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Du Er Her
|| 3/1/2008 || 11:40 am || Comments Off on Du Er Her || ||


You are here in Danish

Du Er Her = You Are Here (in Danish)

About a month ago I was contacted by the author of the book “You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination.” She was interested in using one of my maps for her upcoming book (expect another posting in the not-so-distant future about this). One of my daily reads as of late is Copenhagen Cycle Chic. It’s a simple blog that shows photographs of women on bicycles in the Denmark’s capital city. Looking at the photographs everyday make me want to move to Copenhagen. The other day while I was looking through the author’s Flickr photostream I spotted the photo above and smiled.



Map of the Languages of Europe
|| 2/21/2008 || 10:26 am || Comments Off on Map of the Languages of Europe || ||


The Languages of Europe

Following up yesterday’s posting about languages, I am posting this map I found on Wikipedia that shows where different languages are spoken throughout Europe. I find this type of map quite interesting to view, yet I feel it lacks one important cartographic aspect: overlap. Basically, the simplified map above does not show where multiple languages are spoken, rather only where the dominant languages are. By not including this important aspect we are given a nicely colored map, yet in reality there is a lot more merging of colors because there are geographies that have multiple languages spoken.


It’s too bad I don’t know Hebrew because tonight’s exhibition will most likely include some Hebrew on maps of Israel.


#UPDATE – I have updated the map to the latest version on Wikipedia, which was made in February 25, 2009.


Related Europe Entries:

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Kaleidoscoop by Pieter Van den Dorpe
|| 2/20/2008 || 4:14 pm || Comments Off on Kaleidoscoop by Pieter Van den Dorpe || ||


Kaleidoscoop by Pieter Van den Dorpe

I always love finding blog entries in other languages. Today I want to learn Dutch! I sent the text on to my Dutch brother-in-law to see if Google’s translation (below) was accurate.

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From Here to There in Google Maps
|| 2/10/2008 || 3:02 pm || Comments Off on From Here to There in Google Maps || ||

Screen grab of Google Map’s directions

Technically it’s the directions from Héré to Théré, but lets just forget about the four accent égues as they are lost in translation. —via Haha.nu



Carte du Telegraphe Optique [dans l’hexagone]
|| 1/10/2008 || 10:21 pm || Comments Off on Carte du Telegraphe Optique [dans l’hexagone] || ||

Undated Map of Optical Telegraph Stations in France
Courtesy of Low-Tech Magazine via Ecole Centrale de Lyon

E-mail in the 18th Century

Centuries of slow long-distance communications came to an end with the arrival of the telegraph. Most history books start this chapter with the appearance of the electrical telegraph, midway the nineteenth century. However, they skip an important intermediate step. Fifty years earlier (in 1791) the Frenchman Claude Chappe developed the optical telegraph. Thanks to this technology, messages could be transferred very quickly over long distances, without the need for postmen, horses, wires or electricity.

The optical telegraph network consisted of a chain of towers, each placed 5 to 20 kilometres apart from each other. On each of these towers a wooden semaphore and two telescopes were mounted (the telescope was invented in 1600). The semaphore had two signalling arms which each could be placed in seven positions. The wooden post itself could also be turned in 4 positions, so that 196 different positions were possible. Every one of these arrangements corresponded with a code for a letter, a number, a word or (a part of) a sentence.

The other day I found this tremendously enlightening article about optical telegraphs on Low-Tech Magazine. Prior to reading this article I had no idea about this arcane method of communication. The authors supplied a map (above) to really drive home how extensive this system was.

Something that I think few people do when surfing through Wikipedia is to check the articles in other languages. It’s really easy to do and the results tend to be very useful. For words that have equivalent spellings, all one has to do is change the URL’s prefix (fr to en). For words that have different spellings (telegraph vs télégraph) you will have to correct this spelling in order for the entry to show up.

For example, the French entry on telegraphe yields quite a bit more information related to the use of semaphores (the object used to construct the optical telegraphic code) than the English entry on telegraphs.

Below is a carte of the semaphoric number system and an engraving of Mont St. Michel with a semaphore at the top. Both images obtained from the French wikipedia.

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NOVA ET ACCVRATISSIMA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA [2007 Remix]
|| 7/9/2007 || 2:15 pm || Comments Off on NOVA ET ACCVRATISSIMA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA [2007 Remix] || ||

NOVA ET ACCVRATISSIMA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA - 2007 Remix by Nikolas Schiller

I updated the Library of Congress‘ version of Joan Blaeu‘s “A New and Accurate Map of the Entire World” (1662?) with NASA’s Blue Marble satellite images. Unlike the previous version, I decided to use a different satellite image for the eastern hemisphere so that the tip of Brazil does not overlap.

View the Interactive & Original version:

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Society is Enriched by Labor :: Socio Ditata Labore
|| 5/12/2007 || 4:22 pm || Comments Off on Society is Enriched by Labor :: Socio Ditata Labore || ||


“Antique Home”

Today I finally got around to looking through the David Ramsey Historical Map Collection. Like Archive.org, there was a lot to discover…

The above image is an assembled detail of a beautiful engraving on the title page of Atlas Nouveau, which was published in 1742 in Amsterdam (original cover after the flap). The detail contains the Latin phrase, “Socio ditata labore” and shows a scene of exploration. There is a slain dragon on the right side and on the left are soldiers bringing a woman to the new land. I couldn’t pass up this engraving! I do need a Latin translation, anyone know it? (A friend of mine was able to get a translation for me – below)

Behind the engraving is a tessellated detail from Home Quilt #5, which features the row house I’ve been living in for the last 3 years. The house was built around 1889, a 147 years after the Atlas was published. The source aerial photograph was taken in March of 2005, published in February of 2007, and revisted on March 29th, 2007, and finally today, a 265 year enrichment.

