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i'm currently on daily blogging sabbatical, but i'll be back very soon.

Watergate Quilt
|| 10/17/2010 || 1:36 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
watergatequilt Watergate Quilt

This map contains my first effort to recolor the murky water of the Potomac river. Since the Watergate complex is next to the Saudi Arabian Embassy, I decided to color the water the color which I attribute to the oil-rich nation: black. Water & oil don’t mix well and I don’t think I did a very good job with the colorization in this map, but to be honest, I don’t care. It was the effort that I was after in this iteration, not necessarily the aesthetics of perfection.

View the Google Map of the Watergate complex in the District of Columbia.


: detail :
watergatequilt cut Watergate Quilt

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DFW Quilt
|| 6/6/2010 || 1:27 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
dfwquilt DFW Quilt

A long time ago my father suggested I make a map of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. He was definitely right about incorporating the geometric layout of the airport and now I’m curious about making an entire series of just airports. I chose the Diamond Quilt projection because I liked the way the curves create a heart in the map.

View the Google Map of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.


: detail :
dfwquilt cut DFW Quilt

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Phoenix Quilt
|| 4/9/2009 || 12:31 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
phoenixquilt Phoenix Quilt

Over the years I’ve done my best to map every major city throughout the United States. Some cities & states withhold their imagery from the public domain and I’ve been unable to map those geographies (I’m looking you at Vermont!). While Tuscon, Arizona was released to the public a few years back, Phoenix, the primary city of Arizona, was not released until sometime last year. I don’t get updates of when new imagery is released in the public domain, which has kept me in the dark about when other cities are releasing new imagery, otherwise I would have mapped Phoenix sooner.

For this map I decided to employ the Diamond Quilt Projection on the area around downtown Phoenix. The source aerial photography was originally .8 feet per pixel, but in order to capture more of the downtown area I reduced the spatial resolution of the source imagery to cover more area. In doing so, I have most of the important buildings in downtown Phoenix. Known as Cooper Square, the buildings in this map include Chase Field, U.S. Airways Center, Sandra Day O’Connor US District Court, Bank of America Tower, City Hall, Maricopa County government buildings, Phoenix Civic Center, and Patriot Square Park. Unlike most of my state capital maps, the Phoenix state capitol is located to the west and I will probably have to go back and make a subsequent map so I can include it in my ongoing series of state capitol buildings.

Anyways, I resampled a portion of this map and will post it tomorrow.


View the Google Map of downtown Phoenix, Arizona

: detail :
phoenixquilt cut Phoenix Quilt

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Georgetown Quilt #5
|| 1/14/2009 || 11:07 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
georgetownquilt5 Georgetown Quilt #5

Its been awhile since I’ve made a map, so I decided to revisit Georgetown. When making this map, I tried to center the focus on the intersection of M Street & Wisconsin Ave. I was able to do this more easily because I started with a smaller piece of aerial photography than I normally work with.

View the Google Map of the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, DC

: detail :
georgetownquilt5 cut2 Georgetown Quilt #5

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Kansas City Quilt #2
|| 12/9/2008 || 2:42 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
kansascityquilt2 Kansas City Quilt #2

Using this portion of Kansas City Quilt, I created this derivative map of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. When making this map I tried a few different variations but settled on a Diamond Quilt Projection map.

View the Google Map of downtown Kansas City, Missouri

: detail :
kansascityquilt2 cut Kansas City Quilt #2

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Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge Quilt
|| 6/7/2008 || 6:12 pm || Comments Off || ||

manhattan&brooklynbridgequilt Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge Quilt

Yesterday I went through all my 2008 entries and began to compile this year’s maps like I’ve done for previous years. However, this year I decided to expand the listing to include designs & animations that I’ve made.

The rationale for this expansion was rather simple: if these yearly listings are to be aggregates of my creative work, they might as well include everything. I’m a bit tepid about going through the previous years to find creations that I might have missed, but I imagine that I’ll get around to doing it. Also, since this website has gone public, I’ve found myself sharing content that I did not create and this makes it more difficult to decipher what I’ve created and what I have found on-line & decided to share here.

