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A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future

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The National Archives Cross
|| 10/24/2008 || 1:38 pm || Comments Off on The National Archives Cross || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

So far I’ve made two other crosses: Mount Pleasant Cross and Memphis Cross. I am pretty sure how to make these now and future maps of this type will be added to it’s own special category on the sidebar. The cross above was chosen out of about 8 different tessellations and within this map is the National Archives at the center of the cross (hence the name), the Federal Trade Commission, the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Navy Memorial– which features a map of the western hemisphere (below), the Winfield Scott Hancock statue, the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial, and portions of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and the west building of the National Gallery of Art, which make the vertical and horizontal stripe.

For reference, click here to view the outdated Google Map of downtown Washington, DC.

: detail of the National Archives :
: detail of the Navy Memorial :

View the rest of the details:

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A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
|| 5/23/2008 || 10:43 am || Comments Off on A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden || ||


:: saved at 6,480 x 5,040 ::

To celebrate the new procedure I decided to get around to editing the Library of Congress‘ copy of Willem Janszoon Blaeu‘s Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula, which was published in Amsterdam in 1606. I removed the original map from the center and kept the decorative border similar to Nova et Accvratissima Totivs Terrarvm Orbis Tabvla, A New Map of the Terraqueous Globe : according to the the Ancient discoveries and most general Divisions of Geospatial Art, America as a Cloverleaf, and A New And Accurate Map of the World by John Speed. However, unlike the previous antique map mash-ups, which usually feature the earth laid out in two hemispheres, this map uses a rectangular space (Mercator?). The beauty of this open layout is that I can place any of my previously made maps inside of this 402-year-old template.

A common naming practice I’ve noticed in old map is the use of “New & Accurate” and since I like to play around with words, I changed Accurate to Arabesque to create a visual pun. The source map was about 6,500 pixels wide, I underlaid a rotated 9,000 x 6,000 copy of Hirshhorn Quilt to fit perfectly in the center of the new map. I think it would be fun to actually hand-color the engravings on this map to match other copies of this map which have the various figures colored in. The LOC’s copy is uncolored which means that its actually easier to add color to it than if it were already colored because pigment matching is not needed.



: detail of the planet Goddess Venus :

Across the top (left to right) you have the planet gods:

Drawn within each of these engravings are the signs of the Zodiac that the planets rule:

Below I dissect the rest of the border of the map:

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Hirshhorn Quilt
|| 5/21/2008 || 10:22 am || Comments Off on Hirshhorn Quilt || ||

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

Following up on my new procedural idea from last week, I made this derivative map without publishing the intermediate maps. The unseen steps involve the rendering of a pre-Hirshhorn Quilt, sampling a portion of that quilt, and projecting the imagery again to create the map above. The result, as with all derivative maps, is a more symmetrical, arabesque map. This technique will be used again.

View the Google Map of the Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall in Ward 2 of Washington, DC.

: detail :

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Swampoodle Quilt
|| 5/7/2008 || 6:42 am || Comments Off on Swampoodle Quilt || ||

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

I chose this site because it’s where Artomatic is at!

Swampoodle is an old name used to describe a small section of the H Street neighborhood in Northeast Washington, DC. The area was first settled in the 1850s by immigrants fleeing the Irish potato famine. A geographic approximation of its borders would be K Street to the north, G Street to the south, 1st Street NW to the west, and 2nd Street NE to the east. Through the center of it, just east of North Capitol Street, ran the principal branch of Tiber Creek, creating the low swampy ground from which the area took its name.

A few years ago developers created the North of Massachusetts Avenue Business Improvement District, or NOMA and have tried to rebrand the neighborhood to something different.

When making the map I concluded that at the time of the aerial photography’s acquisition, it was still called Swampoodle and not NOMA. The same goes for Google Maps, which shows an even older glimpse (from spring 2002) of the changing neighborhood.

Personally, I think the name Swampoodle gives the area character in name. In contemporary identity, the area is mostly a bunch of warehouses and parking lots that are about to be developed, so I look forward to seeing a Swampoodle map in 10 years. It will look drastically different and I just hope its not called some focus group-approved abbreviation of a geographic region.

