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A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future

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Montpelier Quilt #3
|| 2/1/2011 || 12:58 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Montpelier Quilt #3 by Nikolas Schiller

By sampling the previous map in this series, I was able to construct this Dodecagon Quilt Projection map. I have prepared imagery for a forth iteration, but I’m in no hurry to render it.

One interesting observation that I can extract from this series is that the imagery that is currently being used as the source material is of better quality than what is currently viewable on Google Maps and Google Earth. I’ve found the capitol dome to be a bit washed out on their imagery.

View the Google Map of Montpelier, Vermont.


: detail :
Detail of Montpelier Quilt #3 by Nikolas Schiller

View the rest of the details:

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My Artist Talk At The Old Print Gallery
|| 10/16/2010 || 12:08 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

background map: Park La Brea Quilt #2

Yesterday, Friday, October 15th, I gave an artist talk at the Old Print Gallery in conjunction with my exhibition. The screen grab above is from a special opening slide that I made for the talk. Its the first HTML page that I have used the auto-refresh tag. It was designed to cycle through different maps every 10 seconds before the lecture began. I might add this feature to the front page of the website now that I see that it works. The talk lasted a little over an hour and included a brief Q & A at the end. Thank you to everyone who came.


Below are the “slides” that I used for my presentation and most are hyperlinked to their original entries:



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Randle Highlands VS Fort Dupont [Antique Overlay of an Anacostia Alternative Future]
|| 10/29/2009 || 4:07 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab from Google Earth showing the location of Randle Highlands

Image links to the KMZ file for Google Earth

The other day I was canvassing the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America newspaper collection and came across this advertisement that was published on May 27th, 1910 in the Washington Times. It shows development plans for Randle Highlands, a neighborhood in Southeast, Washington, DC. I was curious about the results of the newspaper ad. As in, how much has the map changed in the last 99 years? Surprisingly, not too much. Most of the land was developed to plan, except for one large chunk of the land that remains “undeveloped” to this day: Fort Dupont Park.

The National Park Service website says:

This particular fort had six sides, each 100 feet long, protected by a deep moat and trees felled side-by-side with branches pointing outward. It was named for Flag Officer Samuel F. du Pont, who commanded the naval victory at Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861.

Although its garrison and guns never saw battle, Fort Dupont served as a lifeline of freedom. Runaway slaves found safety here before moving on to join the growing community of “contrabands” in Washington. The barracks and guns are gone, but the fort’s earthworks can still be traced near the picnic area on Alabama Avenue.

In the 1930s, the National Capital Planning Commission acquired the old fort and surrounding land for recreation. An 18-hole golf course was constructed. As the city grew, golf gave way in 1970 to the sports complex along Ely Place that now includes tennis and basketball courts, athletic fields, and a softball diamond. An indoor ice rink offers skating all winter. Where once the Civil War fort looked out over farmlands, city dwellers now grow vegetables in community garden plots.

This advertisement was printed 20 years before the National Capital Planning Commission changed the future of this neighborhood. I wonder what it would be like today if it wasn’t a park? Umm, I mean golf course. I was able to line up the old map with the contemporary imagery and by adjusting the transparency in Google Earth you can see how much has been developed. Click here to download the KMZ file for Google Earth


Screen grab from Google Earth showing the location of present day Fort Dupont Park

Image links to Google Maps


Transcription below:

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My New York Map Society Presentation at the New York Public Library
|| 10/4/2008 || 7:03 pm || Comments Off on My New York Map Society Presentation at the New York Public Library || ||

Below are the “slides” used in my presentation for the New York Map Society. Culled from the last four years of entries on this website, the selected maps show the range of my cartographic endeavors. What is missing, however, is my explanation of why I chose each slide.

The presentation was was supposed to go for about 45 minutes and have about 15 minutes of Q&A, instead it went for about 75 minutes and had about 15 minutes of Q&A. In all, I felt it was a very successful presentation and I deeply grateful for the New York Map Society for inviting me and the wonderful staff at the New York Public Library for their assistance.






