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Getting to know Mr. SID
|| 1/7/2008 || 3:13 pm || Comments Off on Getting to know Mr. SID || ||

Screen grab from the Library of Congress which DOES NOT list Graphic Converter as an option…. yet?

For the last few years I’ve found the file format Mr. SID to be the bane of my cartographic explorations. When I’d see a map available in the MultiResolution Seamless Image Database format, it meant I’d have to keep looking for other maps. Conversion of the Mr.SID format on a Macintosh had kept the maps locked away in an obscure file format; smiting me.

In my opinion, one of the worst decisions that the Library of Congress made was the choice to use the Mr.SID file format for their on-line maps. First off, its a proprietary compression algorithm patented by a company that is motivated by profit, not by the intent of furthering academic research. This means that any software maker originally had to get a license (pay) to use it. This resulted in only a few programs being written that can convert the file type. Worse is that there are even fewer Macintosh-based programs that can convert these files. The patent owner’s website offers only one Macintosh product and does not allow the rendering of the map at it’s full size. As in, I could only export sections of the original map, which makes the reader useless. Secondly, the file type is in itself “an American Memory,” because its not widely used anymore. It made sense to use it originally- it saved server space because of the high compression algorithm, but now server space is relatively cheap. Today only people who use high-end GIS software use Mr.SID formated imagery, and since most of this software only exists on PCs, there has been little cross platform support. Lastly, for any maps to be used by an image editing program, the map must first be converted out of the Mr.SID format and converted into another filetype (.jpg, tiff, etc.). This means that for every map that is available on the Library of Congress website, I have to spend 15 minutes converting it to a useful format.

Over the weekend I discovered that there is *one* program for Macintosh that can convert this file type: Graphic Converter. I also discovered that the newsest version (the Universal Binary, which I downloaded last summer) did not handle Mr.SID. Instead, I had to download an obsolete version (Graphic Converter for PowerPC) to convert this arcane format! So for the last 7 months I had been unable to convert any Mr.SID formatted map, but now I can, and I’m very excited about the new possibilities this opens up (literally hundreds of maps are now within virtual reach! The Library is only a few blocks away, but the digitalization is just as important.).

I sincerely hope the Library of Congress updates the page above to list Graphic Converter as one of the programs that can convert Mr.SID formatted maps. This software program is already listed for use with other media on the same Library of Congress webpage. Also of note, is that Graphic Converter can also convert JPEG2000 encoded maps.



Oil Wells in Los Angeles 103 years ago [One Slick Overlay]
|| 1/6/2008 || 2:09 pm || Comments Off on Oil Wells in Los Angeles 103 years ago [One Slick Overlay] || ||

Links to 2.5mb KMZ file for Google Earth
Were the fingerprints dipped in oil too?

The other day I was hunting for maps of Baltimore and stumbled on to the map above (published in Baltimore). It was last prominently featured in the Library of Congress’ “Los Angeles Mapped” on-line exhibition. The map shows downtown Los Angeles with little black dots showing the locations of all the oil wells that existed in 1905.

I wonder how many of the old oil derricks still exist today? I also wonder if people living where the oil wells were constructed own the mineral rights for their property? A few years back I remember looking into purchasing cheap land in Wyoming and one of the stipulations on the land was that the owner would not own the mineral rights below the surface of the earth. Does this exist in present day Los Angeles? Could someone living in Los Angeles today dig a little deeper and find a new source of oil in their backyard?

For more information about this antique map, visit the Library of Congress website. Below is a secondary screen grab showing the area around Dodgers Stadium. It should be noted that the overlay does line up 100% on Google Earth, but close enough to show a change in the built environment.

+ MORE



Cities & Nature is now available
|| 1/5/2008 || 1:35 pm || Comments Off on Cities & Nature is now available || ||

I look forward to seeing my copy when it arrives! The book cover uses my map of Central Park in New York City. From the screen grab above, the final design looks a bit greener than the original map, but I won’t know until I see my copy. Regardless, I genuinely look forward to reading it instead of fussing over the colors. What’s inside is what counts!



Russell Weekes Map of the World (inverted)
|| 1/4/2008 || 12:27 pm || Comments Off on Russell Weekes Map of the World (inverted) || ||

A couple weeks ago I found this map and laughed. The “dude” looks just like this person. The color in the map above has been inverted and I added a citation and a linkback to the original. The animated version of the map, “If I Ruled The World” is quite funny as well.



Added by the Map Department at the Cambridge University Library
|| 1/3/2008 || 1:59 am || Comments Off on Added by the Map Department at the Cambridge University Library || ||

Since my website is coded uniquely, I have developed a means to find new incoming links. A couple weeks ago I was linked from a popular architecture blog “Archidose,” and today finds me linked from one of the finest universities in the world, the University of Cambridge. Next year the university will be celebrating it’s 800th year of educating the future.

Typographically, I like how Geospatial Art is oneword. I own www.GeospatialArt.com, but the author did not link to that URL, so it reads odd that the words have been concatenated. Regardless, but equally entertaining, is that Postmodern Art is still #5 or so.



Comparative Front Pages: Washington Post / Philadelphia Inquirer
|| 1/2/2008 || 10:58 pm || Comments Off on Comparative Front Pages: Washington Post / Philadelphia Inquirer || ||

Photograph of the Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers showing my map Jefferson Mandala

On March 26, 2007, the Philadelphia Inquirer published David Montgomery’s Here Be Dragons article. That morning I received a phone call from one of my best friends who happened to be in Philadelphia on business. He excitedly informed me that one of my maps was on the cover of a section in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I asked him to purchase as many copies as possible and about a month later I picked up the six copies from his house. My housemate let me borrow his camera to take an overhead photograph of the two newspaper articles side by side. When the housemate moved out a few months ago he gave me all of his photographs that he had on his computer and I found this photograph that I had forgotten about. What I found to be the most interesting aspect is the size of the map that was used in Philadelphia, the change of the article’s name, the movement from “Style” to “Health & Science.” I’ve tried to track down other syndications, but so far only the Philadelphia Inquirer has been obtained. The article itself has already been deaccessioned from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s website.

Related In The News Entries:

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It’s been a nice break
|| 1/1/2008 || 10:36 pm || Comments Off on It’s been a nice break || ||

I ended up taking a longer break than I originally intended so I’m going to do add a few entries that I missed in the last week or so.

Before the year ended I sent out a mass e-mail with some these 2007 stats:

2007 QUILT PROJECTION BY THE NUMBERS:
288 = total number of blog entries in 2007
115 = total Quilt Projection maps made in 2007
505 = average size in megabytes for each map
2,070,000 = total number of pixels wide
1,752 = feet long, if printed at 100 DPI
3 = the number of Washington Monuments (555 ft tall) in length

I don’t have any Quilt Projection maps in the pipeline at the moment, but I’ve been working on a few other projects.

__updates forthcoming__





The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

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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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::THE QUILT PROJECTION::

Square
Square

Diamond
diamond

Hexagon
hexagon

Octagon
octagon

Dodecagon
Dodecagon

Beyond
beyond

::OTHER PROJECTIONS::

The Lenz Project
Lenz

Mandala Project
Mandala

The Star Series


Abstract Series
abstract

Memory Series
Memory

Mother Earth Series
Mother Earth

Misc Renderings
Misc

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- Antique Map Mashups
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  • thank you,
    come again!