shannon_mattern + mapping   799

Towards Decolonial Futures: New Media, Digital Infrastructures, and Imagined Geographies of Palestine
What work do digital representations of Palestine and Palestinian land do for identifying fissures in settler-colonial structures? How can an attention to the materiality of digital infrastructures illustrate the ways the digital shapes, affects, and (dis)allows alternative Palestinian futures and relationality? How can a “postcolonial digital studies” framework emerge that distances itself from techno-determinism to critically understand subaltern subjects’ engagements with technology?
mapping  cartography  decolonization  navigation  infrastructrue 
18 days ago by shannon_mattern
What Happens to Google Maps When Tectonic Plates Move? - Issue 81: Maps - Nautilus
Consumer GPS units have a position uncertainty of several meters or more (represented by a circle in Google Maps). Less well known is that maps and satellite images are typically misaligned by a comparable amount. “It’s partly the GPS hardware that limits the accuracy, and part of it may also be the quality of the georeferencing,” Hudnut said.

For the most part, misalignments don’t represent real geologic changes, but occur because it’s tricky to plop an aerial or orbital image onto the latitude and longitude grid. The image has to be aligned with reference points established on the ground. For this purpose, NGS maintains a network of fixed GPS stations and, over the past two centuries, has sprinkled the land with survey marks—typically, metallic disks mounted on exposed bedrock, concrete piers, and other fixed structures. The photo below shows one near my house. But the process of ground-truthing a map is never perfect. Moreover, the survey-mark coordinates can be imprecise or downright wrong....

NGS and other agencies recheck survey marks only very infrequently, so what a stroke of luck that a community of hobbyists—geocachers—does so for fun. “One of the many things we no longer have money to do is send out people to make sure those marks are still there,” Smith said. “Geocachers, through this creation of a new recreation of going out and finding these marks, are sending in tons of reports. … It’s been helpful to us to keep the mark recoveries up to date.”

Errors also sneak in because the latitude and longitude grid (or “datum” is not god-given, but has to be pegged to a model of the planet’s shape. This is where plate tectonics can make itself felt....

NGS and its military opposite number worked together to align their respective datums, but the two systems have drifted apart since then, creating a mismatch between maps and GPS coordinates. Plate tectonics is one reason. WGS 84 is a global standard tied to no one plate. In essence, it is fixed to Earth’s deep interior. Geodesists seeking to disentangle latitude and longitude from the movements of any one particular plate assume that tectonic plates are like interlocking gears—when one moves, all do—and that, if you add up all their rotational rates, they should sum to zero. The effect of not tying coordinates to one plate is that surveyed positions, and the maps built upon them, change over time.
mapping  cartography  GPS  accuracy  geology 
18 days ago by shannon_mattern
Marco Ferrari (Studio Folder): Italian Limes: Mapping the Shifting Border across Alpine Glaciers on Vimeo
The border between Italy and its adjacent countries traverses snowfields and perennial ice sheets at high altitudes, mostly following the path of the Alpine watershed. Due to the global warming–induced shrinkage of the glaciers, a substantial shift of the watershed line has been detected in several places. Between 2014 and 2016, the project team of Studio Folder installed a network of custom-made, open-source sensors on a small section of the Austrian–Italian border on the Similaun glacier, to transmit in real time the position of the line. Marco Ferrari will talk about the genesis of the project and the fieldwork done in the Alps; he will also present the ongoing research on the history of Italian border surveys, along with a glimpse over other projects of Studio Folder that aim to develop a similar methodology of inquiry within the field of cartographic representation.
mapping  borders  cartography  climate_change 
23 days ago by shannon_mattern
»Remote Sensing« roams through the territories of the global sex trade moving us from orbit into women's lives from Eastern Europe to East Asia. As Biemann explores the lifeworlds of sex workers, she invents a feminist media topography, layering her video perspectives of sexual laborers and their personal data within remote satellite imagery of the earth. »Remote Sensing« exposes what it means to sense the world remotely and charts the ambivalences surrounding the media technologies used to track, monitor and sense women's bodies from a distance. Biemann navigates a unique path through critical dialogues on the global sex trade, feminist geography and media activism and her video will become a natural resource for anyone interested in these areas.
mapping  GIS  satellite_imagery  sex_word  feminist_geographies 
7 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Indigenous Mapping: Contemporary Debates, Methodologies, and Outcomes | Session Gallery | AAG Annual Meeting 2019
Long used as a tool for colonial dispossession, mapping has also been used by Indigenous peoples as a tool for reclaiming, reimagining, and renewing Indigenous connections to the land and water, and their traditional territories. Indigenous mapping—or mapping by, with, or for Indigenous peoples—can taken multiple forms.

