shannon_mattern + mapping   774

PLATFORM: Building a Multivocal Spatial History: Scalar and the Bodies and Structures Project (Part 1)
In 2017, we set out to create an environment for doing multivocal spatial historical research on East Asia. We knew the environment needed to be digital. But we didn’t know which digital. Platforms for publishing born-digital spatial historical research proliferate. Esri Story Maps and Google’s MyMaps offer a straightforward method of annotating points on a map to tell a story or illuminate hidden histories. ArcGIS offers (for the initiated) a method of spatializing multiple types of data and producing multi-layered maps. Digital databases and repositories, such as the China Historical GIS project, allow researchers to trace changes in geographic knowledge and practice over time. None, however, offers a way of de-centering cartographic space. Each plots data atop a cartographic map, eliding the historical conditions of empire, capitalism, and Enlightenment epistemology that enabled the map to claim to represent spatial reality in the first place.

We knew from our reading of critical human geography and spatial histories of empire that our environment needed to be multivocal. Space, as Doreen Massey so elegantly put it, is most productively (and historically) conceived of as a “simultaneity of stories so far.”[1] The cartographic map was certainly part of these stories. But it was only one element of the spatial frameworks that shaped and were shaped by people’s experiences, representations, and actions. How would we represent the place and movement of people who encountered space differently depending on how spatial structures and physical infrastructures constituted them (e.g., racializing, gendering, disable-izing practices)? How would we incorporate spatial sensibilities that oriented from the body or the encounter of multiple temporalities in the same locale? And how could we tell spatial stories and make spatial arguments in ways that weren’t constrained by the imperatives of linear narrative development, that explicitly reflected on questions of authorial and reader choices?
cartography  mapping  multimodal_scholarship 
10 days ago by shannon_mattern
Spatial Reserves
The book aims to help GIS users, instructors and others develop their skills in finding,using and applying spatial data to solve problems. It also highlights some of the issues GIS practitioners are likely to encounter working with spatial data, including format, pricing, copyright, cloud computing and more.

The book also provides context for the development of the numerous data portals we see today in terms of the organizations that collect and provide access to data, and the policies that govern data use. Each chapter in this book discusses the major issues associated with public domain spatial data by presenting both sides of the debate, helping you appreciate the complexity of these issues and their relevance in your everyday work with GIS. This information will help users in all areas of the GIS community become critical users of data – mindful of provenance, quality, and appropriate use. /

The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data was written to provide GIS practitioners and instructors with the essential skills to find, acquire, format, and analyze public domain spatial data. Some of the themes discussed in the book include open data access and spatial law, the importance of metadata, the fee vs. free debate, data and national security, the efficacy of spatial data infrastructures, the impact of cloud computing and the emergence of the GIS-as-a-Service (GaaS) business model. Recent technological innovations have radically altered how both data users and data providers work with spatial information to help address a diverse range of social, economic and environmental issues.
GIS  public_data  data_sets  data_analysis  cartography  mapping 
24 days ago by shannon_mattern
Truth & Beauty - Beyond heatmaps — Data visualization for a warming planet
In "Beyond heatmaps — Data visualization for a warming planet", a block course in the Digital Media program at HfK Bremen, we investigated how to make global warming sensually accessible through data visualization — and thus, hopefully, more graspable.

The students' projects ranged from static information graphics, screen-based interactive data visualizations to sonification, data sculptures and other non-standard forms of data expression.
mapping  cartography  climate_change  data_visualization 
5 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Making of the Modern Map | Library of Congress Blog
Human beings have always sought to make sense of the world around them. Throughout history, advances in mapmaking have been closely associated with new developments in scientific and technical tools. The “groma,” or surveyor’s cross—a simple line-of-sight instrument used by ancient Roman land surveyors to plot straight property lines and mark out building foundations—led to the first roadmaps of the Roman Empire.

The magnetic compass, invented in China and perfected in medieval Italy, gave rise to portolan charts and, later, accurate terrestrial maps. Coastal charts drawn on animal skin, known as portolan charts, guided the first Mediterranean mariners. Christopher Columbus, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and Charles Lindbergh used maps to navigate by compass bearings.

The look of the modern map—with its lines of latitude and longitude—can be traced to the once-revolutionary concept of a spherical earth, introduced by early Greek scholars along with a series of new instruments for locating and predicting the positions of celestial bodies. In the second century, A.D., the Greco-Egyptian geographer and astronomer Claudius Ptolemy provided detailed instructions for mathematical mapmaking in “Geographia,” his treatise on cartography. He described the construction of map projections using latitude and longitude as the basic geographical frame of reference and the preparation of the first universal world map.

Tools such as the astrolabe and cross-staff, which measured the angles and elevation of the sun, moon and stars, date from classical antiquity. But it was not until seafarers ventured far beyond the Mediterranean Sea and the coast of Europe that new devices for measuring angles and distances between visible objects—such as octants, quadrants, sextants and later, chronometers—greatly improved map accuracy.
cartography  mapping  map_history 
5 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Can tracking people through phone-call data improve lives?
At least 20 mobile-phone companies have donated their proprietary information to such efforts, including operators in 100 countries that back an initiative called Big Data for Social Good, sponsored by the GSMA, an international mobile-phone association. Cash to support the studies has poured in from the UN, the World Bank, the US National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Bengtsson co-founded a non-profit organization in Stockholm called Flowminder that crunches massive call data sets with the aim of saving lives.

Yet as data-for-good projects gain traction, some researchers are asking whether they benefit society enough to outweigh their potential for misuse. That question is complicated to answer. Aid agencies are secretive about the details of their projects. The GSMA celebrates some data-for-good analyses as weapons against epidemics and disasters, but rarely points to peer-reviewed research to support the claims. And in the fields of public health, computer and social science, a decade of published call-record studies have yet to notably assist the communities they track.
mobile_phones  location_data  data_for_good  humanitarianism  mapping  big_data  privacy  global_health 
5 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
First You Make the Maps | Lapham’s Quarterly
From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, European powers sent voyagers to lands farther and farther away from the continent in an expansionist period we now call the Age of Exploration. These journeys were propelled by religious fervor and fierce colonial sentiment—and an overall desire for new trade routes. They would not have been possible without the rise of modern cartography. While geographically accurate maps had existed before, the Age of Exploration saw the emergence of a sustained tradition of topographic surveying. Maps were being made specifically to guide travelers. Technology progressed quickly through the centuries, helping explorers and traders find their way to new imperial outposts—at least sometimes. On other occasions, hiccups in cartographic reasoning led their users even farther astray.... Remarkable for their geographic accuracy, portolan, or portulan, charts are some of the earliest extant examples of maps designed specifically for sea navigation. Created by western Mediterranean chart makers and refined with feedback from the sailors who used them, portolanos earned their name due to their being primarily concerned with ports—they depict coastlines in detail with little interest in the geography of interior territories.
cartography  mapping  imperialism 
6 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Stalking the Smart City | Urban Omnibus
I followed the AI to places familiar to me from my life in the city and to places with which I was entirely unacquainted. Most days I commuted to “work,” whether uptown, downtown, or midtown; I surveyed various bars and restaurants in Brooklyn and Long Island City; I went to a doctor’s office, and even to the cemetery. Days ended at apartment complexes and row houses across the city. Each day was a different experience because I’d programmed the AI to forget what it had done the day before....

As estranged by the algorithm as we were, I felt a sense of intimacy distributed among all the people behind the data who must have had similar experiences in these same places.[3] Taking photos was an attempt to relocate the data in our shared serendipity.

AI is already us, but it is still something less than a “we.” We have an invaluable freedom to be unpredicted and unpredictable, to be a public, not a composite, and neither to be followed nor followers. We should not automate it away.
artificial_intelligence  mapping  psychogeography  derive  walking 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
mikmaw place names | Mi’kmaw Place Names
Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek: Mi’kmaw Place Names Digital Atlas and Web Site was created to raise awareness of the deep connection the Mi’kmaq have to the landscape of Eastern Canada they call Mi’kma’ki, the place of the Mi’kmaq. Mi’kmaw presence has been continuous for approximately 13,000 years B.P., and continues to the present day, as can be seen by the place names and archaeological information presented throughout this site. According to Bernie Francis, Mi’kmaw linguist and Elder,the Mi’kmaw verb infinitive, weji-sqalia’timk, is a concept deeply engrained within the Mi’kmaw language, a language that grew from within the ancient landscape of Mi’kma’ki. Weji-sqalia’timk expresses the Mi’kmaw understanding of the origin of its people as rooted in the landscape of Eastern North America. The “we exclusive” form, weji-sqalia’tiek, means “we sprouted from” much like a plant sprouts from the earth. The Mi’kmaq sprouted or emerged from this landscape and nowhere else; their cultural memory resides here…Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiekis about a dynamic inter-relationship between the Mi’kmaq and their ancestral landscape—a landscape integral to the cultural and spiritual psyche of the people and their language (Sable and Francis, 2012:17).
mapping  cartography  indigenous  place_names  naming 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Macrostrat is a platform for the aggregation and distribution of geological data relevant to the spatial and temporal distribution of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks as well as data extracted from them. It is linked to the GeoDeepDive digital library and machine reading system, and it aims to become a community resource for the addition, editing, and distribution of new stratigraphic, lithological, environmental, and economic data. Interactive applications built upon Macrostrat are designed for educational and research purposes.
geology  archives  mapping  cartography  stratigraphy 
10 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Discovering Lost Landscapes – The William Smith Geology Map – Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service
This summer, as part of the Lost Landscapes project, we are exhibiting a copy of the first geology map of Great Britain, produced in 1815 by William Smith. A private donor is kindly lending us his copy of this rare map for the Ice Age exhibition in the Art Gallery and Museum. We also have a giant print of the map in The Hive as part of the Origins of Us exhibition.

Known as “the map that changed the world”, the giant print forms the centre-piece of Origins of Us. This exhibition explores how we came to understand our human story. Set against the back drop of Darwin’s Origin of Species and the emergence of our understanding of the antiquity of the earth, the story of how 19th century scholars and collectors came to revelations about the age of the rocks, fossils and human-made artefacts around us, which spoke of distant aeons, is the story of how we understand what it means to be human....

