On a recent visit to Mountain View, I got a peek at how the Google Maps team assembles their maps and refines them with a combination of algorithms and meticulous manual labor—an effort they call Ground Truth. The project launched in 2008, but it was mostly kept under wraps until just a couple years ago. It continues to grow, now covering 51 countries, and algorithms are playing a bigger role in extracting information from satellite, aerial, and Street View imagery. — wired.com
Matt Knutzen performs a different kind of public service than Bruce Barrett of the School Construction Authority or Jeffrey Roth of the Fire Department of New York, two recent installments in our Profiles in Public Service series. He works at the New York Public Library, overseeing NYPL’s incomparable collection of maps, and looking for ways to turn items from the library’s vast catalogue into “actionable spatial data.” — urbanomnibus.net
In collaboration with fifteen poets and community activists from StartUp Box South Bronx, I recently created Memories of the Future, a location-based cinema project viewed on mobile phones. The group experimented with spoken word poetry, site specific performance, and on-site spectatorship to reframe the predominant view of Hunts Point and speak about possibilities for its future from a position of power. — urbanomnibus.net
The map, one of the central elements of navigation, has expanded in capability since the form has been translated to digital. Case in point, the MIT Media Lab’s “You Are Here” project is a collection of maps that visualize a variety of datasets over space. Things from bike accidents to coffee shops, graffiti reports, and transit connectivity are all laid out, using a variety of open data and other online resources, such as Google’s map directions services API. — marketplace.org
With all the time and energy cartographers spend preparing maps, it makes sense that they would want to protect their investment. One of the ways they do so — although they don’t always admit it — is by including “trap streets,” deliberate mistakes added to maps to catch unsuspecting copyright violators. These may include fake streets, as the name suggests, but the term is also applied to other erroneous cartographic data included to embarrass those who might steal it. — atlasobscura.com
The Rendering Eye: Urban America Revisited presents 3D screenshots of the urban US as they appear in Apple Maps: deserted streets, post-apocalyptic buildings and industrial plants, melting harbors. Cars and boats turn into shadows, trees into sculptures, containers into wax.[...]
The cityscapes captured by artist REGULA BOCHSLER for the publication are abstract, machine generated, and cold. And yet they are poetic, not least because of their “mistakes,” which give them a painterly composition. — 032c.com
In a city with no addresses, it’s difficult for local authorities to tax property. And without tax revenues, it’s difficult to upgrade infrastructure and services in the slums [...]
To fix these problems, Ghana is on a national quest to name its city streets. [...]
Giving names to streets is only a means to an end. The real problem cities are trying to solve is service delivery. When properties have actual addresses and those addresses reside in databases, all kinds of things become possible. — Citiscope
Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright produced an Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States in 1932 that remains, 80 years later, one of the most definitive collections of maps (many of them innovative in their time) from early U.S. history. [...]
Just before the holidays, the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab unveiled an ambitious project bringing the entire collection online [...]. — theatlanticcities.com
As virtual access to art collections expands through online walk-throughs and projects like Google’s Open Gallery, museums have long been experimenting within their own halls with ways to accommodate a wider range of visitors, particularly those with disabilities. Historically, museums...
Google's Street View is slowly covering more and more of the world's surface, but it still has holes. Now though, you can help fill them—and all you need is an Android phone or DSLR.
Google has just launched a new Street View feature which allows any user to recreate the usual Street View experience by stringing together photo spheres along paths which they define. — Gizmodo
Two academics wondered about the number of swimming pools in the L.A. Basin. They got their answer with computer mapping, but [...] along the way, they discovered something more than just the real-world versions of the iconic David Hockney pool utopias. Their project also proved that two non-experts were able to take a massive amount of freely available data to peek into other people's lives. — Los Angeles Times
DataAppeal’s newest release allows our 3D data-maps to be imported into other 3D modeling and vector-based software programs including AutoCAD, Sketch Up and 3ds Max. — DataAppeal
A vast improvement from histograms and scatter plots, data analytics and visualization company DataAppeal now enables its users to export their data into other modeling softwares. DataAppeal's Nadia Amoroso (featured in Archinect's Working out of the Box back in April) told...
Frank Jacobs is the map-obsessed blogger behind “Strange Maps.” [...] Aaron Schachter talks to Jacobs about his attraction to maps and how they’ve evolved over the centuries from a tool for navigation to a venue for artistic expression and weird facts. — theworld.org
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
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