Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution—twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm [...] The extra sharp images from Worldview-3 will greatly increase the maps' level of detail to the point where it can make out 10-inch objects, which means Google will soon be able to see “manholes and mailboxes” [...] — Motherboard
DigitalGlobe launched the first commercial satellite yesterday. Google, Microsoft, and several US government agencies are customers of DigitalGlobe. Such sharp images would be able to make out human faces, which, coupled with facial recognition software, could start to sound like a sci-fi...
But the intricate fantasy environments imagined for games like GTA V may well prove more useful than they seem. Now the technologies and tools developed by this multibillion dollar entertainment industry are making changes in the real world.
John Isaacs, a lecturer in computing at the University of Abertay, is one of those exploring the possibilities of game engines. In 2011, he developed an urban mapping application for his PhD project. — theguardian.com
There are more than 3,000 active oil and gas wells in Los Angeles County. Almost 4,680 new wells were drilled in 2012 across the state, bringing the total number to 210,000, according to the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources of the California Department of Conservation [...] Oil industry officials argue that drilling in California provides many economic benefits, and they downplay any potential health hazards. — LA Daily News
Architects are the highest paid group of designers, and they are also generally the most highly educated. Architects employed in firms earned median hourly wages of $35.30, while their self-employed counterparts earned $22.90. But, when looking in terms of concentration, the nation’s leading clusters for architects may not be what you think. — citylab.com
A Finnish company called IndoorAtlas has figured out that all buildings have a unique magnetic “fingerprint” — and has solved how to use that to determine locations inside a structure to within six feet. That is enough to take a consumer to a product in a crowded supermarket, or figure out the location of, say, a half-dozen workers in a building full of them. It’s also much better than cell phone towers can do. — bits.blogs.nytimes.com
Superpedestrian, a start-up in Boston, announced on Monday that it has received $2.1 million in financing to help build a wheel that transforms some standard bicycles into hybrid e-bikes.
The product, the Copenhagen Wheel, is a design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SENSEable City Laboratory. The original goal of the wheel was to entice more people to more bicycles in large cities in lieu of cars by giving them help from a motor. — New York Times
Initially presented at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change in 2009, SENSEeable City Lab's Copenhagen Wheel will soon be produced through Boston start-up Superpedestrian. Rather than buying a whole new bike or installing a cumbersome motor, the Copenhagen Wheel can be...
I’m going to tell you exactly how I made this map. I hope that people with little or no experience making maps will be able to use this as a guide to getting started on a map of their own hometown. And I also hope expert mapmakers will chime in to tell us how we can improve our maps. — wired.com
Take the public transportation provided by corporate shuttle buses from the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook, and others. It’s not news that these shuttles, and the big digital tech companies that run them, are changing the fabric of San Francisco as we’ve known it. What feels new is that it’s not enough to say that change is coming soon. It’s already, very much here. — wired.com
"Thanks to Data Driven Detroit, there is now an interactive map of the city's demo activity, covering both planned demolitions and those that have taken place since 2010." — Curbed: Detroit
The schadenfreude of Detroit is now interactive! Come one and all to experience the most fascinating cartographic advancement since the invention of Google street view. It is not altogether the best month for Detroit with the recent claim of bankruptcy now making its way through the courts...
Creating a 3D map of a room could someday be as simple as randomly placing four microphones within the space, then snapping your fingers. Researchers from Switzerland’s EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) have recently done so on a limited scale, and are now excited about the technology’s possible applications. — gizmag.com
On Black Friday and throughout this holiday season, simply zoom in to a participating store on Google Maps to devise your shopping game plan. An indoor floor plan with helpful labels will automatically appear, and the familiar “blue dot” icon will help you figure out the fastest way to the accessories department, the food court when you need to refuel, and the closest restroom or ATM when you need a break from your marathon shopping session. — googleblog.blogspot.com
As Occupiers posted links, updates, photos and videos on social media sites; as they deliberated in chat rooms and collaborated on crowdmaps; as they took to the streets with smartphones, they tested the parameters of this multiply mediated world. What is the layout of this place? What are its codes and protocols? Who owns it? How does its design condition opportunities for individual and collective action? — Places Journal
On the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, architects Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder investigate the spatial dimensions of political action in two related features on Places, including axonometric drawings that follow the transformation of Zuccotti Park into Liberty Plaza. See the trailer below.
It's common when we discuss the future of maps to reference the Borgesian dream of a 1:1 map of the entire world. It seems like a ridiculous notion that we would need a complete representation of the world when we already have the world itself. But to take scholar Nathan Jurgenson's conception of augmented reality seriously, we would have to believe that every physical space is, in his words, "interpenetrated" with information. All physical spaces already are also informational spaces. — theatlantic.com
You'll also notice a bit of color coding on the maps. Apparently, Fischer was able to guess that the picture taker's mode of transportation--presumably using the time stamps and distance traveled between a user's pictures. He then created a color code: Black is walking (less than 7mph), Red is bicycling or equivalent speed (less than 19mph), Blue is motor vehicles on normal roads (less than 43mph); Green is freeways or rapid transit. — fastcompany.com
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