During the course of his early work in Somerset coal mines he noticed that rock layers were always laid down in a predictable pattern, and that these layers could be found in the same pattern across great distances. He also noticed that the same fossils occurred in particular layers, and this helped to formulate his understanding of geology.

His geological map was the result of these years of work as a mineral surveyor. Though William Maclure had produced a geological map of the (then much smaller) USA six years previously, one only has to glimpse both maps to see the increased level of detail of Smith’s over such a large area. The map presented both the results of his widespread surveying and also his theory on stratigraphy that non-contiguous regions of Britain could have their strata matched through identification of similar fossil assemblages embedded in the rock. These convincingly suggest that he deserves the title of ‘The Father of English Geology’.
geology  cartography  mapping 
11 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
The World in Ten Blocks | Lost Time Media
With half its population born outside of Canada, Toronto is probably the world's most diverse city. The World in Ten Blocks is set in Bloorcourt, a stretch of Bloor Street in downtown Toronto where immigrant-owned small businesses are the heart and soul of the neighbourhood. At the core of this documentary are a dozen immigrant small business owners, whose stories reveal both the challenges and rewards of immigration and entrepreneurship.

The World in Ten Blocks situates these stories in a feature-length interactive web experience, presented in partnership with The Globe and Mail. It's an online walking tour of Bloorcourt where you can meet the participants and dive into the history of immigration in the neighbourhood going back a century. There is also a 34-minute film that brings the voices of the participants together in a collective telling of the immigration experience. While there is sadness and loss in these stories, the project is ultimately a celebration of these remarkable individuals and the unique city they call home.
interactive_documentary  mapping  urban_studies 
april 2019 by shannon_mattern
80s.NYC - street view of 1980s New York
ABOUT is a map-based full street view of 1980s New York City, organizing photographs from the New York City Municipal Archives’ Department of Finance Collection into an easy-to-browse glimpse of the streetscape 30 years ago.

During the mid-1980s, the City of New York photographed every property in the five boroughs. The project had a bureaucratic origin: the photos were used by the Department of Finance to estimate real property values for taxation purposes. Buildings as well as vacant lots were photographed because both are taxed. Because it was difficult to distinguish while shooting between taxable and tax-exempt buildings, like religious institutions or government offices, the photographers just shot everything. The result is a remarkable body of imagery – over 800,000 color 35mm photos in both negative and print formats....


The Finance Department recorded each 1980s print as one frame on Laser Video Disks (LVDs), using analog video capture. When the Archives obtained possession of the photo set, they extracted low-resolution TIFF files of each LVD frame. This site uses the low-res JPG thumbnails of these TIFFs.

The underlying photos of individual buildings represented by these thumbnails won’t win any prizes for technical merit. They’re small, grainy, washed out and often the buildings might be unrecognizable. Still, taken as a whole, the thumbnails paint a distinctive picture of New York City in the 1980s – in many places, recovering from near-bankruptcy in the prior decade which left hulks of burned-out buildings and garbage-strewn lots; in other places, hanging on to the grandeur and glory of the greatest city in the world.

The city-owned imagery is publicly viewable on the New York City Municipal Archives website but the viewing format is limited. The default organizing principle there is the city’s Borough-Block-Lot (BBL) numbering scheme, which alone or together with address searching, is useful for retrieving images of individual buildings. There is no map-based search like has. The street view-style presentation of also provides block and neighborhood context that’s missing from a building-by-building view.
urban_history  new_york  archives  photographs  urban_studies  mapping 
april 2019 by shannon_mattern
Invincible Cities
Since the early 1870's I have been documenting poor, minot·ity communities in the United St.ates by
photographing the bi.Jilt environment in New 'r'ork City, Chic.ago, Detroit, t~ew.ark, Los Angeles and sixteen
other cities. To date my project has resulted in si>: published books., exhibitions, contributions to
TV and film documentaries, and the building of an inter active v . .1ebsite. Each of these has been based on
my .assembled phob::,gr .aphic .at·chive now numbering about fourteen thous.and color slides, rr"lany of
which form time-I.apse viel)._1so f particular places going back a decade or longer.
The pt·o ject I to v. 1. ork on next proposes to use n-.y archive of images to create an inter active
1_•.. 11 ebsite: The Visual Enc1:,1cl,:,pedi.oaf the American Ghetto (VE). The model for VE is the Invincible Cities
website 1,\_1hicdho c•.Jments the cities of Camden, tt J . .and Richmond, CA, and which I have created v..iith
the support of the F c,rd F oundatic,n and is sponsored by Rutgers University in Camden. In addition I plan
to·e a book to .accompany and give permanence to the VE 1.-\Jeb:siteT. hrough the v.,eb:site and
t11::,okv isitors will be able to visualize hov .. 1g hettos change over time, understand the nature and
meaning of :social .and economic inequ.:ility in • America, and connect in an immediate and direct way
with these poor segregated urban communities.
The documentation presented in through the 1,1,1ebsite.a nd the book will be in scope. This will help
pinpoint .and highlight regional differences .and similarities between urban on the 'Nest coast and
the East c,:,ast as well as betl).Jeen the cities of the Midwest. For example, the diverse ways poverty
.and segreg.:ition is expressed in housing can be shov.m by comparing the small bung.:ilow:s c,f Con-.pton.,
California with the row houses of tforth Camden., New Jersey and the t,::,wers of the New 'r'ork City
Housing Authority in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
urban_studies  mapping  gentrification  poverty 
april 2019 by shannon_mattern
Why we should all spend more time looking at maps – Ben Freeland – Medium
For most North Americans, the southern hemisphere is a very remote concept — basically that place where Australia is. But in my case the southern hemisphere is where I went to bed at night. With the Cape of Good Hope at the head of my bed and my reading lamp situated off the east coast of Madagascar, I spent countless hours memorizing the contours of the east coast of Africa, with place names like Mogadishu, Mombasa, Zanzibar, and Maputo becoming as familiar as the names in the Toronto Blue Jays batting lineup. Above my head stretched the deep, wide Indian Ocean. The grand statement of India, adorned with the jewels of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and the Andaman Islands, were typically the last things I saw at night before I turned off the light.

By contrast, the desk where I did my homework was situated directly underneath East Asia. While it’s hard to say how much my future academic interest in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia was rooted in the fact that these countries stared directly over me as I did my homework as a child, it’s an uncanny parallel. By age 10 I knew what all of Japan’s main islands were and had memorized much of the geography of the Philippines and Indonesia. Java was long a place in my mind before it was synonymous with coffee, and when I started hearing news broadcasts about the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, I knew exactly where that was — and imagined all the protesters in Manila and elsewhere seething in the land that lurked directly above my head as I procrastinated on math homework.
globes  mapping  geography  epistemology  global_south 
march 2019 by shannon_mattern - Flow map visualization tool
This app can render a geographic flow map visualization from a spreadsheet published on Google Sheets.

It can be used to visualize numbers of movements of people or goods between pairs of geographic locations (Origin-Destination data).
supply_chain  mapping  teaching_technology 
february 2019 by shannon_mattern
Contested Memory, pt 2: Cartographies of Freedom — Monument Lab
When we try to make sense of the past, we turn to records, and yet records are not neutral. In a previous piece on historiographies of Haiti, Canada, and the U.S., I discussed how the histories that are documented in our archives and on our monuments reflect the politics of their creation; the fragments outside the narrative are actively absented. As late Martinican writer Aimé Césaire reminds us, absence itself is a revelation. In his epic poem, Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land), he observes that documentation is a value-laden process. He writes that, for colonized people, narratives of place and ways of knowing are not fully captured within colonial records...

Similarly, territories of black life are not readily reflected on the maps of states developed through black dispossession. Knowing this, scholars thinking through the framework of black geographies are advancing alternative ways of imagining space, rooted in the promise and project of collective liberation. As key black geographies theorist Katherine McKittrick notes, “the profoundly disturbing nowhere of black life, in fact, provides a template to imagine the production of space not through patriarchal and colonial project trappings… [but as] an outlook that is structured by, but not beholden to, crass positivist geographies."...

Late historian Stephanie Camp mined fragments in the archives to construct a spatial history of black freedom practices that were developed within the confines of antebellum plantation life.4 Drawing from postcolonial theorist Edward Said’s concept of rival geographies, Camp demonstrated how enslaved people manipulated their knowledges of plantation landscapes, cultivated through a lifetime of place-based bondage, toward the cause of freedom. Whether assisting freedom seekers by providing shelter or resources, coming together at the plantation’s edges for nighttime gatherings, or even temporarily fleeing, enslaved people utilized their spatial knowledge to disrupt and destabilize the efficacy of plantation order. This rival geography offered enslaved people “alternative ways of knowing and using plantation and southern space that conflicted with planters’ ideals and demands.”5
blackness  slavery  archives  erasure  geography  mapping 
february 2019 by shannon_mattern
2019 Fitch Colloquium | Record/Replay: On Data, Technology and Experimental Preservation Tickets, Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 9:30 AM | Eventbrite
Can digital technologies for capturing and reproducing reality deepen our understanding and enrich our experience of built heritage? Can these new technologies not only improve the daily practice of preservation but effectively inform a new paradigm of cultural heritage? The 2019 Fitch Colloquium will explore the future of Historic Preservation through the lens of experimental approaches to digital documentation, analysis, interpretation, archiving, sharing, visualization and re-materialization of data. The symposium will examine cutting-edge processes involving the development and application of digital tools to projects of all scales, including high-resolution 3D scanning, gaming, computer-based visual pattern recognition, blockchain encryption, behavioral geo-tracking or interactive projection mapping among others. Internationally recognized experts from a varied range of disciplines will unpack their work and speculate on the conceptual changes that might emerge in response to the current upheaval in technology. (4 videos)
preservation  cultural_heritage  digital  scanning  modeling  mapping 
february 2019 by shannon_mattern
London Knowledge (2018) – My Blog
London Knowledge is a prototype for a longer film that examines the generation of urban spatial knowledge. Its focus is an comparison of how London’s street map is memorised by humans with how it is understood by digital scanning techniques. Using a layering of ambient sound, interviews and digitally-generated visuals, the film compares and contrasts the London black cab drivers’ Knowledge with the prospect of a London conveyed through Lidar scanning technology, which will be used to ‘see’ the city by the self-driving cars of the future.
mapping  spatial_humanities  epistemology  cartography  lidar 
february 2019 by shannon_mattern
San Francisco scale model finally home after 77-year absence | Datebook
The San Francisco scale model finished in 1940 has been mostly hidden away ever since — until now.