I also made a pop-art style tile that features the engraving in different colors.

From an e-mail:
Here is the report from my classicist friend in LA:

as for the latin, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as it stands – ‘socius’ is a friend, companion, (father in law in some contexts) – so it could be some sort of dedication, as in: ‘for my father in law, with enriched labor” – which, as I say, makes no sense. if, however, ‘societas’ has been mistaken for ‘socio,’ then it can read, as you say, ‘society is enriched by labor.’

Title Page & Notes:

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GPS nabs another one…
|| 5/6/2005 || 10:39 am || Comments Off on GPS nabs another one… || ||

Those nifty 24 satellites rotating around the earth got another person

GPS Device Finds Robbery Suspect
POSTED: 8:55 am EDT May 6, 2005
CINCINNATI — Police say modern technology foiled an old-fashioned bank robbery.

A teller placed an electronic Global Positioning System device in a bag of stolen money, allowing police to track down a suspect in just 42 minutes Thursday.

“Around here (GPS) is still relatively rare,” Hamilton County sheriff’s office spokesman Steve Barnett said. “But with the advancement in technology and the continued success of catching bank robbers, soon I would hope that other financial institutions would jump on board.”

Authorities said that after William Ingram, 46, left a U.S. Bank in suburban Colerain Township, the GPS device tracked him to a car dealership in Hartwell, where he was returning a Honda that he had borrowed for a test drive but actually used as a getaway car.

When Ingram was confronted, money began spilling from his pockets, officials said.

One year ago, I remember reading this news item:

Nowhere to hide for Dutch bike thieves

By Wendel Broere in Amsterdam
March 13, 2004

Police plan to bait thieves with bicycles equipped with hidden global positioning transmitters in the latest effort to stamp out Amsterdam’s rampant bicycle theft.

The Netherlands has more bicycles than its 16 million inhabitants, but in the capital alone an estimated 80,000-150,000 bicycles – more than one tenth of the total – are stolen every year.

“It would be great to get hold of the organised bicycle thieves, to track the whereabouts of stolen bikes and see if any end up in an official bicycle shops,” a police spokesman said.

“We just want to do everything we can to combat bicycle theft and are going to use new GPS technology.”

Police plan to chain up bicycles with the GPS emitters in parts of the city notorious for bicycle theft. GPS, the worldwide radio-navigation system used for shipping and military purposes, enables users to pinpoint the position, speed and time to locate themselves or an object.

Bicycle theft is so widespread in Amsterdam that rental shops will not let customers leave without giving them a crash course on bike locking – attaching both wheels to the frame, and chaining the bicycle to a fixed object, such as a bicycle stand.

Police said they were targeting professional bicycle thieves. This group makes a substantial profit from rebirthing and is known for scouring the city at night and lifting several bicycles at a time, putting them in vans or trailers.

Campaigners against bicycle theft say the majority of bicycle thieves, 40 per cent, are professionals while 30 per cent are drug addicts looking for a quick and easy way to get cash for their next fix. The remainder are usually impulsive thieves, sometimes students or youths – and very often drunk – who steal a bike to get home after their own was stolen.

Something most people don’t realize is that the new cars that come with OnStar allow you & your car to be tracked 24/7. Granted some people do not mind this safety aspect of OnStar, but if you were really interested in “getting away from it all,” and decided to cruise somewhere to not be found, those 24 nifty satellites will be on your ass no matter what. I wonder if there is some way to switch OnStar off & on when you want some geospatial privacy. I sincerely doubt it though. Otherwise those car thieves would turn it off once they commandeer the car. Regardless, I have issues with notion that my movements can be traced at all times. I already think about this every time I use my debit card and even when I use my cell phone.



Star of Europe
|| 2/2/2005 || 4:45 am || Comments Off on Star of Europe || ||

This rendering turned out well, but I still like Star of the Middle East slightly more. There isn’t enough color variation in this rendering, but as with the rest of the renderings, I can’t wait to get it printed out. Yesterday I discovered that I can get a $1,000 grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, so I’m definitely going to write up a statement of need in the next couple weeks!



Abstract Netherlands
|| 11/16/2004 || 7:22 pm || Comments Off on Abstract Netherlands || ||

This image kinda looks like a dude in a gas mask. I had no intentions of it looking remotely like that. The wierd part is that it finished rendering on the same day my gask mask was delivered. It took about 10 days, but NBC Gask Masks sold me a nifty product. I’ve practiced putting it on (pretend fire drill style) a few times, but lets hope I never have to use it. Yet living in DC with 4 more years of Bush, I am expecting some acid reflux in the belly of the beast, and Mr. Ridge told me to be prepared, or was that scared? Regardless, I have my gask mask stowed away in my emergency medical kit. I guess you could say I’m a bonofide uncertified first responder.





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