(1) In political negotiations, traditional use and occupancy maps have been used as court evidence in land settlement claims in Canada (Tobias 2009). Counter-mapping initiatives by community groups and NGOS have challenged resource extraction projects affecting Indigenous territories, presented by government maps as terra nullius (Peluso 1995).

(2) In land-based restoration initiatives, Indigenous mapping has contributed to deeper historical ecology accounts that use archival information to guide contemporary restoration of Indigenous lands, and the renewal of traditional land management practices such as cultural burning (Middleton Manning 2008, Lightfoot et al. 2013); supported Indigenous-led planning and restoration efforts that support longstanding community values for sustainability and self-determination (Diver 2017); and enabled Indigenous communities in the Amazon to collect data linking subsistence use and carbon sequestration (Butt et al. 2015).

(3) In cultural resilience initiatives, Indigenous mapping has supported intergenerational knowledge transfer within communities of songs, stories, place names, in order to reconnect Indigenous peoples to the places where they come from and enable community protection of cultural sites (Hakopa 2011, Pierce & Louis 2008). In addition, Indigenous artists have created maps that sometimes depart from dominant cartographic traditions to reimagine places according to Indigenous community values—lifting up longstanding place connections, current Indigenous land use practices, Indigenous self-determination, and community aspirations for the future (e.g. Sletto 2009a, UW Art Museum).

This panel seeks to locate and connect Indigenous mappers, and those who are interested in the practice, to current debates, methodologies, and outcomes in Indigenous mapping. The panel recognizes that Indigenous mapping has been rightfully critiqued for unethical research practices that can endanger the very Indigenous communities that the research is intending to support (Johnson et al. 2006, Bryan 2009, Louis & Grossman 2009). Another area of concern includes challenges with transferring oral traditions and customary law to single, static, written accounts (Sletto 2009b). Indigenous mapping also raises distinct challenges that involve cultural appropriation, and the protection of Indigenous intellectual and cultural properties. Thus, discussions around following appropriate Indigenous research protocols governing collaborative research, representation, and data sharing (e.g. Pearce 2014, First Nations Principles of OCAP, IPinCH) are an important topic for the panel.
mapping  cartography  indigenous 
8 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
This Is Not an Atlas - A Documentary on Counter-Cartographies - YouTube
This documentary on counter-cartographies was shot during the release event of This Is Not an Atlas in Berlin and features Denis Wood, Philippe Rekazewic, Bureau d'etudes, Nermin ElSherif and the Anti-Eviction-Mapping-Project.
mapping  cartography  counter_mapping 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Getting “There” from the Ever-Changing “Here” - digitalSTS
Many familiar debates in STS, philosophy, and communication and information studies revolve around the relationship between formal rules, plans and instructions, and the situated actions performed in (or out of) accord with them. Of particular interest is the “gap” between formal instructions and the contingent production of such actions. A question that has long been debated is whether technological innovations can ever close that gap. This chapter will briefly review such debates, but it does not aim to resolve them. Instead, the aim is to examine how the gap is reconfigured when instructions and directions are conveyed through different media, with particular attention to digital devices such as hand-held or windshield mounted Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and applications. The chapter draws upon cases of navigation on foot or in automobiles performed with different navigational aids in familiar and unfamiliar environments. The discussion of these cases focuses on wayfinding trouble, including the experience of being lost, and also on the environmental resources (such as older means for getting directions, and legible infrastructures) for repairing a journey in the face of such trouble. The exercises suggest that the GPS does not eliminate or close the gap between directions and situated navigation, as it becomes a contingency for generating distinctive ways to get lost, even while it precludes other ways of getting lost.
maps  navigation  directions  cartography  mapping 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Remapping Collectivity for Opportunity - e-flux Architecture - e-flux
In recent decades, a series of opportunity map initiatives in the United States have sought to promote similar diffusions of resources to underserved areas of cities. Opportunity map projects have been developed, for instance, at the HAAS Institute at UC Berkeley, the Dorn Institute at USC, the Kirwan Institute at The Ohio State University, the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota Law School, and the Justice Map project.