The model is finally set to get the display it deserves on Jan. 25, when the wooden relief map will go into circulation at the San Francisco Public Library. The model includes every structure in every neighborhood, and to the neighborhoods it will go. The Main Library and all 27 branches, plus a temporary branch at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, will each get the portion that pertains to their area.

The installation is ongoing, with the first segments — Marina, Presidio, Golden Gate Valley, North Beach, Park, Main and SFMOMA — set up last week on saw horses and under Plexiglas. The exhibit will be on view through March 25.

If the San Francisco building you live in was here in 1938, you will be able to find it in your local library as a little carving packed in with the others on your block, detailed down to the shape and color of the house....

The completed model was displayed just once, intact, in the Light Court at City Hall. It cost $102,750 and its dedication in the registrar’s office was announced by a picture in The Chronicle in April 1940.

When World War II broke out, that space was suddenly in demand for the mobilization effort, and the model was disassembled and crated up.
models  mapping  san_francisco 
february 2019 by shannon_mattern
Mapping the Oceans | Lapham’s Quarterly
At the outset of the discovery of the seas, portolan charts recorded actual experiences at sea. These navigational aids provided mariners with compass direction and estimated the distance between coastal landmarks or harbors. Utterly novel for their time, portolans were the first charts to attempt to depict scale. Portolans created by fourteenth- and fifteenth-century explorers document Portuguese and Spanish discovery of Atlantic islands and the African coast and helped subsequent mariners retrace their steps. Accuracy of portolans was best over shorter distances, and they became less useful when navigators steered offshore...

Although the majority of medieval maps and nautical charts of the Age of Discovery did not include sea monsters, the ones that do reveal both a rise of general interest in marvels and wonders and a specific concern for maritime activities that took place at sea, including in far distant oceans. The more exotic creatures are often positioned on maps at the edge of the Earth, conveying a sense of mystery and danger and perhaps discouraging voyages in those areas.
mapping  cartographic_history  epistemology 
january 2019 by shannon_mattern
‘Businesses Will Not Be Able to Hide’: Spy Satellites May Give Edge From Above - The New York Times
All of this is being driven by a drop in the cost of building, launching and operating satellites. Today, a $3 million satellite that weighs less than 10 pounds can capture significantly sharper images than a $300 million, 900-pound satellite built in the late 1990s. That allows companies to put up dozens of devices, each of which can focus on a particular area of the globe or on a particular kind of data collection. As a result, more companies are sending more satellites into orbit, and these satellites are generating more data.

And recent advances in artificial intelligence allow machines to analyze this data with greater speed and accuracy. “The future is automation, with humans only looking at the very interesting stuff,” Mr. Crawford said.
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Orbital Insight does not operate its own satellites. Nor does SpaceKnow or Descartes Labs. The start-ups buy their data from a growing number of satellite operators, and they build the automated systems that analyze the data, pinpointing objects like cars, buildings, mines and oil tankers in high-resolution photos and other images.

Now, satellite operators are building similar systems, selling analysis as well as the raw data. The market topped $4.6 billion in 2017. By 2027, it will reach $11.4 billion, according to Euroconsult.

What began with satellite cameras is rapidly expanding to infrared sensors that detect heat; “hyperspectral” sensors that identify minerals, vegetation and other materials; and radar scanners that can build three-dimensional images of the landscape below. As it reconstructs the Guangdong economic index, SpaceKnow uses infrared imagery, which can help show activity around roughly 600 factories and other industrial sites in the province.
satellites  mapping  surveillance 
january 2019 by shannon_mattern
Literary Maps
I guess the most important fictional map is the Selenographia - map of the Moon. Simultaneously accurate map of the bumps and totally fanatical about what they are - Sea of Tranquility etc. Like all fiction - a car crash of reality and imagination
mapping  cartography 
january 2019 by shannon_mattern
Connecting with the Dots - Learning - Source: An OpenNews project
From a distance, it’s easy to forget the dots are people. That’s the dark lesson of the movie and also of course the war that wrecked all of Europe. But what does this have to do with journalism? After all, unlike the villain in this film, we are not amoral monsters. I’ll answer that by telling a story of my own. When the New York Times reported the Wikileaks war logs, it seemed like we finally had a chance to better map and quantify the massive sectarian cleansing that swept across Baghdad in the wake of US occupation....

Ultimately, I think the graphic produced by the Times did an excellent job of reminding readers about the human costs of the violence. By making the focus of the chart a single day of violence, we could cross-check the data and provide some context for where the worst violence occurred. It also served to anchor the swelling violence shown in the smaller annual charts below into a neighborhood context. In a similar vein, the Guardian produced their own visualization of the violence that humanized the data by profiling in detail the violence of a single day....

As data journalists, we often prefer the “20,000 foot view,” placing points on a map or trends on a chart. And so we often grapple with the problems such a perspective creates for us and our readers—and from a distance, it’s easy to forget the dots are people. If I lose sight of that while I am making the map, how can I expect my readers to see it in the final product?

All of this has made me wonder what other approaches people have used to anchor their graphics in empathy. I investigated a few techniques that data journalists have used to connect readers with the dots. These aren’t just specific to tragedies like war and disaster, they’re important for any datasets we are using to report data about from people or that affects people (i.e., pretty much every dataset)....

These graphics illustrate a common and successful technique for bringing the reader back down to earth by focusing on a smaller range of data. Scott Klein of ProPublica took inspiration from Sesame Street and declared that many of the best news applications contain both the near and the far. For instance, a look at school test scores should both show system-wide trends and let readers look at how their local schools are doing. Or, in the case of Baghdad’s dead, we focused on a single day to show the near of what years of violence looked like day after day.
mapping  data_visualization  scale  affect 
january 2019 by shannon_mattern
To Reduce Privacy Risks, the Census Plans to Report Less Accurate Data - The New York Times
When the Census Bureau gathered data in 2010, it made two promises. The form would be “quick and easy,” it said. And “your answers are protected by law.”

But mathematical breakthroughs, easy access to more powerful computing, and widespread availability of large and varied public data sets have made the bureau reconsider whether the protection it offers Americans is strong enough. To preserve confidentiality, the bureau’s directors have determined they need to adopt a “formal privacy” approach, one that adds uncertainty to census data before it is published and achieves privacy assurances that are provable mathematically.

The census has always added some uncertainty to its data, but a key innovation of this new framework, known as “differential privacy,” is a numerical value describing how much privacy loss a person will experience. It determines the amount of randomness — “noise” — that needs to be added to a data set before it is released, and sets up a balancing act between accuracy and privacy. Too much noise would mean the data would not be accurate enough to be useful — in redistricting, in enforcing the Voting Rights Act or in conducting academic research. But too little, and someone’s personal data could be revealed....

In November 2016, the bureau staged something of an attack on itself. Using only the summary tables with their eight billion numbers, Mr. Abowd formed a small team to try to generate a record for every American that would show the block where he or she lived, as well as his or her sex, age, race and ethnicity — a “reconstruction” of the person-level data.

Each statistic in a summary table leaks a little information, offering clues about, or rather constraints on, what respondents’ answers to the census could look like. Combining statistics from different aggregate tables at different levels of geography, we start to get a picture of the demographics of who is living where....

By this summer, Mr. Abowd and his team had completed their reconstruction for nearly every part of the country. When they matched their reconstructed data to the actual, confidential records — again comparing just block, sex, age, race and ethnicity — they found about 50 percent of people matched exactly. And for over 90 percent there was at most one mistake, typically a person’s age being missed by one or two years. (At smaller levels of geography, the census reports age in five-year buckets.)

This level of accuracy was alarming. Mr. Abowd and his peers say that their reconstruction, while still preliminary, is not a violation of Title 13. Instead it is seen as a red flag that their current disclosure limitation system is out of date....
census  statistics  mapping  privacy 
december 2018 by shannon_mattern
Black Womxn Temporal
An online protest statement against limited conceptions about what "The Future is..." that disincludes Black women, femmes, transwomen, and girls. The statement recognizes the plurality and quantum nature of the future(s) where Black womxn, femmes, and girls exist and are safe, loved, and valued. Considering the unique, intersectional temporal experiences of Black women and girls and the ways in which we are being actively erased from the objective, linear future, this text, sound, and image series is part of a nonlinear timescape/tapestry/temporal map/toolkit preparing us for the Black womanist, quantum future(s). It is an interactive, open access archive of the temporal technologies Black womxn and girls have developed to ensure our quantum future(s) and uncover our ancestral space-time configurations for survival in the present.
feminism  mapping  cartography  temporality  timelines 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
Visualizing Cities
An open platform for urban visualization projects

Visualization as a tool for analysis, exploration and communication has become a driving force in the task of unravelling the complex urban fabrics that form our cities. This platform tries to bring together an interdisciplinary community and establish an exchange of knowledge & ideas on urban visualization projects from around the globe.
mapping  data_visualization  urban_data  open_data 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
This Is Not an Atlas
Kollektiv orangotango was founded in 2008. Since then it has been constantly developing through a network of critical geographers, friends and activists who deal with questions regarding space, power and re­sistance. With our geographical activism, we seek to support processes and oppositional actors who instigate social change by prefiguring social alternatives. We conduct emancipatory educational work as well as con­crete political and artistic interventions. These are supposed to enforce reflections on and changes of social conditions. Through workshops, publications, mappings, excursions, and creative in­terventions within public space, we collectively learn how to read space and how to initiate emancipatory processes from below. By sticking to the traditions of activist research, we connect theoret­ical reflections and concrete actions.

