feel about the web these days. We have a map, but it’s not for me. So I am distanced. It feels like things are distorted. I am consistently confused.

See, we have our own abstractions on the web, and they are bigger than the user interfaces of the websites and apps we build. They are the abstractions we use to define the web. The commercial web. The things that have sprung up in the last decade, but gained considerable speed in the past five years.

It’s the business structures and funding models we use to create digital businesses. It’s the pressure to scale, simply because it’s easy to copy bits. It’s the relationships between the people who make the stuff, and the people who use that stuff, and the consistent abandonment of users by entrepreneurs.

It’s the churning and the burning, flipping companies, nickel and diming users with in-app purchases, data lock-in, and designing with dark patterns so that users accidentally do actions against their own self-interest.

Listen: I’m at the end of a 4-month sabbatical, and I worry about this stuff, because the further I get from everything, the more it begins to look toxic. These pernicious elements are the primary map we have of the web right now.

We used to have a map of a frontier that could be anything. The web isn’t young anymore, though. It’s settled. It’s been prospected and picked through. Increasingly, it feels like we decided to pave the wilderness, turn it into a suburb, and build a mall. And I hate this map of the web, because it only describes a fraction of what it is and what’s possible. We’ve taken an opportunity for connection and distorted it to commodify attention. That’s one of the sleaziest things you can do.

So what is the answer? I found this quote by Ted Nelson, the man who invented hypertext. He’s one of the original rebel technologists, so he has a lot of things to say about our current situation. Nelson:
The world is not yet finished, but everyone is behaving as if everything was known. This is not true. In fact, the computer world as we know it is based upon one tradition that has been waddling along for the last fifty years, growing in size and ungainliness, and is essentially defining the way we do everything. My view is that today’s computer world is based on techie misunderstandings of human thought and human life. And the imposition of inappropriate structures throughout the computer is the imposition of inappropriate structures on the things we want to do in the human world.



We can produce a vision of the web that isn’t based on:

consolidation
privatization
power
hierarchies
surveillance

We can make a new map. Or maybe reclaim a map we misplaced a long time ago. One built on:

extensibility
openness
communication
community
wildness

We can use the efficiency and power of interfaces to help people do what they already wish more quickly or enjoyably, and we can build up business structures so that it’s okay for people to put down technology and get on with their life once their job is done. We can rearrange how we think about the tools we build, so that someone putting down your tool doesn’t disprove its utility, but validates its usefulness.



Let me leave you with this: the point of my writing was to ask what screens want. I think that’s a great question, but it is a secondary concern. What screens want needs to match up with what we want.

People believe there’s an essence to the computer, that there’s something true and real and a correct way to do things. But—there is no right way. We get to choose how to aim the technology we build. At least for now, because increasingly, technology feels like something that happens to you instead of something you use. We need to figure out how to stop that, for all of our sakes, before we’re locked in, on rails, and headed toward who knows what.

One of the reasons that I’m so fascinated by screens is because their story is our story. First there was darkness, and then there was light. And then we figured out how to make that light dance. Both stories are about transformations, about change. Screens have flux, and so do we."
frankchimero  2013  screens  flux  build2013  plasticity  jamesburke  plastic  skeoumorphs  containers  materials  change  transitions  perception  flatdesign  windowsphonemetro  ios7  software  replacement  shape  affordances  grain  design  paper  print  eadwardmuybridge  movement  motion  animation  customization  responsivewebdesign  responsiveness  variability  mutability  mutations  ux  interactiondesign  interfaces  language  ethanmarcotte  maps  mapping  representation  cartography  embodiedmeaning  respresentation  tednelson  computersareforpeople  softwareisforpeople  unfinished  responsivedesign 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Los Angeles Urban Rangers
"The Los Angeles Urban Rangers develop guided hikes, campfire talks, field kits, and other interpretive tools to spark creative explorations of everyday habitats, in our home megalopolis and beyond."
losangeles  architecture  art  cartography  urban  urbanism  exploration 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The Lay of the Land | edgeca.se
[Now at: http://fjord.style/the-lay-of-the-land ]

"I have a lot of questions. I blame the fact that I grew up in a fjord.

Our town was squeezed onto a small strip of land on the edge of a deep bay, in an oblong bowl of mountains. To get anywhere, you had to leave by either “the narrows” on one end, or “the pass” on the other. Once outside, the closest approximation of civilization was eight hours away.

Inside this pre-Internet Shangri-La, raised with old comics instead of television, I developed a concept of the outside world which required a lot of recalibrating later. My education at the hands of my cartoon masters was supplemented by months-long summer family road trips, most of which was spent creeping through interminable mountain ranges, as I studied our road atlas, and my comics.

