The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Birth of a City [Rochester,NY]
|| 12/17/2007 || 1:43 pm || Comments Off on Birth of a City [Rochester,NY] || ||

link to 3mb 10 second animation of the Inner Circle of Rochester, New York

So late last night I read Geoff Manaugh’s BLDGblog entry about “the City of Retroactive Mathematics,” and made the above animation. It’s composed of three elements: a light source, two spheres of different sizes, and the imagery. Prior to reading his article I was about to make the next Rochester map, so I continued using the Rochester imagery to create what looks like a urban molecule giving birth to a smaller version of itself. Would that be an asexual city?

Rochester Quilt
|| 12/16/2007 || 7:00 pm || Comments Off on Rochester Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Rochester Quilt

So last week I had an awkward run-in with someone I’ve known for about a year, but didn’t know very well. I think I must have had too much to drink the night when we had first chatted because I didn’t recall the conversation and asked the exact same stupid question twice. I asked about another friend of mine from the same city and both times the person said that they didn’t know my friend. I felt rather embarrassed by it all to say the least. Well yesterday I decided to download Rochester, New York, the city they both were from, and it just so happens that while this map was rendering I found the other person I had been asking about. Interesting.

The geography featured in this map is called the Inner Loop of Rochester, New York. The source aerial photography was taken at 1 foot per pixel in April of 2005, but in order to fit the entire downtown area into a managable tessellation I reduced the spatial resolution by one half to 2 ft per pixel or 4X less spatial information. I really like the tonal variation of the Genesee River, it reminds me of the rivers in the Pittsburgh Quilts.

View the Google Map of the Rochester, New York

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Clayton Quilt #4
|| 12/15/2007 || 6:16 pm || Comments Off on Clayton Quilt #4 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Clayton Quilt 4

Using the tessellation from Clayton Quilt #3, I made a Hexagon projection version. There is a nice hexagram in the center.

Read more about Clayton, Missouri here

View the Google Map of the Clayton, Missouri

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The art of Map Fest by Teresa Mendez – The Christian Science Monitor
|| 12/14/2007 || 12:42 pm || Comments Off on The art of Map Fest by Teresa Mendez – The Christian Science Monitor || ||


Exactly 9 months to the day after David Montgomery’s article in the Washington Post was published, Teresa Mendez writes a great piece about maps and she includes section about me:

__snippet__[with links added]

They are artists such as Ms. Contro and the 11 others featured in “The Legend Altered: Maps as Method and Medium,” the Carrie Secrist Gallery exhibition. And they are artists such as Nikolas Schiller.

Except Mr. Schiller hesitates when asked to define what he does. Is the young D.C. resident, profiled earlier this year on the cover of The Washington Post Style section, an artist? Is he a mapmaker?

“I make pretty maps or artistic maps,” he says, searching for the right description, “or boutique maps.” He finally settles on “conceptual cartographer.”

Schiller takes US Geological Survey aerial photographs and plays with them.

The Quilt Projection” which his website ( calls “A Journey Through Geometric Geography” is his most prolific series. It consists of 350 images that look less like maps and more like something you might see peering through a kaleidoscope.

There are the “quilted” neighborhoods of Mount Vernon in Baltimore, Md., and Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan. There is George Washington University in D.C., which Schiller attended for a time, and the University of Texas at Austin. Look close enough and you can identify familiar landmarks: streets, parks, a monument. But step back and the tessellation makes for a wonderfully abstract mosaic.

Schiller’s work is a way to see the world anew, to be an explorer when nearly every corner of the earth has previously been combed.

“With the world already charted and mapped,” he says, “geospatial art allows you to discover it all over again.”

Schiller is something of a curator of maps. He can point one to websites of antique maps, industry maps, and calendars detailing map exhibits around the world. The Internet, it would seem, abounds with cartograms. Twice, he mentions the Waldseemueller Map.

