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Miami Quilt
|| 1/3/2006 || 1:13 pm || Comments Off on Miami Quilt || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :

Life is funny sometimes and when it rains it can pour…. So I obtain the Miami imagery on Sunday and I start making this map. Then yesterday I got a call from a former client asking if I can make them a map like I had made for them in the past… but of all places they want me to make a map of its– MIAMI! Too cool right? But alas, my swift (I do mean swift) turnaround draft map was not what they were looking for :-\ To add to the coincidence, when I was at the club last night, one of the DJs played this Bad Company (UK) tune called Miami Flashback, which has a vocal sample of my old friend Stacey K. on it!

As for this map, it is your standard 3 seam map. These are my favorite quilts because in most maps they create a beautiful Star of David in the center….simple as that. And well, ummm, I really like the colors of the water. I made two versions of the source imagery, but so far I’ve only used one (NE). I have another 2 seamed map on the docket.

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Houston Quilt
|| 12/20/2005 || 10:20 pm || Comments Off on Houston Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Like Providence, I have yet to visit downtown Houston, however I can still manipulate the city to some degree. Today’s degree is to the tune of about 60 :-) 360 divided by 60 equals 6 (which equals 3 lines of symmetry which I call “seams” of the quilt) and judging by my last quilts, I’ve found this number to be my favorite degree of manipulation.

So far I’ve made about 39 different quilts (multi-planar maps), and I think it is about time to begin the subdivision of the quilt project into the number seams each quilt has. This means I have to create a sub-category for each number of seams, and then go back through every blog entry and assign each quilt to it’s respective category. This will allow a casual visitor to this site the ability to look at all of the quilts at once or by each respective number of seams.

Starting at 2 seams, like the Ivan Memory (the first quilt) and Beverly Hills Quilt #3, then to 3 seams, like today’s quilt, and then quilts that have greater than 4 seams. This categorization of the quilt project will be helpful in the long run because it will show the ways the geographic tessellations react when reflected multiple times and more importantly it will help organize what has been my favorite projection of 2005.

As for Houston Quilt, the imagery is from 2002 from the USGS (of course!) and I modified the imagery in such a way that the center of the tessellation is Highway 45 and the high-rise buildings of downtown Houston surround it.

The drawback of this imagery, similar to my Denver imagery, is that the aerial photograph was taken in the afternoon and due to the angle of illumination, the shadows obscure much of the ground. Yet this can also be a nice aspect too because the shadows also reflect and make the rendering special in their own way.

I’d rather have the photograph taken from nadir (straight above) at noon on cloudless, sunny day (this eliminates shadows and distortion at the center of the scene). But of course that would be too easy right? :-)

The other drawback is that the imagery itself is somewhat devoid of colors. Granted the sensors did pick up colors, but they are not very vibrant. When looking at the map above it almost appears to be black & white, but when you look at the details you can see some color.

Maybe I should go in and modify the imagery again and add color? In the past, the closest I’ve gotten to doing that was embedding my name into the imagery, and that wasn’t that special. The Boston imagery is still some of my favorite imagery because of the color variations and the good news it that I also downloaded imagery of downtown Houston from 2004 which has an interesting patch of different colored imagery in. When tessellated, this imagery will add that colorful dimension this map currently lacks. First I have to prepare the imagery and I think I might just make another map using the Houston imagery. I was thinking of maybe a 2 seamed map or should it be 4? I’ll find out soon!

==Update==
I ultimately used the geometric shape instead of the lines of symmetry for my naming convention.

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Providence Quilt
|| 12/19/2005 || 11:43 pm || Comments Off on Providence Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

So I am totally on a kick now of making new maps using imagery from outside of DC. Today is Providence, Rhode Island, a city I have yet to visit. Tomorrow will be Houston, Texas, and hopefully the following two will be of Philly & Salt Lake City. So far I’ve only prepared the imagery for Houston and I need to mosaic & square the new imagery I acquired this evening. As for the Providence Quilt, there are a few interesting geographic identifiers that make this rendering all the more exquisite. The capital building is reflected numerous times within the map, but I really like the way the river & roads show up. Lately I’ve been enjoying the ways in which reflected highways make beautiful aspects of the tessellations, and I think the Houston map coming up next will be a great example.