So far we have engaged in the fields of right to the city, (urban) agriculture, critical pedagogy, alternative housing and solidarity economy, mostly in Europe and also in Latin America. But kollektiv orangotango also functions as a platform for dif­ferent actions. In the case of Not-an-Atlas, its publication was realized by kollektiv orangotango in cooperation with other activists and academics. That is the reason why it was named kollektiv orangotango+.
critical_cartography  mapping  cartography  counter_mapping 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
Mapping Segregation DC
Mapping Segregation in Washington DC reveals the profound impact of racially restricted housing on the nation’s capital. During the first half of the 20th century, restrictive deed covenants—which barred the conveyance of property to African Americans and sometimes other groups—largely controlled where DC residents lived. Real estate developers and white citizens groups used covenants to create and maintain racial barriers. Upheld by the courts, covenants assigned value to housing and to entire neighborhoods based on the race of their occupants, and made residential segregation the norm. Although eventually outlawed, covenants had a lasting imprint on the city. Their legacy was central to shaping DC's mid-century racial transformation; led to decades of disinvestment in areas where African Americans lived; and influenced residential patterns that persist today.
mapping  cartography  digital_humanities  segregation  redlining  race 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
About – Urban Complexity Lab
The Urban Complexity Lab hosts research projects related to the visualization of urban and cultural data. Especially concerning big data and smart cities, interface designers and visualization researchers develop a responsible approach towards data and study innovative methods of interactive visualization to make sense of complex datasets. Within University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FH Potsdam), the Urban Complexity Lab is a research space between the Department of Design and the Institute for Urban Futures. The lab is jointly directed by Boris Müller, professor for interaction design, and Marian Dörk, research professor for information visualization. The research lab is located in the main building on the FHP campus in Potsdam, where researchers and students of varying background especially interface design, information science, and cultural studies are coming together. We frequently invite practitioners and researchers to our public lecture series  information+visualization to speak about current issues and developments in data visualization.
data_visualization  smart_cities  digital_archives  digital_cultural_heritage  mapping 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
150 mapas de la desaparición forzada de personas en Colombia - Desaparición Forzada en Colombia
A crime so opaque, with so many conceptual and legal edges and so wrapped up in the "night and fog" invites to multiply the efforts of diffusion and sensitization that help to fight it. In general, maps are excellent tools to reveal and visualize complex events, so we take full advantage of these characteristics. That's why we usually map all existing sources and not limit ourselves to just one.

In addition, we wanted that anyone can know the magnitude of this crime against humanity in each of the municipalities of Colombia . Labeling each of the municipalities and victims of enforced disappearance can not be done on a single map (unless it is huge!). One of the ways to solve the problem is from the preparation of departmental maps , where you can identify each of its municipalities and people who have been victims of this crime. It is not easy to get in all departments, but we have not hesitated to sacrifice the composition and readability of some maps in order to appreciate the name of each municipality and the total of victims in it. That is the case, for example, of the maps of Antioquia , which is the department with the largest number of municipalities and also victims of enforced disappearance.

We are currently developing 7 maps of each department, although it is more than likely that we incorporate some more ...
mapping  atlas  erasure  disappearance 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
Data Feminism · MIT Press Open
This is a book that aspires to speak to multiple audiences. These include professionals such as data scientists, data journalists, visualization designers, and software developers, as well as activists and organizers who work with data. Additional audiences include students and scholars from a range of academic fields, including digital humanities, women's and gender studies, critical race studies, media studies, information science/studies, STS, HCI, and information visualization, among others. We also welcome your help in pointing out any places that may require additional explanation, or that may not be accessible to newcomers in those professions and fields.
data_science  epistemology  methodology  data_visualization  pedagogy  mapping  cartography  teaching 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
The Evolution of Silence (Version 1) – RR
The Evolution of Silence, Version 1 is a web-based map, which explores the impact of forty-one years of post-WWII nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site (a remote and highly-restricted area 80 miles north of Las Vegas, NV). The map focuses on Yucca Flat, an area within the Nevada Test Site, which is marked by hundreds of sinkhole craters caused by underground nuclear explosions.

As part of a series of explorations, the map presents a multivalent interpretation of the data of war and the dynamics of transformation. Layers to the project reveal disorienting views of the environment and of human involvement. The map visualizes the individual and accumulated location(s) of every nuclear detonation that occurred in Yucca Flat (828 total). The official data from the U.S. Department of Energy is connected to other kinds of data—my drawings, photos, videos, sounds, writings, etc. Fragments of satellite images (a grant from the DigitalGlobe Foundation) form a partially reconstructed aerial view of the valley floor, in which only the detonation sites are visualized. The viewer is able to break apart this composite image even further—by manually dragging the image tiles and actively rearranging and separating them from one another on screen. One is challenged through their own inquiry to make sense of the scale of violence that occurred and to conceptually reclaim this contested space through an experience of knowing. Bypassing government restrictions on the Nevada Test Site that limit its visual representation, the project allows anyone to engage aspects of this resilient landscape and to reflect on the toll of war.
mapping  nuclear_testing  multimodal_storytelling 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
Vox Borders - YouTube
Reporting from six borders around the world, Emmy-nominated journalist Johnny Harris investigates the human stories behind the lines on a map in a new series for
borders  mapping  cartography  geopolitics 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
Why New Yorkers Insisted On a "Worse" Subway Map - Cheddar Explains - YouTube
Simplified metro system maps have been adopted by cities around the world, but when New York City tried to follow suit the public pushback forced a reversal. We dive into why New Yorkers insisted on using a "worse" subway map instead of the one that was widely considered to be "perfectly" designed.
mapping  subways  transit  graphic_design 
november 2018 by shannon_mattern
Cartographies of Imagination - Superflux
Cartographies of Imagination is an essay about our project MAPLAB, where we develop cartographic imaginaries of Eindhoven with children. The project’s ambition is to show city planners, decision-makers and technologists, how our cities could be different if we consider children as key fellow citizens, rather then future citizens....

about three years ago, Eindhoven’s Mayor and City Council began to raise critical questions about what it means for a city to be “smart”. The city council’s policy framework published on 23 April 2015 speaks of a paradigm shift in its role – from deciding to facilitating, from control to trust, and from competition to cooperation. Meanwhile, at the invitation of alderwoman MaryAnn Schreurs, Het Nieuwe Instituut curated a critical cultural programme centred on the ideas of the participatory society and the smart city. Though two separate trajectories, the Council and the Institute began to articulate a vision of the city that would be “participatory”, implying the need for it to generate a constant and sustained dialogue with its citizens.
mapping  participatory_mapping  cognitive_mapping 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
Meghan Kelly Cartography
I'm a cartographer and PhD student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison! I'm interested in all things mapping related. I make maps, teach mapmaking, and think and rethink mapping practice. My dissertation explores the intersections of mapping and feminist theory. Broadly, I ask what can feminist cartographies look like? Thanks for stopping by!
mapping  cartography 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
Meghan Kelly on Twitter: "Hey #NACIS2018! If you're interested, my slides for "Feminist Icon Design" are posted here:"
Feminist mapmaking offers exciting and alternative avenues to explore data, map form, and cartographic process. But where do we even begin? My work aims to bring feminism to mapping practice through icon design, an accessible entry point for novice and experienced cartographers. I conducted mapping workshops at Maptime Amsterdam and UW—Madison where I introduced a feminist cartographic framework before asking participants to redesign Maki icons with this framework in mind. Here, I review the workshops, the feminist mapping framework, and the resulting feminist icon designs to demonstrate the value of feminist perspectives in icon design and cartography, more broadly.
feminist_data_visualization  feminist_cartography  mapping  icons 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
Redtimed — Ron Morrison
To understand the constantly disruptive present is to extend our fabulist arch back in time. Redtimed is a web-based interactive mapping project using redlining geographies taken from the 1938 Home Ownership Loan Corporation (HOLC) security maps as a lens to view contemporary tax lot and unit data in Upper Manhattan. This project is an ongoing experiment into the various visualities of "slow violence". Working from Rob Nixon's concept I am interested in the offerings of design and media making in visualizing "violence that is neither spectacular nor instantaneous but instead incremental, whose calamitous repercussions are postponed for years or decades or centuries."  By understanding the racial and spatial histories of policy in this way we become better able to understand longstanding connections between displacement, inequity, race, and space. You can view the entire map here. 
geography  mapping  cartography  race  racism  redlining 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
Research Notes from a Black Urbanist | Participatory Urbanisms
Started in 1936 by a mailman named Victor H. Green in Harlem, The Green Book began as a modest effort to list establishments that African-Americans could patronize in New York City. It soon grew to include numerous other cities in the U.S. and became an essential companion for black people traveling across the country during the violently segregated Jim Crow era. Green hacked the U.S. Postal Service network to gain detailed information about safe places where black people could commune, including hotels, restaurants, and individual homes, thereby appropriating an already existing system for a new function or use. Postal employees became intermediaries, collecting information from residents of the neighborhoods on their delivery routes. Because the information was provided by sources embedded in communities, the ability to review and evaluate spaces for their safety (and alter the guide accordingly) could be done relatively quickly.