All harness national census data together with local demographic data and surveys to chart neighborhoods that are least served, and to propose legislation, particularly for housing, that addresses the material, spatial, and social disparities of jobs, housing, and segregation.

The success of these opportunity maps may be, however, limited by their implementation. United States opportunity maps are largely researched and developed at university research centers to affect policy using a top-down model. The religious space and rites of theater of the Athenians brought the reality of social-spatial remapping to the individual level, providing ritualized sites, behavior, and intense shared experiences to allow Athenian farmers, sailors, and urban elites alike to see beyond their differences and to create new spaces and senses of the collective. The simple vernacular sermons, processions, and brotherhoods of Prato’s mendicants, displaced, for a short period, the culture of vindictive clanism and militarism, not just with opportunity, but also with an open sense of the collective. Medellín similarly spread nodes of dignity and revival across the city, mixing architectural and transit interventions by engaging women as well as men of all classes and professions, not only with the city structure and space, but also with a sense of collective based on dignity for all....

The challenge for contemporary opportunity mapping projects in the United States and elsewhere is to chart means for bringing its tools early and directly into the hands of those needing it most, relying not only on census reports and Big Data, but also on local input. Mapping is not only achieved through policy, but also through group experiences shared in urban theater, ritual, architecture, and public space. Sustainable opportunity may only be politically realizable by daring to engage that dangerous but essential component of urban life: a sense of the collective.
mapping  cartography 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Mapping local knowledge to regenerate lands in climate-changed times - From Poverty to Power
his photo story explores how indigenous Tharakan people from central Kenya are reviving their customary laws, natural sites, indigenous seeds and the life of their territory in climate-changed times. It tells the process of mapping their local knowledge to forge paths and build alliances in their struggle to protect their cultures and lands. This process was led by SALT and accompanied and documented by Gaia foundation.

From 30th September to 5th October 2019, this group with ancestral roots in Tharaka territory came together to document their knowledge using eco-cultural maps and calendars. First developed by Indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon over thirty years ago, these maps and calendars are ‘talking tools’. Making them through a collective process supports communities to discuss, debate and develop shared understandings of how their territories and governance systems functioned in the past, the cultural and ecological losses and challenges of the present, and a shared vision of the future....

The ancestral calendars, drawn by seed custodians, mainly women, reveal how the seasons cycled through Tharaka Territory in the past. Deconstructing the imposed Gregorian Calendar, brought to Africa during colonisation, the calendar depicts the four traditional seasons in the Tharakan year and reveals the changes in weather, constellations, ecosystems and human rhythms that took place in each. The ancestral calendar shows a predictable, regular cycle free from climactic extremes, such as long dry spells....

Having mapped their memory of their ancestral land, the group began the task of developing a shared picture of the present. This process enables communities to develop a comparative analysis with the past, identifying and debating positive and negative changes that have taken place. Elders discussed the devastating, intertwined erosion of culture and nature they have observed in their territory since colonisation and the neoliberal structural adjustment and globalisation that followed independence....

Having made a painful comparison between the past and present, the group gathered in Tharaka began the process of drawing a map and calendar of the future. The future map and calendar evoke aspirational visions that can help the community agree upon and distil the actions that will be necessary to revive their territories and traditions. They also affirm the steps the community has already been taking towards revival by revitalising indigenous seeds and foods, sacred natural sites rituals, songs, dances and traditional dress through community dialogues....

Tharaka’s future map depicts the restoration of sacred natural sites as a matter of urgency. The return of year-round rivers to the territory, reforestation and the migration of wildlife back into the territory from Meru National Park to the north are all revealed as community priorities. A revival of climate-critical ecosystems is anticipated, while roads, schools, health centres and other new features from the present map remain in the territory....

The community can use their finished maps and calendars as a basis for developing their ‘Life Path’, a longer journey, and for advocacy. These collective documents provide the factual basis for the community and their allies to press for recognition of their Indigenous rights, natural sites and territories, and the customary laws and governance systems that protect them....

