In their new book “ Cartographies of Time,” Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton dissect and track the methods people used when attempting to record the passage of time. These timelines, lists and antiquated infographics reveal particular attitudes and novel approaches to documenting history.
Rosenberg and Grafton organize Cartographies, naturally, in chronological order, tracing the earliest timelines from ancient Greece all the way to modern reinterpretations. Expertly showing the evolution of the form, the book’s fascinating swathe of cartographic imagery will appeal to history buffs and data visualization fans alike.
“Computer science researchers at theUniversity of Washington and Cornell University are deploying a system that will blend teamwork and collaboration with powerful graphics algorithms to create three-dimensional renderings of buildings, neighborhoods and potentially even entire cities.
The new system, PhotoCity, grew from the original work of a Cornell computer scientist, Noah Snavely, who while working on his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Washington, developed a set of algorithms that generated three-dimensional models from unstructured collections of two-dimensional photos”
“The visualization technology is already able to quickly process large collections of digital photos of an object like a building and render ghostly and evocative three-dimensional images. To do this they use a three-stage set of algorithms that begins by creating a “sparse point cloud” with a batch of photos, renders it as a denser image, capturing much of the original surface texture of the object, and then renders it in three dimensions.
To improve the quality of their rendering capabilities, the researchers plan to integrate their computing system with a social game that will permit competing teams to add images where they are most needed to improve the quality of the visual models.”
The Jodi Lane Foundation, named after a woman who was electrocuted to death by stray voltage under an East Village sidewalk in 2004 maintains a map of all reported instances of stray voltage in New York City. Information displayed represents energized objects detected and repaired between January 2007 and September 2009. Watch your step!
Thanks to Sebastian for the link
An excellent source for data and innovative approaches to planning data: The CUNY Center for Urban Research organizes basic research on the critical issues that face New York and other large cities in the U.S. and abroad, collaborates on applied research with public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other partners, and holds forums for the media, foundations, community organizations and others about urban research at the Graduate Center and the City University.
Primary research areas include immigration, housing and neighborhood change, labor, economic development, demographic trnds, crime, and political participation.
An entry as part of the series at Urban Omnibus on innovative approaches to mapping and visualization: OASIS, the Open Accessible Space Information System which compiles data from governmental as well as community sources to provide a higher resolution, higher quality, and more accurate reading of urban conditions on the ground. The system takes into account bureaucratic information as well as social data and compiles it in one place. Certainly of use to everyone in the studio.
“OASIS fills a niche. Though it was launched and supported in its early years by the Forest Service, it is neither a public agency project nor a for-profit venture nor its own nonprofit. Instead, it sits in-between. For example, it provides access to parcel-by-parcel data and mapped land use patterns across the five boroughs. But unlike for-profit real estate mapping sites, OASIS provides free access to this data, helping to level the playing field for groups and individuals trying to make sense of development changes across the city. It’s the people’s mapping site for property data and maps. By “people” we mean everyone from urban planning students, community gardeners, real property professionals, urban design firms and architects, city agency staff, teachers, neighborhood groups and community boards, the media, and more, based on user surveys and web usage reports.
And unlike New York’s Citymap application or other agency websites, OASIS brings together mapped information from many sources – not only from city agencies, but from state and federal government, private sources, and local community groups. It therefore provides a multi-faceted and more realistic picture of what’s actually happening “on the ground” in ways that no single government entity would provide. For example, a property that’s home to a thriving community garden might be considered vacant by the city’s real property tax assessors. Though both views are valid, the city’s websites would only present the “vacant” information. OASIS captures and displays both.”
“Assisted by instruments that can track in fine detail how parcels of fluid move, and by low-cost computers that can crunch vast amounts of data quickly, researchers have found hidden structures beyond Monterey Bay, structures that explain why aircraft meet unexpected turbulence, why the air flow around a car causes drag and how blood pumps from the heart’s ventricles. In December, the journal Chaos will highlight the research under way to track the moving skeletons embedded in complex flows, known as Lagrangian coherent structures.” NYTimes
Our friends at the SENSEable City Lab at MIT are in the Times today in a piece featuring researchers and the NYC Green Initiative who are tracking the flow and distribution of trash through various sites and locations. Sensors added to various pieces of refuse are thrown out and then tracked to map both itinerary and protocol through infrastructural networks concerned with garbage processing, collection, and distribution. The project is featured as part of the Sentient city exhibition now open at the Architectural League.