View the Google Map of the Swampoodle neighborhood in Ward 6 of Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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The first Artomatic prints have arrived
|| 4/9/2008 || 12:30 pm || Comments Off on The first Artomatic prints have arrived || ||

Federal Triangle Quilt #3 with Chinese Signature

Federal Triangle Quilt #3 with Chinese signature

Using some of the funds from my DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities 2008 Young Artist Grant, I purchased the first set of prints that will be shown at next month’s Artomatic exhibition.

One of Kodak’s newest products is their fleece blanket, which is 100% polyester, machine washable, and frankly, are a very good deal at about $45 each. I’ve been waiting a long time to print my maps on large media cost-effectively and fortunately the size of these blankets match the aspect ratio of my maps (3:2) so I can upload my 9,000 x 6,000-sized maps (one half the original rendering size) without any extra image manipulation. Or so I thought.

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Scott + Dupont Circle Quilt
|| 3/18/2008 || 1:07 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Scott + Dupont Circle Quilt

Continuing my current project of mapping the portions of Washington, DC that Google is censoring, I decided use the same process that was used to create Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt. This type of digitally derived double exposure aerial photography creates some of my favorite maps as of late. While I am only touching on the germane juxtaposition of traffic circles in Washington, DC, I’ve been thinking about how I take two completely disparate geographies and create similar styled maps. One idea is to take two of the tessellations I created for the Los Angeles Interchanges Series and create a double exposure highway interchange. Another possibility is to make a Supreme Illusion Supreme by overlaying the Pentagon on to the site of the World Trade Center. I’m not sure how it would look, but I think I’ll try making one of these maps in the near future.

View the Google Map of Scott Circle in Washington, DC.
View the Google Map of Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

View the rest of the details:

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White House Peace
|| 3/13/2008 || 2:56 pm || Comments Off on White House Peace || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :White House Peace by Nikolas Schiller.

Similar to the Shanghai Map, this map uses Chinese characters as a decorative element. The source aerial photography of the White House was censored by the government before it was released to the public. I documented this about a year ago with my Lost Series project “The White House is off-limits to the public.” Unlike the Shanghai Map, I made a tessellation using the words for PEACE instead of placing the glyphs at the bottom. I was, however, thinking of revisiting this map in the near future and adding more text. As it is now, I think it’s somewhat plain, and deserves something else. I’m not sure what that ‘else’ is yet.

View the Google Map (which shows older imagery) of the White House.

View the rest of the details:

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Union Station Quilt #3
|| 3/12/2008 || 2:44 pm || Comments Off on Union Station Quilt #3 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :Union Station Quilt #3.

I find it quite interesting being able to see the difference between spatial scales when comparing the two previous Union Station maps. Since this map uses .16 meters per pixel aerial photography and the previous two maps use imagery that was .3 meters per pixel, you can quite easily see how much less I am now showing of the area around Union Station. Specifically, this map only shows the U.S. Postal Museum, Union Station, the Thurgood Marshal Federal Building, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.View the Google Map of Union Station in downtown Washington, DC.

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Scott Circle Quilt #2
|| 3/9/2008 || 9:10 pm || Comments Off on Scott Circle Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Scott Circle Quilt #2 by Nikolas Schiller

Read more about Scott Circle in my previous entry.

View the Google Map of Scott Circle in downtown Washington, DC.

View the rest of the details:

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Scott Circle Quilt
|| 3/8/2008 || 1:32 pm || Comments Off on Scott Circle Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Scott Circle Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

I am in the process of making hexagon quilt projection maps of all the major traffic circles in Washington, DC. I have most of the circles covered and intend on continuing this project as I acquire new imagery of Washington, DC. Of important note is that Dupont, Logan, Washington, and Scott circles all lie with the area that is censored in Google Maps. Also, this is one of the first maps that I’ve made in a few years that features National Geographic‘s headquarters. I will probably make a derivative map dedicated to National Geographic.

View the Google Map of Scott Circle in downtown Washington, DC.

View the rest of the details:

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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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