In the 1949 edition of the Negro Motorist Green Book there were 3,706 total facilities listed. Of these, 1,643 of the facilities were travel accommodations including hotels, motels, and tourist homes. The remaining listings consisted of beauty parlors, nightclubs, and various other social sites. The 1959 edition listed 1,749 travel accommodations.[1] A possible reason for this increase was that in the post-war era, more and more African-Americans owned automobiles and were traveling long distances for leisure and tourism. Eventually, the Green Book covered all 50 states and parts of Bermuda, Mexico, and Canada. At its height, the Book’s circulation reached two million copies in 1962.[2] Since 1945, the publication had been supported by Standard Oil. The Book hosted printed advertisements for the oil company and was distributed at Esso gas stations across the country, until its final edition in 1964, following the passage of the Civil Rights Act. This partnership with Standard Oil indicates the complicated intersections of capitalism and race at the time.
mapping  cartography  books  race  racism  travel  digital_archives 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
Decoding Possibilities — Ron Morrison
Decoding Possibilities explores the dynamics between black feminist geographies and racialized space.  I am interested in how particular methods of rendering and conceptualizing racialized space obscures the messy entanglements of power, encounter, domination, and improvisation that constitutes what geographer Katherine McKittrick calls, "a black sense of place."  This experimental project meditates on redlining, as a popular narrative of post WWII economic segregation and a conceptual framework that is often engaged to explain contemporary patterns of poverty and racial segregation. This question considers black queer, trans, and feminist geographies alongside the 1935 HOLC maps to create a space of speculation on the contemporary impact of red-lining. "Decoding Possibilities," present maps that disrupt the racist view of the HOLC map and consider how black people created networks and infrastructure that both took advantage of the ways that red-lining enshrined economic and social devaluation of black neighborhoods. "Decoding Possibilties," also brings people off the page asking them to use our Racialized Space Reduction Lens (RSRL) to see beneath the map and spatialize their own memories, knowledge, experiences of these urban geographies. 
race  geography  segregation  mapping  cartography  invisibility  redlining 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
A cartography of consciousness – researchers map where subjective feelings are located in the body – Research Digest
“How do you feel?” is a simple and commonly asked question that belies the complex nature of our conscious experiences. The feelings and emotions we experience daily consist of bodily sensations, often accompanied by some kind of thought process, yet we still know very little about exactly how these different aspects relate to one another, or about how such experiences are organised in the brain.  

Now, reporting their results in PNAS, a team of researchers in Finland, led by neuroscientist Lauri Nummenmaa of the University of Turku, has produced detailed maps of what they call the “human feeling space”, showing how each of dozens of these subjective feelings is associated with a unique set of bodily sensations.

In 2014, Nummenmaa and his colleagues published bodily maps of emotions showing the distinct bodily sensations associated with six basic emotions, such as anger, fear, happiness and sadness, and seven complex emotional states, such as anxiety, love, pride, and shame. ...

The researchers then pooled these data to create “bodily sensation maps” for each of the core feelings (see image, above). For example, the participants localised the feeling of anger to the head, chest, and hands; feelings of hunger and thirst to the stomach and throat, respectively; and the feelings of ‘being conscious’, imagining, and remembering entirely to the head.

The maps showed that, despite the similarities, each core feeling was associated with a unique set of bodily sensations. For example, participants reported perceiving anger mostly in the head and hands, anxiety mostly in the chest; and sadness in the chest and head. Although similar feelings produced similar body maps, the intensity and precise distribution of bodily sensations associated with each was unique.
mapping  affect  data_visualization  emotion  psychology  embodiment 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
How mapmakers help indigenous people defend their lands
Maps are still used today by governments and large companies to stake a claim to lands and resources, often at the expense of indigenous populations, says Mac Chapin, an anthropologist and co-founder of the nonprofit Center for the Support of Native Lands. The group has been helping indigenous people map their territories since the 1980s. Indigenous groups have used those maps to seek protected status for their lands and to fight unwanted exploitation of their natural resources by oil, timber, and other companies.

One early project in the 1990s focused on the remote Darién region of Panama. Official maps of the area contained little detail—the persistent cloud cover and dense rainforest canopy were impenetrable to the satellite imagery and aerial photos that government cartographers used to make their maps. But to the three main indigenous groups in the region, Emberá, the Wounaan, and the Guna, the land was filled with landmarks... In collaboration with villagers and their leaders they carefully drew maps that included things of importance to their communities that wouldn’t typically appear on government maps, like hunting and fishing grounds, or places where firewood, fruit, or medicine were gathered. They often chose to leave out cemeteries and sacred sites, preferring to keep that knowledge within their communities. ...

Central America: The 2016 map reveals remarkable overlap between indigenous populations and the best-preserved forests and marine areas remaining in Central America, says Grethel Aguilar, director of the IUCN regional office in San Jose, Costa Rica. To Aguilar, that’s a clear sign that any strategy for preserving these natural environments must take indigenous groups into consideration. “If we do not work with indigenous people and protect their rights, it’s very unlikely the region will achieve its conservation targets,” she says....
mapping  cartography  indigenous 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
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....

These images are drawn from a huge database that Microsoft released to the public this year. The company’s computer engineers trained a neural network to analyze satellite imagery and then to trace the shapes of buildings across the country. Such information has been available before in some places, but this is the first comprehensive database covering the entire United States.

In some cases, we have augmented the data with information from state and local governments that have collected their own.
cartography  mapping  architecture  buildings  geography  development 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
Map of the Month: Displacement Alert Map 2.0 — CARTO Blog
Founded in 1974, the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development is a coalition of community groups that aims to ensure affordable and equitable housing and neighborhoods for all New Yorkers. Created using CARTO.js and pulling in open data from multiple sources, they hope the latest version of their Displacement Alert Map (DAP Map) will equip organizers, decision makers, and others with a tool to visualize, understand, and hopefully take action to fight housing displacement.
mapping  cartography  gentrification  housing 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
Qiu Zhijie: 'I plan to map the world' - CNN Style
For Beijing-based artist Qiu Zhijie, maps are a way to "organize chaos" -- sometimes logically and, in other instances, playfully. His creations are less about the physical geography of a space than the relationships of complex, often intangible subjects.
Over a period of months, Qiu will research topics such as fate, politics, religion and even mythical animals, meticulously positioning concepts in relation to one another using sketches and mind-mapping software. Elements of traditional maps, like roads, tunnels, railways, rivers and peaks, also feature, representing the connections between different ideas.
mapping  cartography  epistemology  china 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
The Newberry | Mapping Movement
American “Maps of movement” embrace all manner of cartography that enabled or illuminates the historical movements of human beings, goods, and other mappable phenomena across, around, and from the Americas. They are powerful tools for the studying the history of geographical mobility and routemaking as well as economic, social, cultural, intellectual, and political life. From sea charts used by maritime explorers to road maps used by motorists to visit national parks, maps of movement document the detail and pattern of routes; the pace and character of various modes of travel; the imprint of transportation and routes of travel on settlement and migratory patterns; the role of commercial marketing and civic boosterism in geographical movement; and the role mapping and geographical study have played in understanding the earth's surface. American maps of movement have both enabled mobility and shaped conceptions of American landscapes and their possibilities.
mapping  cartography  movement 
september 2018 by shannon_mattern
Indigenous Place Names and Cultural Property – The Map Room
I’ve mentioned Coming Home to Indigenous Place Names in Canada, a wall map of Canadian place names in indigenous languages, before. I’ve since received a review copy and have been able to examine it in some detail. One thing that struck me is the following statement, which appears on the map.

The place names in this map are the intellectual and cultural property of the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities on whose territories they are located. The names may not be mapped, copied, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the Nations, communities, and organizations who are their caretakers.
cartography  mapping  indigenous  intellectual_property  naming 
september 2018 by shannon_mattern
Maps are a serious fake news threat, and bots may be making them now
A new analysis of “viral maps” published in Cartography and Geographic Information Science examines the more than 500 maps that sprang from Silver’s original one, using Google’s Cloud Vision image analysis platform. The study also points out maps that were created with the pure purpose of misinforming. One egregious example, which claimed to represent an electoral map if only taxpayers voted, was simply a retitled map of something else entirely.
According to Anthony Robinson, an assistant professor of geography at Penn State University who conducted the study, maps are a particularly ripe format for spreading misinformation on the internet because we’re so used to trusting them as fact....

Where there’s misinformation, there’s usually bots involved. Robinson thinks that right now, maps like the one claiming to show what it might look like if only taxpayers voted are likely being disseminated and amplified using bots....

But it may be only a matter of time before bots begin to generate maps automatically. The technology exists: Robinson points to the increasing prevalence of auto-generated video called deepfakes...

While Robinson thinks media literacy is a laudable goal, he doesn’t believe it’s practical. Instead, he’s hoping to use machine learning image detection algorithms like those from Google Cloud Vision to trace the provenance of maps and how they spread online. Because algorithms have the capability to find both exact and partial images matches, they could potentially show users the lineage of a map’s journey through cyberspace.
mapping  cartography  misinformation  epistemology  bots 
september 2018 by shannon_mattern
The World's Newest, Most Gloriously Designed Maps - Atlas Obscura
Calling all map enthusiasts: the North American Cartographic Information Society will soon be releasing the 2018 Atlas of Design, its latest compendium of the world’s newest and best maps. Every two years since 2012, NACIS, a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes cartography, has released a new volume of maps, carefully selected from hundreds of entrants by a panel of judges. This year reveals a bumper crop of map-makers: NACIS received over 300 submissions for just 32 spots.

The entrants were judged by a panel of 12 and Lauren Tierney, who co-edited the Atlas of Design along with Alethea Steingisser and Caroline Rose, acknowledges a healthy divergence of views. “We don’t believe there’s any way to really be objective about something like this,” she says. “The judges were often in disagreement; almost every map was scored well by at least one judge and poorly by another. This disagreement was exactly our goal in bringing the panel together, because our aim was to ensure that the final selection was not dominated by one style or taste, but held something for everyone.”
mapping  cartography 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
Missing Maps
Each year, disasters around the world kill nearly 100,000 and affect or displace 200 million people. Many of the places where these disasters occur are literally 'missing' from any map and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people.
mapping  cartography  humanitarianism  disaster 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
Cartography Playground
This is the Cartography Playground, a simple and interactive website for explaining cartographic algorithms, problems and other matters.
It is aimed at students of cartography who want to refresh and deepen their knowledge.
mapping  cartography 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
The Political Path to GPS - The New Atlantis
The making of maps has often been shaped by political aspirations, military aims, and dreams of universal collaboration; and maps in turn shape our understanding of geography and political territory.... even explicitly navigational maps usually feature levels of political detail that are irrelevant to the purposes of the average traveler...

these borders have obscured countless other ways to visualize the world. GPS mapping has made possible a host of different types of map previously unavailable, and the aim of After the Map is to examine the tremendous shift in “geo-epistemology” that GPS has enabled. Rankin explains:

The term I use is geo-epistemology; what matters to me is not just what is known about the earth, but how it is known — and how it is used. Geo-epistemology is the difference between knowing your neighborhood through detailed stories, a pictorial guidebook, a map, aerial photographs, the coordinates of a GPS receiver, or simply walking around.... Above all it is about the importance — and the unavoidability — of tools: the goggles of geo-epistemology come in many styles, but they can never be removed....