Following in the footsteps of allies in Uganda and Kenya, community efforts to revive ecological knowledge, governance and ecosystems through dialogues, maps and calendars are beginning or underway in Benin, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Ethiopia and beyond.

These communities are being accompanied by Earth Jurisprudence (EJ) Practitioners – graduates of Gaia’s Trainings for Transformation. Their work combines community animation with collective efforts to secure greater recognition of customary governance systems for the protection of sacred natural sites and the territories of indigenous peoples, at regional and international levels....

Nderi and Salome’s presentation affirmed that the customary laws they are reviving stem from the Earth herself and that they must be respected under the African Charter’s call for African States to acknowledge Africa’s pluri-legal systems.
indigenous  mapping  cartography  temporality  timelines 
11 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Welcome to Bodies and Structures
Bodies and Structures is a platform for researching and teaching spatial histories of Japan, its empire, and the larger worlds of which they were a part. It begins from the premise that space and place are fundamental to humanistic inquiry, and unfolds to illuminate how we might write spatial histories that reveal the multiple topologies of historical experience rather than a chronology of spatial thought or territorial transformation.

Bodies and Structures is composed of two elements. The basic building blocks of the site are its independent modules, each of which uses primary sources to reveal particular historical instantiations of place and space. These modules are individually authored. The second layer of the site are its multiple conceptual maps, which reveal thematic, historical, and geographic connections across and between the modules. This second layer represents the collaborative curatorial and analytical effort of the site's contributors and editors.

Explore Bodies and Structures through one of four entry points: the list of modules, the tag index, the complete grid visualization, or the geotagged map. Or, begin with our overview essay, "What We're Doing," which introduces the project's conceptual and historiographical foundations, its key questions, and its structure.
mapping  deep_maps  space  multimodal_scholarship  digital_humanities 
november 2019 by shannon_mattern
Scented Cybercartography: Exploring Possibilities | Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization
Olfactory cartography is part of the emerging discipline of cybercartography (Taylor 2003), a transdisciplinary endeavour that investigates, among other things, the integration of multimedia, multi-sensory, and multimodal data into digital atlases and maps. The physiology and psychology of the olfactory system, its special characteristics, its influence on performance and memory, and some of the issues that make the study of olfaction difficult are addressed. Characterizing, classifying, and labelling scents is problematic, and it is recommended that methods from other communities of practice be adopted and adapted by cartographers. Literature from a wide range of disciplines, including olfactory geography, is reviewed, and a number of innovative ideas are provided. In addition, olfactory applications in different areas such as marketing, art installations, film, and virtual environments are described, as are a range of currently available olfactory diffusion devices. These, however, have not been explored in a cartographic context, nor have they undergone usability testing. We conclude that it is too early to provide cartographic guidelines and methods but that scented applications, odour diffusion technologies, and olfactory data collection methods provide knowledge that can be applied toward developing a scented cartography.
cartography  mapping  smell  sensation  olfactory 
october 2019 by shannon_mattern
About - I SEE YOU
The See project aims to bring social, cultural and representational equity to the built landscapes and public iconography of the city. It looks to contribute to global and local discourse by documenting and disseminating representative narratives of the lives of the people of Cape Town.
urban_studies  palimpsest  mapping  multimodal_scholarship 
october 2019 by shannon_mattern
View of Guerrilla Cartography: Promoting Diverse Perspectives and the Expansion of the Cartographic Arts | Cartographic Perspectives
Guerrilla Cartography is an organization that seeks to popularize thematic maps with a variety of styles and perspectives in an accessible and engaging format. Through our projects, we provide examples of diverse narrative viewpoints in map form, allowing readers to expand their ideas of what kinds of stories maps can tell and imagine the stylistic possibilities for visual expression in this medium. Among other activities, we publish crowdsourced atlases with the aim to widely promote the cartographic arts, and have thus far published Food: An Atlas (2013) and Water: An Atlas (2017). Because the maps are collected in published volumes, the atlases build legitimacy for marginal or atypical cartographic voices. We promote accessibility by publishing the atlases both as physical books and as free, downloadable PDF documents on our website: Each map, created by a different group on a different topic, is placed in relationship to other maps and information, inviting the reader to think critically about each map’s authorship, style, and content.
cartography  mapping  atlas 
september 2019 by shannon_mattern
View of “Mapping-with”: The Politics of (Counter-)classification in OpenStreetMap | Cartographic Perspectives
By unpacking the theoretical work of Donna Haraway, I also argue for a return to the critical potential of feminist science and technology studies within cartography, signposted by the ongoing work of feminist and queer geographers such as Pavlovskaya (2018), Giesking (2018), Leszczynski and Elwood (2015), and Kwan (2007)—not simply as a tool for a feminist critique, but a way of remaking worlds, rather than just remaking maps. That mapping has troubles is not a new argument: significant empirical research has been undertaken documenting and advancing our understanding of the technopositional (Wilson 2017), tacit (McHaffie 2002), institutionalised (Gekker 2016), and politicised (Thatcher and Imaoka 2018) practices undertaken by cartographers, educators, and geographic information scientists. Furthermore, that the politics of mappings are based in situated knowledges (Wilmott 2016), embodied (Lin 2006), vernacular (Gerlach 2015), and taken up in the everyday (Del Casino and Hanna 2005) is also well documented within cartographic research.
mapping  cartography  ontology  haraway  classification 
september 2019 by shannon_mattern
Understand customers' lifestyle choices, what they buy, and how they spend their free time. Tapestry gives you insights to help you identify your best customers, optimal sites, and underserved markets. As a result, you will get higher response rates, avoid less profitable areas, and invest your resources more wisely.
mapping  marketing  population 
september 2019 by shannon_mattern
Mapa Wiya Your Maps Not Needed Australian Aboriginal Art From The Fondation Opale - The Menil Collection
This fall, the Menil will present Mapa Wiya (Your Map’s Not Needed): Australian Aboriginal Art from the Fondation Opale. Meaning “no map” in the Pitjantjatjara language of the Central Australian desert region, the exhibition title is drawn from a recent drawing by artist Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams (1952–2019), the first showing of his work in an American art museum. His recuperation of official government maps and postal bags is a pointed response to the foreign cartographies of the country that Australian Aboriginal peoples embody.