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Lincoln Memorial Quilt
|| 12/18/2005 || 2:02 pm || Comments Off on Lincoln Memorial Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

This is the first rendering I’ve made using the Lincoln Memorial as the subject. When creating the source imagery I took a different approach to setting up the geographic tessellation. I first rotated imagery 45 degrees and from that I cut out the Lincoln Memorial. I paid careful attention so that the refelection pool created a central X in the imagery. While the 6 seamed quilt template is not new, this method of source imagery creation is, and I am very happy with the result and will probably employ this method again in the future.

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Superdome Quilt 1st Derivative #2
|| 9/21/2005 || 4:52 pm || Comments Off on Superdome Quilt 1st Derivative #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Supdome Quilt 1st Derivative #2
Source Imagery from NOAA

Using the first derivative of the Superdome Quilt, I place the extracted imagery into the 6 seamed quilt template. I sincerely love the way in which the Superdome creates such an intriquate star. I wish the stars didn’t merge on the edges of the rendering, but for their perfect placement around the center, I’ll let it slide. I look forward to using this derivative imagery in future renderings.


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Bay Saint Louis Quilt
|| 9/12/2005 || 7:59 am || Comments Off on Bay Saint Louis Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Bay Saint Louis Quilt
Source Imagery from NOAA

Comparing the before & after imagery of the bridge is a humbling reminder of the shear force of a storm surge. Using my favorite 6 sided quilt template, I used the modified imagery I obtained from NOAA. I don’t remember the exact location of where I obtained the zip file containing the imagery, but its from an aerial survey of the Gulf coastline from New Orleans all the way over to Alabama. The series gives a very informative look at the destruction of Katrina. I felt compelled to make a rendering using imagery that was not from New Orleans.

As for the rendering itself, the bridge makes an awesome geographic identifier and has the look of embroidery. Alas, there will need to be a lot more stitches in time to fix it! The only drawback I found with the rendering, was that in the imagery preparation, in order to make the colors decent looking (as opposed to the pale blue tone that the source imagery had), some the landforms on the ground were slightly bleached out. A secondary drawback was that I obtained the imagery in a compressed .jpg form, so there was already some pixilation that existed which slightly obscured some of the detail of the damage. Nonetheless, I love the way this rendering looks, but I still like the Superdome Quilt – 1st Derivative slightly more. I don’t have any renderings in the pipeline at the moment, but my guess is that I’ll make a second rendering using the same Bay Saint Louis imagery…

As stated before, all proceeds from the prints using Hurricane Katrina aftermath imagery will be donated to the relief efforts.

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Superdome Quilt
|| 9/8/2005 || 8:06 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Superdome Quilt – Source Imagery from NOAA

Horrid beauty. Symmetry & balance in an area ravaged by my favorite & only subject, Mother Nature.

Like the recent Boston renderings, the colors contained in the source imagery make this image stand out considerably. From what I can tell from the NOAA website, the aerial photography used to make this rendering was taken in the afternoon on a mostly cloudy day. The spots of brightness in the rendering are places where there were holes in the clouds. The dark areas on the ground are the flooded locations. These flooded locations, even the source imagery, are really hard to decipher. Due to the time the photograph was taken and the moisture content in the air, the flooded areas lack some of the detail I was hoping to portray.

When modifying the imagery in Photoshop, I did a simple “auto-levels” to balance out the colors, and surprisingly this change in levels gave some extra clarity to the imagery. If you check out the colors of the source imagery, you know what I’m talking about. Yet, I wish that “auto-levels” in Photoshop had some magical powers that would make the waters in New Orleans go back to their original levels…

When I created the geographic tessellation in Photoshop, I placed the imagery in such a way that the very center of the tessellation was the New Orleans Superdome. I was unable to acquire imagery from NOAA that contained the entire damaged dome in one image (ie, only part of the Super Dome shows up), so you can see how the reflection connects the Super Dome together into a hurricane damaged clover leaf. This centralized geographic identifier makes for some stunning reflections at the center.