Rankin’s case for innovative mapping is advanced mainly by these stellar images, which trace the reverse of the journey that painting once took from Color Field to Pointillism..... he describes the traditional image of the map: on a table in a war room, surrounded by figurative ministers and generals. “The power of these maps lies in their ability to act as a stand-in for the original landscape, so that decisions can be made from afar and any new lines drawn with the diplomat’s pen can be scaled up and projected back into the world.” What Rankin depicts is not the obsolescence of the map, per se, but rather its replacement by the coordinate within the map as the foremost tool for comprehending space:

Coordinates shift attention from the area to the point: a stable electronic grid makes it possible to aim missiles, drill for offshore oil, or conduct field research without any overarching awareness of a larger geographic region...

Most of the mapping innovations detailed here were designed explicitly for military use. As with countless creations, however, there is a vast difference between original purpose and later applications. ...

But the difference between maps for peace and maps for war seriously complicated twentieth-century cartography, which was motivated by two quite different ambitions. On the one hand was cartographic universalism — the hope to perfect a map of the whole globe, requiring the cooperation of the whole globe; on the other was the assignment of precise mathematical coordinates to exact spots on earth — very useful for bombing and artillery.

There are three principal sections to Rankin’s history, addressing first the collaborative effort to build the International Map of the World; second, the rise of cartographic grids; and third, the development of satellite navigation. In combination, the three brought us both the genuinely comprehensive map and the ability to locate precise spots upon it nearly instantly....

The first section also shows how the practical requirements of combat eventually undermined the ambitions of scientific universalism. The International Map of the World (IMW), a collaborative effort to devise exactly what the name suggests, achieved modest progress before the lofty aims of its backers were rerouted into the much more practical requirements of the Second World War....

The focus of Rankin’s second examination is one very particular use of maps: the bombardment grids developed in the First World War. These grids proved pivotal in pioneering a cartography of the point, disregarding all preexisting boundaries and turning “the entire western front into a flat, Euclidean gameboard subject only to the simple rules of plane geometry.”... Such grid systems became increasingly common in postwar civilian use as a means to simplify land boundaries and avoid constant surveying. Though eagerly taken up by national governments, grid systems, composed of abstract blocks with no relation to national boundaries, “actively subverted national territoriality at both a symbolic and a straightforwardly practical level.”...

The third section of Rankin’s book follows the path to GPS itself. Radionavigation systems, devised in the 1920s and 1930s for civilian use but finely honed during World War II, made possible the astonishing feat of location-finding that didn’t require a map at all. A fascinating variety of systems sprang up. Most involved using a ground transmitter to transmit Morse code signals.
navigation  GPS  GIS  mapping  cartography  internationalism 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
Summer 2018 | Provincetown Art Association and Museum
In this day of mapping, we start with what neurobiologist Antonio Damasio calls body maps— in brain and body and place, a snapshot of the moment. We can open these maps through memory and observation, and then bring ourselves, our mapping platform, into the world. We will start with our personal map libraries. Sketching and writing about the places that have shaped us throughout our lives. We assemble a geographic language from our biographies ranging from the minute to the panoramic. Prompted by drawing exercises in the studio, we will venture into the Province Lands with the dual purpose of following our personal maps and gathering observations and waypoints that are the geographic extent of the day.

The result will be a set of visual journal pages, drawn and written, unique to each of us as pilots to the routes that we have walked together on separate planes. We’ll mostly rely on our wits and our steps to make simple maps but a few smartphone apps might be used optionally.

Morning session: drawing and writing exercises in the studio — blind/controlled contour drawing to focus on observation, discussion of map concepts and forms (cartography, artists’ maps, conceptual mapping, navigation, time).

Afternoon session: Province Lands landscape walk using intuition, measurement and navigation methods, drawing and writing for sketchbook journal pages.
mapping  pedagogy  methodology  cartography  landscape 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
As Google Maps Renames Neighborhoods, Residents Fume - The New York Times
The swift rebranding of the roughly 170-year-old district is just one example of how Google Maps has now become the primary arbiter of place names. With decisions made by a few Google cartographers, the identity of a city, town or neighborhood can be reshaped, illustrating the outsize influence that Silicon Valley increasingly has in the real world.
mapping  cartography  real_estate  google 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
Indigenous Maps - Indigenous Mapping Workshop
At the Indigenous Mapping Workshop, we support geospatial capacity building that generates facilities, programs, and resources to promote Indigenous Peoples’ ability to collect, analyze, and visualize community-based geospatial information. The Indigenous Mapping Workshop and its strategic partners are dedicated to the development and advancement of culturally appropriate and inclusive geospatial technologies for Indigenous leadership, agencies, and communities to support Indigenous rights and interests.
mapping  cartography  indigenous 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
Who owns the space under cities? The attempt to map the earth beneath us | Cities | The Guardian
in most major cities, just as you can’t expect commercial planes to stop flying over your house through aerial highways, you also can’t prevent public transport routes being dug out underneath it. Outside Melbourne, Australia, for example, the government is currently preparing to bore underneath 260 properties – including more than 100 homes – to build a road tunnel. Homeowners received a letter explaining that their “sub-stratum” land was being sequestered – without compensation....

In London, a city with 150 years of trenching, digging and boring to its name, the chaos is reaching new depths. According to Newcastle University’s Global Urban Research Unit, more than 4,600 basements have been granted planning permission in the last decade – in just seven of London’s 32 boroughs.

The space under London is now getting so busy that the Ordnance Survey, Future Cities Catapult and the British Geological Survey have joined forces to create a new initiative called Project Iceberg, which will attempt to aggregate cities’ subterranean data. In London it will include transport tunnel information, geological records and maps of 1.5m km (0.9m miles) of underground utilities and four million kilometres of telecommunications lines....

Historically, the foundation of property law in the US and UK was enshrined in the Latin phrase “Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos” – which roughly translates as: “Whoever owns the soil, holds title up to the heavens and down to the depths of hell.”

Subterranean scholar Dr Marilu Melo of the University of Sydney explains that not all countries behave this way. In Mexico, for example, “property rights are effectively superficial, they do not extend volumetrically into the earth,” she says.

Even in places that have traditionally been ardent defenders of private property, however, once human beings took to the air and started tunnelling underground, the old heaven to hell ideal began to require caveats. In Australia, although pre-1891 land titles went “to the centre of the Earth”, those issued after 1891 extend down just 15 metres (49 feet). The new Melbourne tunnels will edge right up to this legal vertical limit....

The Ordnance Survey has suggested that £5.5bn ($7bn) is spent every year on exploratory excavation just to figure out what’s underground, and according to a 2013 Mayor of London report, £150m of damage is done every year to underground utilities because of a lack of information. Underground urban planning of an extension of a tube line, for instance, requires knowledge of where sewer and water systems, electricity and utility tunnels, bunkers, foundations, basements, cellars, vaults, passageways, archaeological remains, data centres, basements, and other transport tunnels are located. Most cities have a “dial before you dig” hotline because there is no central holding place for data about underground space.

Enter Project Iceberg. The goal is to serve as a framework for data on all of these underground elements, from which a comprehensive visualisation can be built. The resulting map would need to be an all-inclusive spatial database, but how volumetric cartography might look is not yet imagined. ...

both governments and criminals who wish to keep their underground infrastructure under wraps may find it difficult to do so in the coming age of volumetric transparency. ...

The US government has been trying to map the subsurface of the Earth from outer space, by measuring differences in the gravity field at the Earth’s surface. An Air Force project undertaken more than 20 years ago on a tunnel in Texas was able to capture “reasonably accurate readings of the tunnel’s size, shape, variable depth, and orientation”, as Chambliss told attendees of the recent annual American Association of Geographers conference in New Orleans.
mapping  cartography  subterranean  underground  property 
august 2018 by shannon_mattern
TMAP: Tactile Maps Automated Production - LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
How can someone without eyesight learn a city block or navigate a new neighborhood? In 2018, the LightHouse introduced TMAP: Tactile Maps Automated Production, offering on-demand tactile street maps.
mapping  cartography  tactility  disability 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Comparing US City Street Orientations - Geoff Boeing
n 1960, one hundred years after Emerson’s quote, Kevin Lynch published The Image of the City, his treatise on the legibility of urban patterns. How coherent is a city’s spatial organization? How do these patterns help or hinder urban navigation? I recently wrote about visualizing street orientations with Python and OSMnx. That is, how is a city’s street network oriented in terms of the streets’ compass bearings? How well does it adhere to a straightforward north-south-east-west layout? I wanted to revisit this by comparing 25 major US cities’ orientations (EDIT: by popular request, see also this follow-up comparing world cities):
mapping  cartography  orientation  geography 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Indigenous Geographies Overlap in This Colorful Online Map - Atlas Obscura
FOR CENTURIES, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND their traditional territories have been purposefully left off maps by colonizers as part of a sustained campaign to delegitimize their existence and land claims. Interactive mapping website Native Land does the opposite, by stripping out country and state borders in order to highlight the complex patchwork of historic and present-day Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages that stretch across the United States, Canada, and beyond.

Visitors to the site can enter a street address or ZIP code into the map’s search bar to discover whose traditional territory their home was built on. White House officials will discover that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is found on the overlapping traditional territories of the Pamunkey and Piscataway tribes. Tourists will learn that the Statue of Liberty was erected on Lenape land, and aspiring lawyers that Harvard was erected in a place first inhabited by the Wamponoag and Massachusett peoples.
mapping  cartography  indigenous 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Transnationalisms – Bodies, Borders, and Technology. Part 1. The exhibition – We Make Money Not Art
Italy set its borders as we know them today in 1861 when the country became officially united. Global warming, however, have recently caused these borders to shift. The rise in the average temperature have resulted in the slow melting of the Alpine glaciers that marked out the frontier between Italy and its neighbours. Rather than deciding on a precise redrawing of its national frontiers, the Italian government made the interesting decision of defining its Alpine borders as ‘movable’. They can shift depending on the location of the watershed and how it is affected by ice melt.