Country is the foundation for the autonomous ways of the Aboriginal peoples. Vast deserts and rainforests with their distinctive rock formations and water holes, and other meaningful spaces, including the land on which cities have been built—these are the diverse terrains of their lives. They are places in which the laws and primordial creations of ancestors are always present, where painfully violent colonial histories are memorialized, and potential futures are reclaimed in song and dance. Knowing the land, moving through it, and living with its deeply embedded song lines animate the rich visual expression of Aboriginal artists.

Reflecting on the long history of art making and different ways of Aboriginal peoples, Mapa Wiya highlights work created after the 1950s and includes more than 100 contemporary paintings, shields, hollow log coffins (larrakitj or lorrkkon), and engraved mother of pearl (lonka lonka or riji) held by the Fondation Opale in Lens, Switzerland, one of the most significant collections of Aboriginal art. The exhibition showcases large, vibrant, and at times collaboratively-painted works by internationally-recognized artists such as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (1932–2002), Paddy Nyunkuny Bedford (1922–2007), Emily Kame Kngwarreye (ca. 1910–1996), Gulumbu Yunupingu (1945–2012), John Mawurndjul (b. 1952), and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri (b. 1950).
mapping  cartography  indigenous 
september 2019 by shannon_mattern
(Dis)location/Black Exodus and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project – The Abusable Past
The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project emerged in 2013 during the dawn of the current tech boom in San Francisco, largely in order to provide data and tools useful to on-the-ground anti-displacement organizing. While initially the volunteer-run collective imagined that it would only provide one or two maps of evictions so that direct action and policy groups could organize with better eviction data, the AEMP has since expanded in scope, method, and geography. For one, it launched an oral history and narrative chapter in 2014, attentive to the fact that eviction markers and choropleths (shaded geographical areas) on cartesian maps, as anti-eviction as they might be, still reduce complex life stories and neighborhood histories to “dots on a map” (Maharawal and McElroy 2018).
We also became aware of the implicit violence produced by only producing maps of loss. We began producing oral histories and video pieces, rendering not only experiences of loss, but also resistance. These grew multiple life forms and iterations, finding their way into mural work, our first zine, light projection work, community storytelling events, presentations, reports, and more. We also soon began working in Alameda County, mostly in Oakland, in collaboration with an array of community partners and accomplices, much as we had already been doing in San Francisco (Graziani and Shi forthcoming). Over the last year, we opened chapters in New York City and Los Angeles, also tethered to other grassroots networks and groups. 