Eventually I escaped my fjord, but a few lessons of my youth have been repeatedly confirmed: topography is important, and there’s no faster way to make an impression than with a cartoon. And by “cartoon” I mean a simplification which exaggerates some details and omits others. You could also say “model,” but I like the connotations of “cartoon”; it retains a transgressive frisson that the word “model” doesn’t have, unless you’re in fashion. But anyway.

Some of my favorite things combine topography and cartoons. One in particular holds a special place in my heart: the raised relief map.

I love these maps because they feel like a very simple way of approaching some very complex questions which I don’t think anyone has answered to my satisfaction:
Where are we? What is this place like? What does it mean to be here?
Lately I’ve been focusing on a small part of this question set, something I’ve never felt I thoroughly understood: How big are mountains?"



"Whether due to limits of the material, the analytic or artistic judgements of the creator, or other artifacts of the process, most relief maps involve this kind of explicitly interpretive reduction. This increases their usefulness – an exact miniature of the landscape would not necessarily be more informative.

I’d love to explore a map of the world in such a style. But these things are incredibly time-consuming, requiring a lot of labor and decision-making, and eventually you run out of space. I’ve spent a lot of time working with 3D graphics, so here my thoughts naturally turn to a sub-question: Could these kinds of decisions be made programmatically in any way? And can our experience of mountains be incorporated at all into the process?

Which raises one further question: What is our experience of mountains?"
cartography  mapping  maps  dataviz  reality  perception  2013  peterrichardson  topography  mountains  elevation  comics  information  reliefmaps  canon 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Reclaim the Street Map!
"Rather than doing unpaid corporate cartography,
join us in mapping the world together as a publicly shared resource.

In April 19th 2011 Google announced its new Google Mapmaker expedition to send its users to map the US. This would seem like a great innovative platform for mapping our streets together for those who don’t know that a service like this have actually existed since 2004. Open Street Map is a great collaborative project which Google chose to compete against rather than collaborate with.

In Google Mapmaker, all of your edits would belong to Google. In Open Street Map all of our edits belong to everybody who agrees to equally share them. Google preferred to keep its map proprietary and to prevent equal access to it from those who created it, which it ironically calls “citizen cartographers”. It is sad to say that even Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL are working in collaboration with the public through Open Street Map rather than create a proprietary competitor. Think about it, it’s like undermining Wikipedia by editing a Googipedia instead…

[video]

A year of edits in Open Street Maps

You probably understand this conflict of interests and would choose to draw your streets in our map. But Google, being Google has a much wider outreach and can easily mislead people about “The Meaning of Open”. Therefore I made a very small browser plugin to install on your mom’s browser to protect her from cartographic exploitation by a corporate entity."
osm  openstreetmaps  bookmarklet  mushonzer-aviv  2011  maps  mapping  google  opensource  googlemapmaker  cartography  citizencartography  via:savasavasava 
august 2013 by robertogreco
For Example
"This talk does have a point, though. Examples are lightweight and informal; they can often be made in a few minutes; they lack the ceremony of polished graphics or official tools. Yet examples are a powerful medium of communication that is capable of expressing big ideas with immediate impact. And Eyeo is a unique opportunity for me to talk directly to all of you that are doing amazing things with code, data and visualization. So, if I can accomplish one thing here, it should be to get you to share more examples. In short, to share my love of examples with you."
cartography  maps  visualization  eyeo  mapping  d3  d3.js  mikebostock  examples  jasondavies 
july 2013 by robertogreco
JAMES BRIDLE - LECTURE on Vimeo
"UK based artist James Bridle introduces a three day worksop at Fabrica entitled "Balloon Infrastructures". The history of balloon flight goes back almost 2000 years, manned flight over 200 - and as a weapon, to 1849: from Treviso. James Bridle explains the principles of grassroots mapping and balloon photography, and explores the possibilities of balloons as playful and political platforms for cartography, aerial photography, surveillance and infrastructure; their relationship to drones and satellites; and their potential as architecture."
2013  fabrica  balloons  jamesbridle  surveillance  technology  architecture  aerialphotography  photography  drones  satellites  kites  mapping  grassrootsmapping  balloonphotography  infrastructure  cartography  video  projectideas 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Atlas of the Conflict
"The Atlas of the Conflict maps the processes and mechanisms behind the shaping of Israel-Palestine over the past 100 years. Over 500 maps and diagrams provide a detailed territorial analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, explored through themes such as borders, settlements, land ownership, archaeological and cultural heritage sites, control of natural resources, landscaping, wars and treaties.

A lexicon, drawing on many different information sources, provides a commentary on the conflict from various perspectives. As a whole, the book offers insights not only into the specific situation of Israel-Palestine, but also into the phenomenon of spatial planning used as a political instrument."

[See also: http://www.atlasoftheconflict.com/Images.html and
http://we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2011/01/atlas-of-the-conflict-israelpa.php#.Udib-Bpul-Q ]
via:jenlowe  books  israel  palestine  conflict  wars  borders  border  2011  maps  mapping  cartography  atlases 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Map Stack by Stamen
"You can use it to combine custom cartography, colors, and satellite images into custom, easily modified maps.