Like my earlier experiences using 1st and 2nd derivatives, I have decided to make a 1st derivative rendering using the 6,600 X 6,600 pixels at the center this rendering. I think it’s going to look gorgeous and should be ready sometime tomorrow.

Lastly, like Katrina Quilt & Abstract Katrina, I am putting this one up for sale and the proceeds will go to the disaster relief efforts….hmmm… something that just popped in my head… maybe I could use the money to buy time for a commercial that demands that FEMA director resign. I think that might be a better use of the funds…maybe not… Regardless, heads need to roll and if I am able to help this process, I think I’m helping the disaster relief efforts considerably.

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Adams Morgan Quilt
|| 8/26/2005 || 5:24 pm || Comments Off on Adams Morgan Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Finally a rendering for one of my favorite parts of DC, Adams Morgan! I actually prepared two different versions of the modified imagery. My original plan was to make two exact versions of eachother, with the only difference being how the source imagery was modified. Essentially, when I prepare the imagery I can place source image in one of 4 places (upper right / left, lower right / left) of the canvas and then reflect imagery around the placement. Usually I choose some geographic identifier to be placed at the center, so when reflected it’s noticed more.

In the rendering above I chose to place the Duke Ellington bridge at the center. Yet when I imported the “inverse,” I noticed that the colors were a bit brighter, which can only mean that adjusted the levels a bit too much on the inverse for it to truly be an inverted version of the original. Regardless, this one I came out fabulous!

Up next, Georgetown Quilt #3, this time I am reflecting it more and I’ve modified the source imagery a bit so there isn’t any abstraction of the imagery…basically, what I’ve found out that in the tessellation process, if I use a rectangle the imagery is stretched to compensate. However, if I use perfectly square imagery, there isn’t any stretch and the fidelity of the source imagery is maintained.

I’m definitely going to make a few Adams Morgan prints in the next week or so. I also want to make some of Anacostia and Columbia Heights, and maybe, just maybe one of Foggy Bottom…

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Boston Quilt
|| 8/13/2005 || 8:49 pm || Comments Off on Boston Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

I’m digging these Boston renderings too much! I am very happy with how it turned out and I am looking forward to the next Boston rendering. Should I throw it into a Lenz? I guess we’ll see…. Nonetheless, this probably one of my favorite renderings from the Quilt Project yet. Up next, of course, a Boston Mandala.

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Georgetown Quilt #2
|| 7/31/2005 || 7:36 pm || Comments Off on Georgetown Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :

This rendering marks a new stage in my artistic development. Through better understanding of my tools, I have switched from using flattened cylinders to using infinite planes. The geographic tessellation can now be projected to infinite without any degradation in spatial resolution. While the old way allowed me to do the same, I like having a new way to make new lines of symmetry.

This means the gigapixel or the terapixel(wha?) barrier can be surpassed, but my digital ceiling is limited to my iMac’s processing power- I need a G5. Some of the renderings from the Abstract Series were created at 20,000 X 15,000 (300 megapixels) but I’ve realized that it takes too long to process renderings that large. I’ve chosen to keep my current ceiling at 15,000 X 10,000 (150 megapixels), this way each rendering can fit as compressed TIFF (usually about 400-600mbs each) on a CD so I can easily back them up and make duplicates.

As for the outcome of this new development, the only drawback that I’ve found thus far is that the center tends to be darker. Due to the location of the radial light source and the artificial construct of infinity, the center appears darker and the edges appear lighter. I’m going to experiment with lighting and adding more lines of symmetry for my next rendering.

I’ve also learned that I need to make sure my modified imagery is an exact square in dimensions before I import it. In this rendering, the modified Georgetown imagery is like 4 times wide as it is tall and I noticed that there is some slight stretching of some of buildings on the ground and I want minimal distortions when possible.

Like Georgetown Lenz #2, I sincerely enjoy the way the Whitehurst Freeway and the Key Bridge make some of the most notable elements of this rendering. The lines of symmetry used were (0,60,120) and with each line of symmetry there were two more reflections from the imagery which created a total of 6 lines of radial symmetry. If you look closely you can see the bee’s wax hexagonal shape- love it!

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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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