We realized, however, that there was still more to tell beyond our current work. In particular, we became aware of the temporal myopia we were accidentally participating in by dehistoricizing the current moment of dispossession. We found this to be particularly true when thinking through the roles of race and coloniality in dispossession. For this reason, over the last couple of years, the Bay Area AEMP chapter has been underway in producing new work that contextualizes the history undergirding the present moment. Although we recognize the importance of maintaining a critique of the Tech Boom 2.0 and the dispossession it incites, it is important for us not to deracinate displacement from its historic roots (McElroy and Werth 2019; Ramírez 2019)....

In 2015 and 2016, we launched into the creation of two new narrative/textual works. The latter of these has transformed into an atlas, entitled Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area of Displacement and Resistance, which will come out with PM Press in 2020. With multiple AEMP editors and nearly 100 new visual pieces, maps, and narratives, the atlas is divided into seven interlinked chapters. The titles of these alone speak to how we have begun to theorize the thematics and temporalities of our mapping work: Evictions and Root Shock, Indigenous Geographies, Environmental Racism and Health, Gentrification and State Violence, Transportation and Infrastructure, Migration and Relocation, and Speculation and Speculative Futures...

The project takes the form of a print/online zine and public workshop series that uses arts-based methods to amplify the narratives and resistance of Bay Area communities facing displacement. Much like the origin story of our oral history project, (Dis)location was born out of an interest in humanizing data made visible by our quantitative maps. Committed to challenging traditional notions of where knowledge resides, the project collectivizes the archival process by foregrounding the voices of those often left out of the “official” historical record....

The zine begins with a question posed to the reader about relationships between (anti)Blackness and place, that we hope will shape readers’ engagement with topics of segregation, redevelopment and erasure, Black childhood, places of Black enjoyment and culture, and contestations over education, public housing, health, and environmental justice as they played out in the now ‘historically’ Black neighborhoods of San Francisco. Throughout the zine we use a thread motif to symbolize the interwoven nature of the individual stories and our work to thread them together and amplify the themes that emerged with historical research, photos, visual artwork, physical maps and creative cartographies.
mapping  cartography  eviction  multimodal_scholarship 
september 2019 by shannon_mattern
From Point A to Point B
Data do not simply represent reality; they are reflective of specific worldviews ingrained in their collection and usage, and conducive to imposing said worldviews to the world. Data are supposedly revelatory, but data also act as a force that shapes reality.

What does this mean in practice? To a data researcher, data that lack details can be frustrating. Data-based models are hungry for more data and granularity; when these latter are unavailable, data methodologies tend to fill in the blanks and estimate what is not measured by employing assumptions and proxies. While data are often associated with objectivity, in practice they involve imagination and interpretation as much as any field; creating fictitious versions of the unrepresented in-between space, while hoping that these work well enough for practical purposes.

The NYC Open Data platform provides data on the taxi and bicycle trips of New Yorkers. For technical and ethical reasons, these data sets contain only the starting and ending points of the trips, and not the in-between route; some data sets do not even provide GPS-based coordinates, but simply the areas in which the trip started and ended. From Point A to Point B attempts to fill in the space between the points through a combination of data methodology and poetic exploration, thereby imagining the experience of the travelers.
transportation  navigation  open_data  mapping  cartography 
august 2019 by shannon_mattern
PLATFORM: Mapping Ephemerality
et few have considered the cumulative impact of a large number of “temporary” interventions operating within the “permanent” infrastructure of the city.[2] What would it mean to describe, “map” as it were, the everyday and the contingent aspects of urban experience that involve multiple temporalities beyond the usual longer arc of urban studies?...

In 2018, a group of us launched a research project titled Mapping Ephemerality that brings together GIS mapping tools, architectural analysis, ethnography, and urban history to explain and visualize the relation between the ephemeral/temporary and the perennial/permanent aspects of city-making.[3] The first research investigation is a focused reading of an emergent set of spatial relations initiated by the festival of Durgapuja in Kolkata....