We provide access to different parts of the map stack, like backgrounds, roads, labels, and satellite imagery. These can be modified using straightforward controls to change things like color, opacity, and brightness. So within a few minutes you can have a map of anywhere in the world with dark green parks and blue buildings. You can get very precise with image overlays and layer effects, using layers as cut-out masks for other layers. Or just make a regular-looking map in the colors you want.

The idea is to make it radically simpler for people to design their own maps, without having to know any code, install any software, or even do any typing.

When you’re done, save out an image of your map to Pinterest or Tumblr. You can take a look at a gallery of recent images that people have made to get ideas for your own projects."
maps  mapping  stamen  stamendesign  color  cartography  mapstack 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Welcome to MAP-it | MAP-it
"MAP-it is a tool for participatory cartography and conversation. It's a low-tech mapping tool that allows you to debrief past projects, manage current ones and plan future activities. It´s a hands-on tool, an open and extendible set of icons that allows participants to make their thoughts explicit in a visual way, in the form of a map. The visual character of mapping allows participants from different backgrounds to discuss projects on equal grounds. Moreover, the mapping´s structure encourages to not only share positive experiences, but also leads to critique and debate. Communication is opened up and details come to surface using the various MAP-it elements."
mapping  projectmanagement  documentation  cartography  maps  communication  conversation  discussion  visualization 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Nat Case – One warm line
"But the world itself is not linear. Life stretches out around us, unrelievedly three-dimensional, and our pathways through it are neither straight nor simple. Robert Frost’s two paths were not his only choices. He could have ducked off the path altogether, ignoring the ‘No Trespassing’ signs in the Vermont woods. What is more, the line of our life is full of little loops — from home to work and back, upstairs and downstairs again, tossing back and forth in our beds. We fairly hum with movements that don’t go anywhere except back to where we just were.

If so, how do we do that, while knowing that there is no forward inherent in the world except for the direction we happen to be facing? How do we inhabit this intractably complex, three-dimensional world, even as we trace the line of our lives across its two-dimensional surfaces?

Me? I do fieldwork."



"On a smaller scale, the work of collecting and documenting specimens, getting bearings and creating detailed maps, even the day-to-day discipline of cooking, cleaning, eating, and generally making camp, was work that required concentration and care. The evidence from their [Lewis and Clark's] journals suggests that the work was often difficult, but that discipline, and the work of detailed note-taking, were assiduously maintained throughout.

We view the narrative arc of the entire two-year expedition as its great achievement, as did the American public of the time. But in life, this arc is made up of smaller accomplishments, smaller arcs. And this is how most human accomplishment progresses, in small arcs. "



"How can we not fall in love with the land we pay close attention to? My job, like Dike’s, is not to tell the world about my love. It is to give people tools to find their way, to make unfamiliar places navigable. When someone no longer needs my map, because the place has become familiar, my work has succeeded.

How do we make the moving trajectory of our self join with that beloved life all about us? What if we just stop every so often, like Dike out on his treeless, billowing prairie? What if, instead of measuring out the land for others, we take a handful for ourselves? I imagine the artist Albrecht Dürer finishing his watercolour The Great Piece of Turf (1503), a random section of lawn, his attention moving slowly back and forth, studying every visible detail of every leaf. He must have owned that piece of earth in a way few of us ever do. It must have owned him, so he could see pieces of that patch of meadow in his sleep.

This is what I want, to own and to be owned so thoroughly by even a tiny scrap of this earth. That is how I can be not just a line, but part of that three-dimensional world my one warm line passes through."
design  geography  maps  rituals  mapping  linearity  life  direction  cartography  2013  belonging  ownership  place  meaning  meaningmaking  orientation  attention  linear  ritual 
april 2013 by robertogreco
NYPL Map Warper: Home
"he NYPL Map Warper is a tool for digitally aligning ("rectifying") historical maps from the NYPL's collections to match today's precise maps. Visitors can browse already rectified maps or assist the NYPL by aligning a map. Play the video above to tour the site and learn how to rectify a map yourself.

Everyone is welcome to participate!"
history  maps  nypl  crowdsourcing  mapping  mapwarper  via:kissane  cartography 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Space and Culture › Moving across landscapes (and one ocean)
"At Tesugen, Peter Lindberg takes a close look at Bruce Chatwin’s beautiful novel*, The Songlines. One of my favourite exchanges is this:

Certain phrases, certain combinations of musical notes, are thought to describe the action of the Ancestor’s feet. Once phrase would say, ’salt-pan’; another ‘creek-bed’, ’spinifex,’ ’sandhill,’ ‘mulga scrub,’ ‘rockface’ and so forth. An expert songman, by listening to their order of succession, would count how many times his hero crossed a river, or scaled a ridge–and be able to calculate where, and how far along a songline he was.