Sensor Spatial Analysis





Park Circle Quilt – Quicktime Virtual Reality





North, South, East, Westminster – Outdoor Installation

View the entire presentation:

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ABSOLUT STATEHOOD
|| 4/8/2008 || 4:52 pm || Comments Off on ABSOLUT STATEHOOD || ||

Screen grab links to .kmz file for Google Earth

A geovisual response to an LA Times blog entry showing mostly isolationist responses to an alternative history map of North America by Absolut Vodka.

This interactive map for Google Earth shows the familiar Absolut Vodka bottle labeled “Absolut Statehood” and placed inside of the original boundaries of the District of Columbia. These boundaries existed until 1847 after the residents of Virginia voted to cede back the portion of the District of Columbia that was west of the Potomac River.

Absolut Statehood represents the cartographic notion that the nation’s capital can become America’s 51st state*. Today there are over 550,000 American citizens living in the nation’s capital that are being denied the fundamental right of representation in Congress. This ongoing human rights violation currently practiced by the government of the United States has been denounced by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The United States is the only country in the industrialized world that forbids the residents of it’s capital city the right to elect representatives to their national legislature.

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Featured on-line with the Maps exhibition at the Walters Museum
|| 2/27/2008 || 7:17 am || Comments Off on Featured on-line with the Maps exhibition at the Walters Museum || ||

Screen grab showing a small detail of a Concentric Quilt

Starting in mid-November I’ve been volunteering my time with the Walters Museum‘s upcoming exhibition. They have a small technology center (4 iMacs) in their cafeteria which I was given the opportunity to review. I look forward to going to the opening later this month!!

The Walters Museum has also included a layer for Google Earth that I produced for the exhibit. You can download the layer here or here.



Before there was Google Earth, there was Keyhole
|| 2/6/2008 || 3:46 pm || Comments Off on Before there was Google Earth, there was Keyhole || ||

Scan of a document promoting the Keyhole software

In May of 2004, the Association of American Geographers organized an event called “Mapping the News.” It was my first professional association meeting and I had quite a fun time. One of the items I picked up from the vendors was this Keyhole flyer. It was written for journalists who might use Keyhole’s mapping capabilities for their stories. Back then you could get one free week of Keyhole before you had to start paying for it.

I have a knack for saving random documents I think are interesting and last week I rediscovered the flyer when I was disposing of old papers. Shortly after this flyer was produced (I don’t know the exact date) Google bought Keyhole and released it one year later as Google Earth. The rest is history….



Popular GIS Slideshow by Chris Hammond-Thrasher [March 07]
|| 1/24/2008 || 1:01 pm || Comments Off on Popular GIS Slideshow by Chris Hammond-Thrasher [March 07] || ||

Screen shot from a presentation by Chris Hammond-Thrasher from The University of the South Pacific Library

A good friend of mine notified me that one of my maps was mentioned on a slideshow about popular GIS. The author of the slideshow used a screen shot from my American Stereography #1 viewing environment. Click the image above to be taken to the slideshow.



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.

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Within Sight of the White House [Overlay of Hooker’s Division]
|| 12/9/2007 || 2:30 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

[image links to .kmz file]
Google Earth Screen Shot of the Antique Overlay

One of the maps I recently downloaded was from a newspaper clipping showing the area near the White House. With 50 Saloons and 109 Bawdy-Houses the map was drawn to highlight business owners who were paying Federal taxes but not DC taxes. Of importance is how nearly all but four of the business owners were female. Were they not paying taxes because they were disenfranchised? Women’s suffrage didn’t come for another 30 years with the passage of the 19th Amendment. By taking the map and importing it into Google Earth, I was able to arrange it so that the buildings line up with minimal distortion. It’s not a perfect map, but it is truly an interesting glimpse into downtown Washington, DC in the 1890’s.

Today most of the buildings are all gone. There are some exceptions, like City Hall (Central Powerhouse) and the Old Post Office, which is written as the “New Post Office” on the map. In the place of the 109 Bawdy-Houses and 50 Saloons was the creation of Federal Triangle. Ohio Ave- gone, DC’s entertainment center, gone as well. Later built, on the year of my birth, was Freedom Plaza which was designed to look like L’Enfant’s map no less. By adjusting the antique map’s transparency you can see a approximately 117 years of development. From brothel to federal, what a strange entity time is.

Transcription:

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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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