The short duration of this five-day event brings to the fore social relations and spatial affordances that might otherwise remain unnoticed, and generates new claims to space and recognition that would not be otherwise possible. This includes the capacity of a dense urban fabric to absorb the stress of road closure, infrastructural overload, and additional footfalls by stretching its existing infrastructure. Or it may be a lower-middle-class neighborhood claiming equivalence with its upper-class brethren through inventive design schemes made possible by the agency of clubs, celebrities, and political parties. ...

Last fall, along with thirteen research assistants from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, we documented the location, form, and access conditions of the pavilions across all 144 city wards using an ArcGIS platform with an app, Collector.[5] Each pandal was given a unique identification number and three types of data were collected for 1,983 pandals—location, emplacement, and access—using the three Collector features of points, areas, and lines.[6] A color-coded distinction was made among pandals on streets (in orange), green islands (in purple), parks (in green), and vacant lots (in blue). These were augmented with photographs and field notes, embedded in the Collector data. In addition, we conducted focused investigation of fourteen individual sites that involved interviews with people in the neighborhood, and measured drawings of the site showing plans, street edge conditions, and urban context....

The pandals, irrespective of size and elaboration, are products of a shared building practice attuned to the specificities of the urban locale. The vast majority of these pavilions are savvy interpretations of the surrounding buildings and sidewalk infrastructure. Bamboo poles are tied to columns and railings of adjacent buildings for structural stability; verandahs and stoops (ro’ak) become in-built platforms to house the deity; and the width, length and volume of the street set the parameters for the form of the pavilion (Figures 6 and 7). In this the pandals share morphological and temporal characteristics with the myriad ephemeral structures and “encroachments of the ordinary” that define urban public space in cities in much of the world: food carts, hawker stalls, billboards, street games, and gatherings....

helps us understand not simply the geography of the festival but also a whole set of allied relations that depend on canny recognition of the relation between the ephemeral/temporary and the perennial/permanent. The very potential of the ephemeral, however, also poses challenges to fieldwork in terms of duration and representation. We become aware of those aspects of urban materiality that resist representation: of what can and can’t be mapped.
mapping  infrastructure  urban  temporality  temporary_spaces  ethnography 
august 2019 by shannon_mattern
Get Off My Lawn! Homeowners Ward Off Drivers Misled by GPS - WSJ
Drivers have made news for relying too much on navigation apps like those from Alphabet Inc. ’s Google Maps and Apple Inc. ’s maps app. They’ve driven onto airport runways, through muddy fields, into lakes.

Then there are the other victims of addled navigation, those living on the receiving end of ill-conceived directions the algorithms deal out.

They have been suffering steady streams of lost strangers for years, and they’d really like if you’d get off their property—preferably now.

Mr. Ogden’s neighbors told him Google had been mistakenly sending people to their location for years. They had installed an automatic gate to fend drivers off.
google  mapping  error 
july 2019 by shannon_mattern
How to secure a country. From Border Policing via Weather Forecast to Social Engineering – We Make Money Not Art
Photographer Salvatore Vitale spent 4 years investigating the security apparatus that ensures that Switzerland remains “the safest country in the world”. Both for its own citizens and for the private banks, pharmaceutical films, multinational companies and cryptocurrencies that rely on its data bunkers to keep their secrets safe.

How to Secure a Country is not a manual. Neither is it a documentary work or a piece of agenda-based activism. It is a visual research project made of photos, essays by political scientists and data visualisation works. Together, these elements give a presence to social, political, technological and psychological mechanisms that are otherwise invisible or simply too complex and abstract to flesh out.

Vitale gained access to places that are otherwise closed to the public. The ways he details the procedures followed by the police, the military, migration authorities, weather services, research institutions for AI build up an atmosphere of protection inhabited by dilemmas and tensions: How much freedom do citizens accept to relinquish in exchange for security and protection? And how do you determine which threats should be prioritized? Is the overuse of natural resources more alarming than cyberterrorism? Declining birth rate more dangerous than energy shortage?
security  mapping 
july 2019 by shannon_mattern
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 
july 2019 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 
june 2019 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 
june 2019 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 
june 2019 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 
june 2019 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 
june 2019 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 
may 2019 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 
may 2019 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 
may 2019 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 
april 2019 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
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