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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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Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop
|| 1/21/2009 || 4:30 pm || Comments Off on Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop || ||

Back in July of 2007 I found that Google was censoring the imagery of downtown Washington, DC. This discovery lead to an article that was featured on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post. In the time since, Google has not updated the imagery, even after the release of Street View for Washington, DC.

The other day they finally decided to update the imagery of Washington, DC. I believe they did this because there were millions of people coming to Washington for the inauguration and they would have been showing them outdated imagery on their maps. Now that the imagery has been updated, you can almost see the message on my rooftop that I installed in the summer of 2006. Since the imagery has a somewhat low spatial resolution, its slightly difficult to make out the words “No War,” and it kinda looks like “No W@R.” Below is the photograph that appeared on the front page of the Style Section of the Washington Post in March of 2007 which shows me standing next to the now-visible rooftop sign.


“The mapmaker on his Washington roof with a message that he hopes will someday be reflected in both government aerial photography and the art he creates from that imagery.” (Photo by Michael Williamson — The Washington Post)


Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery
|| 11/6/2008 || 5:53 pm || Comments Off on Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery || ||

As a cutesy election day surprise, Google announced the release of their Street View feature for the Google Maps of Washington, DC. For the last year and a half I’ve been waiting for Google Maps to include the city I live in, while at the same time planning my next installment of my geopolitical art project Google Street View IED , the first google bomb for Street View.

In June of 2007, around the time Street View was first released, Washington, DC’s imagery was “updated” with newer aerial photography from 2005. However, the central business district of Washington, DC continues to this day being shown using out-dated imagery from 2002, and the rest of the District is being shown using the newer imagery from September 2005. In the time since this”update”, even after I assisted in exposing this passive censorship in the Washington Post, the imagery has not been updated and because of this the new Street View feature suffers.

In the screen grab above you are being shown the massive parking lot known as City Center which was the site of the former convention center. The old convention center was imploded in December of 2004, which makes a gross mismatch. By using outdated imagery the convention center is still being shown on the Google Map, but the Street View imagery shows a completely different temporal view. The disturbing part of all of this is that the USGS imagery is completely available to anyone in the world to download. It’s already being used by Google Maps for the rest of Washington, DC and I’ve been using in my maps as well.

So, Google, when are you going to update your imagery? If its for security reasons, why release Street View? This provides far more “on the ground” information the aerial views profide. Please tell your content providers that the imagery of Washington, DC deserves an update so you can better serve your customers. Maybe you can use your new satellite?



Related Google Maps Entries:

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New York City Photo Series #2 – Corner of Rivington & Essex
|| 10/7/2008 || 1:35 pm || Comments Off on New York City Photo Series #2 – Corner of Rivington & Essex || ||

This week I am posting photos from New York City that took last weekend.

The photograph above was taken from the 6th floor window of Hotel Rivington in the Lower East Side.

For temporal comparison here are the advertisements as seen from Google’s Streetview:


Related New York City Entries:

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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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Pentagon Bans Google Map-Makers
|| 3/17/2008 || 2:01 pm || Comments Off on Pentagon Bans Google Map-Makers || ||

What a poorly written lead by the BBC. It should say something like “Pentagon Bans Google Street View from Military Bases.” Saying “Google map-makers” are banned implies that people who use the service of Google Maps are also banned. But that is not the case; I can zoom into many military bases, but what I cannot do, and the point of the story, is to use the Street View feature within a military base.

Of course they shouldn’t be making a Streetview dataset of any military bases in the first place. Call this a very stupid mistake on behalf of Google. How is this helpful? Knowing where the F-14’s are housed is not information that can be used by the general public. Just like I don’t need to know how DC’s steam pipe network is laid out (a dataset that is withheld from the public last time I checked). Basically, its one thing to do Street View on public streets in innocuous cities, but its an entirely different story when they map out the inside of a military base.

I’ve had quite a few military personnel visit my Street View Improvised Explosive Device animation since I put it on-line last year in June (it was created about a week after Street View was released to the public). I would like to believe that the military is aware of how people can exploit Street View, but nearly 9 months later it doesn’t look like some of the military brass has taken any warnings seriously.

Also, I truly wonder if and when Google will release Street View for Washington, DC. With Google and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency already censoring downtown DC, I doubt that they would release DC’s Streetview imagery without some significant modifications (aka redactions). However, if Google does release DC Street View I already know exactly where I plan on making the next digital IED…. [you will just have to wait & see]

Street View Improvised Explosive Device


Google StreetView I.E.D. – Blowing Up The Spot
|| 6/11/2007 || 12:40 pm || Comments Off on Google StreetView I.E.D. – Blowing Up The Spot || ||

Street View Improvised Explosive Device by Nikolas Schiller

So the other day I mentioned I was working on a mash-up for Google’s new Street View feature.

The result is the first google bomb for Street View— an improvised explosive device, with a message called Street View I.E.D..

Check it out: www.StreetViewIED.com
Tune up the volume!



new project with Google’s Street View
|| 6/6/2007 || 6:24 am || Comments Off on new project with Google’s Street View || ||

Last week Google released “Street View” for Google Maps. It’s based on georeferenced panoramic photographs within the Google Maps interface. Read more about how it works here. Right now I am working on mashing it up. I think I’ve made a pretty good prototype thus far.





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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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