Also included on the Christian Science Monitor’s website is a 90 second audio report filed by the author. She talks about my Lenz Projection and how it was developed.


Clayton Quilt #3
|| || 8:46 am || Comments Off on Clayton Quilt #3 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Clayton Quilt #3

This map was manually constructed and is different than most quilts. Specifically, it does not exhibit radial geometry. I find this map pleasing to the eye simply because I’ve used radial for so long that this map marks a true deviation, like the Shanghai Map. The next map will be very similar, using the exact same imagery, but will be projected radially.

Read more about Clayton, Missouri here.

View the Google Map of the Clayton, Missouri

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Clayton Quilt #2
|| 12/13/2007 || 3:56 pm || Comments Off on Clayton Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Clayton Quilt

Read more about Clayton, Missouri here

View the Google Map of the Clayton, Missouri

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you are not here – splash page update
|| 12/12/2007 || 10:38 pm || Comments Off on you are not here – splash page update || ||

For the last few month’s I’ve been rumenating over what images I should display on my website’s splash page. I’ve enjoyed having the “Socio Ditata Labore” engraving up, it captured that time of my life perfectly. This morning I came up with an ironic catchphrase that I felt would make a humorous graphic that could be used in conjunction with the engraving: “you are probably not here.” It’s quite possibly the antithesis of the popular catchphrase “you are here.” Even the loading graphic on the Festival of Maps website uses the iconic dot with the words “you are here.” What if a random place in America was chosen instead? There is a slight possibility that the dot would indicate that you REALLY are (t)here. Chances are you won’t be (t)here, but you will be at my website at least….

I also added a scan of a 250 Dinar bill featuring Saddam Hussein, an updated armillary sphere, cell phone photo of my You Are Here street art, and SloMo the Statehood Snail.

There are currently 6 randomly chosen graphics to compliment the 1891 images in the directory. By doing the math, that means there are 11,346 different combinations (and counting) on my website’s splash page and every new Quilt projection map will add 30 new combinations.

Clayton Quilt
|| || 11:59 am || Comments Off on Clayton Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Clayton Quilt

Clayton, Missouri is one of the few satellite cities within Saint Louis County that has dense enough development to have a downtown with high-rise office & residential buildings. When I was younger I remember enjoying downtown Clayton. It was probably the first urban environment I ever explored. In Shaw Park (which is not in the map above), I learned how to ice skate in the mid-1980s and in 1998 I had my first ever DJ gig (what a night!). The source aerial photography was one foot per pixel and taken between April 1st & 10th, 2006. In the map above, I reduced the spatial scale by 25% (which gives about 1.5 feet per pixel) so the Forest Park Expressway would show more. From the meta-data I discovered that Sanborn has an office in Chesterfield (near my hometown) which I’d like to visit sometime in the future.

View the Google Map of the Clayton, Missouri

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The New Brainland Map by Unit Seven
|| 12/11/2007 || 6:26 pm || Comments Off on The New Brainland Map by Unit Seven || ||

click to view more

From the creator:

The above map’s original data was created from a reference photo of a real human brain which was used to build the 3d terrain. This digital elevation model was then used to create contour line data, relief shading and to plan where the roads and features should be placed for map compilation. Real New Zealand public domain data was then added for the surrounding islands.

It looks a lot like the map I created after I did Tom Patterson’s Bryce Tutorial on Digital Elevation Models. I can only imagine how many more bodies of water, streams, rivers, hills, mountains, and cities are waiting to be discovered on that map.

In the Map Collections of the British Library and..
|| || 3:03 pm || Comments Off on In the Map Collections of the British Library and.. || ||

British Library Map Collections Purchase Order

I am pleased to announce that my 2008 Urban America Calendar is on it’s way to the Map Collections at the British Libray. Last week the Map and Imagery Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara purchased a copy of the 2008 California Calendar. All in all, I am very pleased with how receptive people have been to the calendars.

The Daily Render By
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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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