The project Italian Limes (limes is the latin word for ‘border’ or ‘boundary’) monitors the fluctuations of a section of the Alpine border in real time. A couple of years ago, the team installed a series of solar-powered devices on the melting ice sheet at the foot of Mt. Similaun, on the Austrian-Italian border. The measurement units tracked the change in the tridimensional geometry of the glacier.

The GPS sensors are linked by satellite to the pantograph in the exhibition space. The instrument graphically reproduce, hour by hour, the shift in the border prompted by the glacier’s movement and shrinkage on a local map. The shift in natural border and by extension the reality of climate disruption become visible to all.
borders  migration  mapping 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Allegorical Maps of Love, Courtship, and Matrimony – The Public Domain Review
As mapmakers began to get a better and better sense of the earth’s geography, some of the more playful amongst them, as well as some new to the art, turned their attentions to charting more ambiguous lands — creating maps that depicted ideas as places and the machinations of the mind and heart as a journey. While allegorical maps have been around for centuries, if not millennia, it wasn’t until the eighteenth and nineteenth century that the phenomenon really took off, with some of the most wonderful examples being those dedicated to charting the highs and lows of love, courtship, and marriage. This particular focus of the allegorical map can trace its origins to the Carte de tendre, conceived by Madeleine de Scudéry for inclusion in her novel Clélie (1654-61) and engraved by François Chauveau. Here one can travel, by following the river of Inclination, from the town of Nouvelle Amitié (New Friendship) in the south to the town of Tendre (Love) in the north — that is if one can avoid the various pitfalls and obstacles which line the route, including the strangely inviting Lac D’Indiference (Lake of Indifference).
mapping  cartography  affect  emotion 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Louise Drulhe
Author of the Critical Atlas of the Internet, Louise Drulhe (1990) works on picturing the shape of the Internet. Graduated from Ensad in Paris (École Nationale Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs), she develops a plastic and conceptual research on mapping the Internet and the blockchain. She believes that in order to understand online socio-political issues, we have to study the particular shape of the Internet. Louise Drulhe considers the spatialisation as a tool to understand the stakes involved. She develops her research on different medium from drawing to video making. The Two Webs Blockchain, an architecture of control
cartography  mapping  data_visualization  data_art 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Cartographers Without Borders
...the drone’s spatial resolution affords a degree of photographic detail that far outpaces that of satellite data. That is, Kowadad has sharper eyes than the Guyanese government—which means Fredericks can present real-time evidence to the state, at a higher quality than that to which it has access, when illegal loggers and miners hurdle over their concession boundaries and infringe upon Wapichan forest lands….

Mapping is a means to establish land claims on an ontological footing equal to the government’s. The drone, which resembles an exaggerated model airplane and was assembled via YouTube and Skype tutorials with the onsite help of the Oakland-based nonprofit Digital Democracy, is the latest tool to aid the efforts….

For the state, the forest is strategic. It is either to be conserved or exploited (but never lived in). Decisions must be made about the relative merits of biodiversity and resource extraction and tourism. Perhaps a forest is valuable to the state because it can be logged for timber. ...

Parcels must be divvied. And to align with the logic of private property, these decisions must be mapped. For communities residing in and around forests—who may be quite literally written out of the equation—the map simultaneously speaks and silences. The erasure of community by mapping is a reminder of the enterprise’s inherently sticky subjectivity. …

It is a small irony that the neoliberal hollowing of the state and its twin cults of individualism and privatization would pave the road for decentralized counter-cartographies….

Overlapping permits have led to a situation in which “130 percent of the total area of West Kalimantan is now covered by concessions for mining, palm oil, logging, and pulp and paper plantations,” according to a 2017 study by Indonesian scholar-activist Irendra “Radja” Radjawali and his colleagues….

“The government, the military, the companies—they all use maps,” he explained, speaking shortly after Fredericks back in Paris. “We have to counter-map. We have to use the very same technology to fight back.”…

in a case heard before the Constitutional Court of Indonesia—unrelated to the question of concession boundaries per se—drone orthophotos of West Kalimantan were accepted as supporting evidence of detrimental environmental effects of mining in the region. When the court ruled against the mining corporations in the case in question, environmental activists and civil society organizations celebrated it as having set a precedent for the evidentiary use of counter-maps in the legal system.

In Guyana, Fredericks contends that his central cause is the preservation of traditional knowledge. When we last spoke, he reflected on how it was the proliferation of cell phones among the young people in Shulinab Village that had originally motivated him to seek out ways “to use technology to our benefit”—that is, not as another vector of Western influence but as a means of upholding and elevating indigenous practices.

It’s a quiet little paradox, and one that suggests Amerindian and other indigenous cartographers are often fighting two battles at once: one on the legal front, in an effort to ensure community mapping techniques count as admissible evidence in court; the other epistemic, in which indigenous ontologies square off against Western (colonial) mapping practices.

The latter case is often fraught with compromise. Fixing borders cartographically, for example, may threaten to cement something traditionally conceptualized as fluid or shared. Take, for example, software developer Victor Temprano’s efforts to crowdsource and superimpose Native and First Nations’ territory on a map of North America at To settler eyes, the result is forceful and reorienting. But these territorial boundaries were often never written down as such. At risk of generalizing across diverse systems of indigenous land tenure: they were delineated orally or ecologically or seasonally or cyclically—or, in the case of communal ownership, they didn’t really exist at all.

Fixing borders can not only be misleading, but dangerous. The act of accepting a given state’s administrative units can in turn be co-opted by the state for further land-grabs.
cartography  mapping  drones  indigenous 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Discover Fascinating Vintage Maps From National Geographic's Archives
Now, for the first time, National Geographic has compiled a digital archive of its entire editorial cartography collection — every map ever published in the magazine since the first issue in October 1888.

The collection is brimming with more than 6,000 maps (and counting), and you’ll have a chance to see some of the highlights as the magazine’s cartographers explore the trove and share one of their favorite maps each day.
mapping  cartography  map_history 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up | TechCrunch
The coupling of high-resolution image data from car and satellite, plus a 3D point cloud, results in Apple now being able to produce full orthogonal reconstructions of city streets with textures in place. This is massively higher-resolution and easier to see, visually. And it’s synchronized with the “panoramic” images from the car, the satellite view and the raw data. These techniques are used in self-driving applications because they provide a really holistic view of what’s going on around the car. But the ortho view can do even more for human viewers of the data by allowing them to “see” through brush or tree cover that would normally obscure roads, buildings and addresses.

This is hugely important when it comes to the next step in Apple’s battle for supremely accurate and useful Maps: human editors.

Apple has had a team of tool builders working specifically on a toolkit that can be used by human editors to vet and parse data, street by street. The editor’s suite includes tools that allow human editors to assign specific geometries to flyover buildings (think Salesforce tower’s unique ridged dome) that allow them to be instantly recognizable. It lets editors look at real images of street signs shot by the car right next to 3D reconstructions of the scene and computer vision detection of the same signs, instantly recognizing them as accurate or not.

Another tool corrects addresses, letting an editor quickly move an address to the center of a building, determine whether they’re misplaced and shift them around. It also allows for access points to be set, making Apple Maps smarter about the “last 50 feet” of your journey. You’ve made it to the building, but what street is the entrance actually on? And how do you get into the driveway? With a couple of clicks, an editor can make that permanently visible.
mapping  apple  cartography  point_cloud  machine_vision 
july 2018 by shannon_mattern
Policing Is an Information Business | Urban Omnibus
Policing and urban planning have a lot in common. Both cops and planners’ ostensible goal is to make the city a more livable place, though this goal is constantly haunted by a question: Livable for whom? Both transform a public’s experience of a city, generally by imposing and enforcing rules and systems that change how people move through space. In the United States, public understanding of both professions is to some extent influenced by romanticized media narratives which heavily emphasize cities like Los Angeles and New York. Both sectors have a particularly heavy fetish for maps and data as mechanisms for understanding and shaping cities, a fetish that has intensified in the past few decades thanks to advances in technology.

Where the two professions diverge starkly is in matters of time and violence. Where urban planning might be considered a slower, bureaucratic, deliberative process, policing is expected to engage with and respond to city conditions and events in real time — or, increasingly, ahead of time. And unlike urban planners, cops are permitted to respond with firearms and Tasers.

That being said, planning is fully capable of enacting slower, more systemic acts of violence onto a city, and like policing, such violence can be enabled and plausibly denied by sufficiently complex data and maps. Where the urban planner has eminent domain and urban renewal, the police officer has crime hotspots and risk terrain modeling. Where a planner might control a city through highway design and traffic flows, a police department’s automated license plate readers or mobile cell site simulators render public movement into potential patterns of criminal behavior...

Of course, as tremendous instruments of power and violence, maps have been used by police (agents of the former, authorized to hold a monopoly on the latter) for decades. But in the 1990s, the emergence of desktop GIS software for and in police departments dramatically increased the data collection and storage capacities of that “information business.” The technology’s adoption coincided with the era of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and his avuncular lieutenant Jack Maple. This is where many histories tend to pinpoint the transformational moment for crime mapping: Bratton and Maple tracking turnstile jumpers in the New York City subway system, Maple outlining a four-point theory of policing management on a napkin at Elaine’s restaurant (“Accurate, timely intelligence; rapid deployment, effective tactics; relentless follow-up and assessment”), New York’s crime rate precipitously falling thanks to the data-driven innovations of CompStat....

The first CompStat maps were made with pins, paper, and transparent acetate. The NYPD technically didn’t have the budget to support their cost, so the New York City Police Foundation provided a $10,000 donation. Although the department would eventually switch to computerized maps, displayed on eight foot-by-eight foot screens in One Police Plaza, the image of police officers fumbling with pushpins and acetate film they could barely afford suggests a surprisingly scrappy origin story for a management strategy so often associated with precision and technical expertise — even if its own name is both vague and technically meaningless....

With the suspension of traditional legal oversight over surveillance, the NYPD Intelligence Bureau expanded the geography of threats to public disorder beyond the broken window and inside the perfectly-maintained façades of mosques, restaurants, and internet cafés in predominantly Muslim communities.