“So a musical phrase,” I said, “is a map reference?”

“Music,” said Arkady, “is a memory bank for finding ones’ way about the world.”

Hear hear!"
annegalloway  2004  brucechatwin  memory  maps  mapping  wayfinding  thesonglines  music  language  words  cartography  mapmaking  place  psychology  psychogeography  landscape 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Tina Richardson: Schizocartography
"Schizocartography is a form of urban critique that studies the aesthetic and psychological response that individuals have to the built environment.

Developed by Tina Richardson - based at the University of Leeds - it encourages individuals to question, and respond to, the outside spaces in which they work and live.

Schizocartography reveals the ideological contradictions that appear in urban space, while simultaneously enabling creative expression for those who inhabit it."

"What is Schizocartography?

I have developed schizocartography from the psychoanalyst Félix Guattari’s term “schizoanalytic cartography”. Schizocartography enables alternative existential modes for individuals in order to challenge dominant representations and power structures. This provides an opportunity for multiple ways of operating in space and reading the environment; it critiques the conventional ways of viewing, interpreting and mapping space. While the term “schizoanalysis” is derived from “schizophrenia”, it does not promote mental illness; rather, “schizo” is used as a way of offering up the possibility of multiple voices, and alternative world-views, amongst other factors.

This is my definition of ‘schizocartography’:

Schizocartography offers a method of cartography that questions dominant power structures and at the same time enables subjective voices to appear from underlying postmodern topography. It is both the process and output of a psychogeography of particular spaces that have been co-opted by various domineering operations, routines or procedures. It attempts to reveal the aesthetic and ideological contradictions that appear in urban space while simultaneously reclaiming the subjectivity of individuals by enabling new modes of creative expression. Schizocartography challenges anti-production, the homogenizing character of overriding forms that work towards silencing heterogeneous voices."
psychogeography  schizocartography  cartography  urban  urbanism  place  builtenvironment  via:selinjessa  tinarichardson  power  powerstructures  multiplicity  ant-production  theory  geography  félixguattari 
march 2013 by robertogreco
a brief history of participation
"These activities were not always congenial to the program of government reform towards democratization. Many of them used participatory methods instead to net poor peoples into networks of debt and reliance on hierarchical authorities.

The reasons for the failures of participatory technology are actually quite specific.

Participation was appropriated during the 1970s as a means of cheap development without commitment of resources from above. The theme of participatory ownership of the city, pioneered in discussions about urban planning in the West, remained strong in the context of the developing world, and even grew in a context of spiraling urbanization. In India, the Philippines, and much of Africa and Latin America, postwar economies pushed peasants off of the land into cities, where the poor availability of housing required the poor to squat on land and build their own homes out of cheap building materials. At first, the governments of these towns collaborated with the World Bank to take out loans to provide expensive, high-rise public housing units. But increasingly, the World Bank drew upon the advice of western advocates of squatter settlements, who saw in western squats the potential benefits of self-governance without interference from the state. In the hands of the World Bank, this theory of self-directed, self-built, self-governed housing projects became a justification for defunding public housing. From 1972 forward, World Bank reports commended squatters for their ingenuity and resourcefulness and recommended giving squatters titles to their properties, which would allow them to raise credit and participate in the economy as consumers and borrowers.

Participatory mechanisms installed by the Indian government to deal with water tanks after nationalization depend on principles of accountability at the local level that were invented under colonial rule. They install the duty of the locality to take care of people without necessarily providing the means with which to do so.

We need developers who can learn from the history of futility, and historians who have the courage to constructively encourage a more informed kind of development. "
peertopeer  web2.0  joguldi  2013  conviviality  participation  participatory  government  centralization  centralizedgovernment  self-rule  history  1960s  democracy  democratization  reform  networks  mutualaid  peterkropotkin  politics  activism  banks  banking  patrickgeddes  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  planning  self-governance  worldbank  dudleyseers  gandhi  robertchambers  neelamukherjee  india  thailand  philippines  gis  geography  latinamerica  1970s  squatters  economics  development  africa  cities  resources  mapmaking  cartography  maps  mapping  googlemaps  openstreetmap  osm  ushahidi  crowdsourcing  infrastructure 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Making Psychogeography Maps | Making Maps: DIY Cartography
"During the week of June 15-19 (2009) five intrepid Ohio students and myself engaged in improvisational psychogeography, culminating in the map opening this post. A printable 11″ x 17″ (300dpi 1.4mb) PDF of the map is here [http://mappingweirdstuff.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/owjl-finalmap2.pdf ]."
derive  dérive  maps  mapping  psychogeography  situationist  mapmaking  cartography 
march 2013 by robertogreco
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