Today’s creation is the start of a new series of New York City maps that I expect to make in the coming days. This morning I discovered that the USGS has released newer imagery of New York City that was taken in March of 2006.

However, as with other imagery, I’ve found that the older imagery is of better quality. Its not that this new imagery is fuzzy or not as sharp, but rather I found the coloration to be more subdued. The 2004 imagery, which I used to produce all of my previous New York City maps, is more vivid and the colors just look nicer. With that issue aside, I’ve made a few different tessellations that I’m going to be using for the next set of maps of New York City.

This map shows the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as a tiny portion of Brooklyn and a larger portion of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. I tried a few different Quilt projection shapes and finally settled on using the Diamond Quilt Projection because I like the way the bridges create a square box within the diamond layout. I have made a derivative tessellation of this map, but I think I’m going to use some of the other imagery first.

View the Google Map of the Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges.

: detail :
manhattan&brooklynbridgequilt cut Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge Quilt

View the rest of the map’s close-up details:

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Swampoodle Quilt #3
|| 5/14/2008 || 6:12 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
swampoodlequilt3 Swampoodle Quilt #3

Using this portion of Swampoodle Quilt #2, I constructed this derivative Diamond Quilt Projection map of the area around the Artomatic 2008 venue in the Swampoodle neighborhood in Washington, DC.

After making this map I conceived an alternative procedural route to constructing future derivative maps. Those of you that have read this blog for awhile know that I do sequential maps, where you can literally see the visual process of what part of the previous map was used to construct the next map. However, this recursive process shows all the intermediate maps, when sometimes I just want to get to the final map. So the idea is to make smaller maps, like 12,000 x 12,000 (square not 3:2) and sample these maps first and not publish the intermediate maps. For example, I make a map of a new location and after processing that map, I sample it and render another map, sample that map, and render that map as the final map of the geography. The difference here is that I would not publish the intermediate maps as [City] Quilt #2, #3, etc. but just the final map. I’m going to try that next.

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

: detail :
swampoodlequilt3 cut Swampoodle Quilt #3

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

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

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Boston Common Quilt #2
|| 4/18/2008 || 1:29 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
bostoncommonquilt2 Boston Common Quilt #2

Using this portion of yesterday’s map, I constructed this derivative Diamond Quilt Projection map of the area around Boston Common and the Massachusetts State House.

View the Google Map of Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts.

: detail of the Parkman Bandstand :
bostoncommonquilt2 cut Boston Common Quilt #2

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Vassar Quilt Refraction
|| 3/28/2008 || 3:46 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :
vassarrefraction Vassar Quilt Refraction

Using this portion of Vassar Quilt #2, I made this derivative map of Vassar College using added elements from the Lenz projection. The optics create a very unique sense of depth at the center of the map. I also added four other optical elements that create a fluvial design, almost appearing to flow toward the center.

View the Google Map of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

vassarrefraction zoom Vassar Quilt Refraction

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Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt
|| 3/2/2008 || 11:43 am || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
washingtondupont51quilt Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt

I decided to switch things up a bit with today’s rendering. I have become very efficient with most of the processes used to create my maps, which both makes them standardized and sometimes a bit too similar to each other (while paradoxically being different geographies). This map and probably the next few maps are going to be slightly different.

In order to have the most recent maps of Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, and Washington Circle look similar to each other, I would take the first derivative tessellation and overlay it on top of the tessellation that I was constructing. By adjusting the transparency, I can overlay the circles directly on top of each other which makes the subsequent map look nearly identical.

Normally, I simply delete the original tessellation when I have the two lined up perfectly, however in today’s map I chose to not delete the other map. Instead, I adjusted the transparency of Dupont Circle to 51% to show both geographies at once. The result is something that I wasn’t expecting, but am quite pleased with the results. I can see myself using this process again. It’s like a double exposure…

View the Google Map of Washington Circle in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC.