That geography fell primarily to the purview of the Demographics Unit, which employed a mix of street-level surveillance and undercover work with mapping and analysis of publicly available data.
predictive_policing  smart_cities  governance  urban_planning  policing  mapping 
june 2018 by shannon_mattern
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.
cartography  mapping  landscape  architecture  photography  presentation_images 
june 2018 by shannon_mattern
Google and Uber Race to Dominate the Future of Search: Maps | WIRED
Uber isn’t alone in its quest to turbo-charge maps: On your phone, the map app is the new search box. Uber, like a lot of companies, anticipates that mapping will become the way that people merge their digital and physical lives: a real-time search function for the world immediately around you. But that means maps are about to become a lot more sophisticated. “The level of detail and precision...are core to what we do,” says head of product Manik Gupta, who spent more than seven years working on Google Maps before he defected to Uber.

Search has always been partially about location: if Google knows you are in Indiana, you’ll get more meaningful results when you type “today’s weather” into your laptop. Traditionally, though, the physical and digital worlds have been divided. You use search when you need information, and a map when you need to get someplace....

In addition to its Google Maps app, Google powers many of the mapping interfaces other businesses are building. In May, Google rebranded this mapping business as Google Maps Platform. The revamp, the first since it launched the tools 13 years ago, lumps its 18 developer tools into just three categories, making them easier to understand, and introduced a clearer pricing structure. Google also began rolling out specialized sets of mapping features for specific industries like gaming and ride-sharing, where it began testing its ride-sharing offering with Lyft, in which it is an investor, last fall.
mapping  search 
june 2018 by shannon_mattern
Time OnLine
Time OnLine is a project by Daniel Rosenberg and the University of Oregon Libraries. The project explores a variety of timelines and other tools for visualizing history drawn from historical texts by presenting them in a new interactive digital format. The first of these was an interactive version of a game of historical facts designed by Samuel L. Clemens in the 1880s and produced and marketed in 1892.
temporality  timelines  mapping  cartography 
june 2018 by shannon_mattern
View and Download Nearly 60,000 Maps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) | Open Culture
Established by Congress in 1879, this august body has documented U.S. lands and waters for 125 years, gathering an incredible amount of detailed information as “the nation’s largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency.” Thanks to the Libre Map Project, the general public can view and download nearly 60,000 of those topographical maps, from all fifty states, and nearly every region within each of those states. See Colorado’s Pike National Forest and surrounding environs, at the top, for example, created from aerial photographs taken in 1950. Above, see a map of San Francisco, compiled in 1956, then revised in 1993 and further edited in 1996....

Browsing the archive can be a challenge, since the maps are catalogued by coordinates rather than place names, but you can enter the names of specific locations in the search field. Also, be advised, the maps “are best used with global positioning software,” the archive tells visitors. Nonetheless, you can click on the first download option for “Multi Page Processed TIFF” to pull up a huge, downloadable image. Enter the archive here and get to scouting.
USGS  geology  geography  mapping  cartography 
may 2018 by shannon_mattern
In the Map Room – blprnt – Medium
The students mark some of the locations with an X in a circle, indicating that these places are not safe. Right at the middle of the map, someone draws Jackson Park, and marks it with an X. “I have shed many a tear here,” they write beside it. While all of these places are being added to the map, a small group is drawing a key. The key tells us that the places on the map are outlined depending on who they feel safe (or unsafe) for. Male in green, female in red, gender neutral in purple. African Americans in brown, caucasians in pink, biracial in blue. Reading the map with the key, we can see that some places are specifically coded as safe for certain people. Jackson park, ringed in brown and pink and blue, seems to be unsafe for everyone....

May 15th, 1937. A Saturday, eight decades in the past. Another map is being drawn. With a straight edge, the map-maker marks out a kind of geometric jigsaw puzzle onto the city and then he fills each piece, one by one, with a color. Green, blue, yellow green. First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade. This rainbow-ed map of St. Louis is one of hundreds of similar maps of cities that are being made across the nation, in the wake of the Great Depression, with the support of The Home Owners Loan Corporation. The HOLC, recently born of the New Deal, has a remit to re-finance mortgages that are currently in default, in an effort to avoid foreclosure and thus to offer a lifeline to failing cities. Maps like the one being drawn are to act as guides to HORC officials, showing in which areas of the city they should offer support, and in which ones they shouldn’t....

Then Emily taps the iPad and projects the red-lining map from 1937 on top of the map they’ve made today. The students see their own neighbourhood as those map-makers saw it eighty years ago. It takes a few minutes for them to decipher the key, and then they find it: there is that same shape! Indeed, they realize, this red-lining map was still present in almost every map they’ve looked at. Sometimes its edges were faded a little bit, but there it was, again and again....

“The historical map that showed home loan ratings was very powerful because kids understand that the A neighborhoods are still filled with big beautiful houses — and white people,” said the teacher, Anne Cummings. “The D ratings I could identify as historically black neighborhoods and could speak to the fact that the one near my home was considered blight and claimed through eminent domain. There’s a Menards there now, that my family and others have boycotted.”...

The students also spent time comparing maps showing healthcare enrollment and asthma prevalence, once again overlaying this information on top of their own map to help find themselves and their daily lives in the data....

Map Room let the citizens of St. Louis see their city through the eyes of ninth graders, the homeless, bike commuters, city workers, activists and artists. It tried to move civic data from being a resource for urban planners and academics to being a exploratory medium for everyday citizens. It offered a hint as to what new kind of civic data space — to go alongside libraries and community centers- might look like.

As I’m writing this, there are teams in four other cities and towns who are working on Map Rooms of their own. New Orleans, Atlanta, Stroudsburg, New York’s Lower East Side. They’re gathering city data, designing curricula, connecting with community groups, and building spaces. They’re making their own perspective-changing machines, ready to empower their next generation of map-makers and urban re-visioners.
mapping  cartography  participatory_media  redlining  race 
may 2018 by shannon_mattern
GreenInfo Network | Information and Mapping in the Public Interest
GreenInfo Network is a non-profit organization that assists others in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related information technologies. We work as a consultant to the many groups and agencies who engage us.

GreenInfo works for 80-100 public interest clients annually, in California and the United States generally. Since our founding in 1996, GreenInfo Network has assisted over 1,000 public interest groups and agencies with mapping, data, analysis and other information technology projects. In addition to direct support of these groups, we also connect them into a network of relationships, fostering collaboration and sharing whenever possible. As a consulting organization, we work mostly on a fee for service basis - our outstanding staff is highly responsive and dedicated to meeting your needs.
mapping  cartography  GIS 
april 2018 by shannon_mattern
Driverless cars: mapping the trouble ahead
Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at

The first step in realising this potential, however, is the development of effective digital mapping technologies for self-driving cars. The cumbersome storage of data is just one of the technical issues that are occupying many of the brightest engineering minds in Silicon Valley. Without better 3D maps, the much-hyped self-driving car revolution will be much slower to materialise.
automation  self_driving  mapping  cartography  data  storage 
march 2018 by shannon_mattern
Topographic Mapping by Photogrammetric Methods (1947) : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
Portrays technical procedures employed by the Topographic Division of the U.S. Geological Survey in making standard topographic quadrangles, featuring the use of the multiplex method of mapping. Technical presentation for engineering students and other scientific personnel.
Produced by the U.S. Geological Survey.
cartography  mapping  cartographic_history  video 
february 2018 by shannon_mattern
About | Visualizing 19th-Century New York
Accompanying the 2014 Bard Graduate Center Visualizing 19th-Century New York exhibit is this digital publication that offers a spatial interface to the exhibit materials by placing objects, landmarks, and central themes on Matthew Dripps’ Map of the City of New York (1852). These spacial tags are connected to essays that explore objects and themes in the exhibition, like bird’s-eye city views and technical processes such as stereoscopic photography, as well as related historical topics, including the spectacle of Broadway or how oysters became a popular food among all classes of New Yorkers.

This digital publication includes two interactive microsites that further explore the evolving visual genres and technologies that were used at the time. “Behind the Scenes” examines the varying technical processes used to produce these popular products and the workers who made them. “Broadway and Ann” focuses on the key intersection where P. T. Barnum’s American Museum stood, along with other important urban attractions.
mapping  digital_humanities  labor  new_york  urban_history  print  print_culture  photography 
january 2018 by shannon_mattern
The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain | USGS I-map 2781
The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain (1:8,000,000 scale) is a product of the US Geological Survey in the I-map series (I-2781). This map was prepared in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Canada and the Mexican Consejo Recursos de Minerales.

This cartographic Tapestry is woven from a geologic map and a shaded relief image. This digital combination reveals the geologic history of North America through the interrelation of rock type, topography and time. Regional surface processes as well as continent-scale tectonic events are exposed in the three dimensions of space and the fourth dimension, geologic time. The large map shows the varying age of bedrock underlying North America, while four smaller maps show the distribution of four principal types of rock: sedimentary, volcanic, plutonic and metamorphic.
mapping  cartography  geology 
january 2018 by shannon_mattern
Google Maps’s Moat
Google is creating all of these buildings out of its aerial and satellite imagery...

At some point, Google realized that just as it uses shadings to convey densities of cities, it could also use shadings to convey densities of businesses. And it shipped these copper-colored shadings last year as part its Summer redesign, calling them “Areas of Interest”...

This suggests that Google took its buildings and crunched them against its places. In other words, Google appears to be creating these orange buildings by matching its building and place datasets together...

So Google seems to be creating AOIs out of its building and place data.5 But what’s most interesting is that Google’s building and place data are themselves extracted from other Google Maps features.

As we saw earlier, Google’s buildings are created out of the imagery it gathers for its Satellite View... And as we saw in “A Year of Google & Apple Maps”, Google has been using computer vision and machine learning to extract business names and locations from its Street View imagery...

So Google likely knows what’s inside all of the buildings it has extracted. And as Google gets closer and closer to capturing every building in the world, it’s likely that Google will start highlighting / lighting up buildings related to queries and search results.
Google  mapping  cartography  satellites  satellite_imagery  cognitive_mapping 
december 2017 by shannon_mattern
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