The Times reports on developments in the world of “augmented reality” involving overlays of digital information as delivered by mobile device. Cognitive mapping tie-ins abound. The potential tie ins for social media, wayfinding, etc are all pretty excting. Especially interesting is some of the work being done at Georgia Tech in the Augmented Environments Lab there.
Some interesting mappings online:
Zappos.com, the discount conline shoe retailer runs a real time map showing where their orders are shipping to and what is being shipped. And the International Maritime Bureau has a real time map of incidents of piracy and armed robbery incidents on the high seas around the world.
Via coolhunting: A small component that once added to the frame of a bike, deposits a small amount of color chalk on the rear wheel, resulting in a visualized or mapping-oriented chalk trace on the roadway surface. Mapping, wayfinding, and reminder to motorists and pedestrians about the presence of bikes all in one.
Developed by Brooklyn-based Studio Gelardi
We’ve all seen some pretty interesting visualizations of air flight data, but this is the first Ive seen using the google maps UI and with the ability to scale in and out. Its seems a rather obvious outcome, since the existing urban situation of the US directly causes the pattern of flights, but there is still some interesting things to extract.
Two bits on Mitchell Whitelaw, an Australian author and artist who works with computational systems, mapping, and generative design methodologies.
A feature article on Rhizome where he speaks about some recent work and his practice
Hs own blog, (the teeming void)
His book Metacreation, which deals with artificial intelligence in art is published by MIT. I have it if anyone wants to borrow it.
Surely some of the most interesting images of last week: The Times produced a series of maps that break down the traditional red state-blue state dichotomy to find more accurate representations of voting. The progression moves from state winners to district winners to districts scaled for population, to most amazingly of all a final map of voting shifts with intensity that compares 2008 percentages to 2004 percentages and finds that virtually the entire nation shifted blue to some degree, except for pockets in the inland South where the voters were actually more Republican. Not a map of who people voted for per se, but rather a map of change and the intensity of change. It’s an incredible image – at once highly accurate, and highly selective. Take a look.
The Times reports on Google’s effeorts to track flu outbreaks by tracking the searches associated with flu symptons as an indicator of regions of potential outbreaks.
“There is a new common symptom of the flu, in addition to the usual aches, coughs, fevers and sore throats. Turns out a lot of ailing Americans enter phrases like “flu symptoms” into Googleand other search engines before they call their doctors.
That simple act, multiplied across millions of keyboards in homes around the country, has given rise to a new early warning system for fast-spreading flu outbreaks, called Google Flu Trends.”
This should interest most of you. MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies has a show up featuring the Center For Urban Pedagogy’s project on Architectures of Finance. CUP produces some intriguing maps and other forms of visual tracking that visualize dynamic information and data and their relationship to architecture and the city.
“An installation of models, photographs, videos, and drawings, Red Lines, Death Vows, Foreclosures, Risk Structures immerses visitors in a landscape of pulsing capital and liquidated buildings, exploring the relation between finance and architecture. During a year-long residence at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, designer and CUP founder Damon Rich surveyed the darkening realm of real estate markets and produced an installation to share the findings. As the Subprime Meltdown continues to spread, pushing people out of homes, bankrupting institutions, and threatening global economic crisis, Red Lines aims to broaden and enrich the urgent conversation about how our society finances its living environments.”
“The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a New York City-based nonprofit organization that uses art and design to draw the connections between everyday life and the decision-making processes that give it form. CUP produces community and youth education projects, exhibitions, and events that reclaim the possibilities of social architecture. Visit http://www.anothercupdevelopment.org to learn more.”
“If blanketing UK cities with a thick scopic fog of CCTV cameras weren’t enough, the countryside may soon find itself placed under similar heavy surveillance. But this, curiously enough, might be a good thing.
As reported by BBC News last month, researchers from technology firm QinetiQ and from Aberystwyth University flew an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “over fields in England and Wales to map the nitrogen levels in soil, to determine whether fertiliser applications were needed.”
The data collected was then used to create a Normalised Difference Vegetation Index(NDVI) map, which “tells you the difference between ‘green crops’ that are photosynthesising and bare ground.” Where there is bare ground, more fertilizer may be needed.
Equipped with this NDVI map, some GPS locators and a techno-pimped out John Deere, farmers would thus be able to target areas in need of supplemental nutrients and to better estimate how much to use, potentially releasing less fertilizers that otherwise would leach out and pollute water sources nearby and further down the hydrological line. Making flights and maps at regular intervals would also increase efficiency and thereby decrease energy consumption by letting farmers know precisely when the chemicals are needed. Guessing is pretty much taken out of the equation.
This is precision farming.”
The most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (Esa) says.