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

washingtondupont51quilt cut Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt

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87 & 280 Quilt #2
|| 2/17/2008 || 4:41 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
87&280quilt2 87 & 280 Quilt #2

Using this portion of 87 & 280 Quilt, I constructed this derivative map of the California State Route 87 & interstate 280 interchange. What is unique is that it’s a actually a Diamond Quilt Projection map, but it looks quite a bit like a Square Quilt Projection maps. The third derivative tessellation looks quite cool and I think the next map will be the best in the series.

View the Google Map of the interchange.

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Charlotte Spheres #2
|| 2/3/2008 || 7:52 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
charlotte spheres2 Charlotte Spheres #2

Using a portion of Charlotte Spheres #1, I created this derivative map. I noticed that there was over-projection in some parts of the first map, so I under-projected this map to reduce further pixilation. The result is one of the most exquisite quilt projection maps yet! It has a nice assortment of aerial photography at multiple scales and the geometric designs of the original buildings standout quite nicely. I look forward to getting this printed eventually because it’s quite fun to look at.

Speaking of printing, I spent some of my hard-earned funds on a 60″ x 40″ canvas print of Federal Triangle Quilt #4. This is the largest printing I’ve ordered for myself. I joined Imagekind exactly one year ago and not once did I ever get around to purchasing one of my maps at it’s largest size and on the most expensive media. It’s not like I didn’t want to, but I just wasn’t sure which one to purchase. I have a $2,500 check arriving shortly from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and I intend on purchasing quite a few more! Very excited.

One disappointment was how the canvas hangs using Poster Hangers. I hung it vertically and the sides of the canvas bend inward. I knew this was going to happen somewhat, but I was expecting so much bend– like a full two inches curving inward. Another interesting observation is how the texture of the canvas adds to the quilted nature of the projection technique. When it comes to quality and longevity of media, I think I’m going to do most of my future printing on canvas. It costs more, but I think it’s worth it.

Also arriving last week was Imagekind’s Sample Media Kit, which contains samples of all of the company’s media that my maps are printed on. It costs $15, but you get $15 off your next purchase, so it’s kind of worth it. My evaluation of the kit was rather simple: does it reflect too much light or does the paper/canvas tear? The winner, and what I printed Federal Triangle Quilt #4 and Israel / Palestine 1993 on, was the Epson Piezo Pro Matte Canvas.

View the Google Map of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

charlotte spheres2 cut Charlotte Spheres #2

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Charlotte Spheres
|| 2/2/2008 || 4:59 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :
charlotte spheres Charlotte Spheres

About a week ago I noticed someone from Charlotte, North Carolina looked at my website multiple times. One time while they were exploring my website the person did a search for “Charlotte” and since I had not made a map of Charlotte yet, they didn’t find anything….

Using the same Lenz Projection elements used in Pentagon Spheres and Dupont Circle Lenz Quilt, I developed this unique map. However, unlike the Pentagon Spheres map, I arranged the height of the spheres in a different pattern and I used a diamond quilt projection for the background.

I am quite pleased with the results. Specifically, I like how the magnification varies perfectly on the left and right-hand side of the map. Below you can see a close up detail of two identical locations that were magnified differently. The magnification process is quite processor intensive which made this map take over 10 hours to render– the longest render time since I purchased my MacBook last year and I didn’t even render it at my standard size.

View the Google Map of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

: detail :
charlotte spheres cut Charlotte Spheres

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Federal Triangle Quilt #3
|| 1/20/2008 || 8:02 pm || Comments Off || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
federaltrianglequilt3 Federal Triangle Quilt #3

Using this portion of Federal Triangle Quilt #2, I created this derivative map. Again, I found myself counting up the total number of Freedom Plazas located with in the map. After spending a few minutes, I counted a total of 124 complete maps within my map!

View my previous entry about Federal Triangle.

View the Google Map of Federal Triangle in downtown Washington, DC.

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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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