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On page 149 of Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism by Nato Thompson and Independent Curators International
|| 12/3/2008 || 12:20 pm || Comments Off on On page 149 of Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism by Nato Thompson and Independent Curators International || ||

Today I received my copy of Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism by Nato Thompson and Independent Curators International. As I mentioned before, my Pentagon Quilt #3 was included in Daniel Tucker’s WE ARE HERE Map Archive that is featured in Independent Curators International traveling exhibition. The catalog for the exhibition and goes on sale next month when the exhibit starts its two year international tour. My map is on page 149 next to Lize Mogel & Dario Azzellini’s The Privatization of War: Colombia as Laboratory and Iraq as Large-Scale Application.

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A New & Somewhat Accurate Map of the Tropic of Gemini and the Tropic of Sagittarius
|| 9/4/2008 || 7:11 pm || Comments Off on A New & Somewhat Accurate Map of the Tropic of Gemini and the Tropic of Sagittarius || ||


For the last month I’ve been working on a slightly strange map above. It’s based on Johannes van Loon’s “Scenographia systematis mvndani Ptolemaici” (1660), which includes an “Axis Zodiaci” that shows the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius being slightly more illuminated than Cancer & Capricorn (see below). This shading possibly indicates that the author was aware of natural movement of the earth since the time of Ptolemy (~125 A.D.).

A new & somewhat accurate map of the Tropic of Sagittarius and the Tropic of Gemini was created using two maps of the Tropics from Wikipedia. I added the glyphs of the Zodiac over the meridians, but unlike the antique map below, I moved the signs backwards. The word “tropic” itself comes from the Greek tropos, meaning turn, referring to the fact that the sun appears to “turn back” at the solstices. I have read that in 1989 the Tropic of Gemini moved into the constellation of Taurus, which technically means it should be the “Tropic of Taurus,” but to keep the circle of animals in exact opposition, I kept the tropic in Gemini, hence “somewhat accurate.”

Close-up detail of A New & Somewhat Accurate Map of the Tropic of Gemini and the Tropic of Sagittarius

For hundreds of years cartographers have included the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer on nearly all globes and world maps. Yet with the natural movement of the earth through space & time, the solstices are not located in the constellations of Capricorn or Cancer anymore. So why do cartographers continue to label the maps & globes using this incorrect information? Does cartographic tradition trump astronomical observation? Should contemporary maps be changed to reflect the passage of time? Are there any antique maps that place the Tropics in any other constellations? Leave your comments below.

Johannes van Loon’s “Scenographia systematis mvndani Ptolemaici” (1660)



Postscript: I believe I was incorrect in my analysis above. I failed to take into account the sideral.


Related Antique Entries:

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National MSM of the American Indian on Google Maps; Why truncate the word Museum?
|| 3/31/2008 || 1:55 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Last night I was using Google Maps and discovered that the label for the National Museum of the American Indian has been truncated to be “National MSM of the American Indian.” This raised alarm because the shorthand for MSM is more recognized as “MainStream Media” not museum. Native Americans have been shortchanged for hundreds of years by the American government, and I found it downright rude that the museum’s name has been cartographically shortchanged as well. So why shorten the name?

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Digital Globe: Where did DC’s roads go?
|| 3/5/2008 || 12:27 pm || Comments Off on Digital Globe: Where did DC’s roads go? || ||


Digital Globe's Image Browser

Screen grab featuring DC with very few roads

I was looking at Digital Globe’s website the other day and I decided to zoom into Washington, DC. The result was a map that only shows the major highways around the area. What is missing, however, are all the roads in DC, even the ones that connect to the “major highways” outside of the District. While the roads are not really needed to find locations of imagery, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a good example of how an on-line mapping environments can leave out a lot more content than what should be included. Since this map environment was designed to seek Digital Globe’s imagery, not highways, it would make more sense that the base layer shows archive satellite imagery and not ugly vector graphics that incompletely show the major transportation routes in DC.

Notice:
– Two different city centers: Washington + Washington, DC
– In the margin map, the star next to Columbia is not District of Columbia, but South Carolina
– In the margin map, all cities are capitals as well
Gallaudet University is the only university shown



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.



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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America as a Cloverleaf
|| 6/18/2007 || 8:09 pm || Comments Off on America as a Cloverleaf || ||

America as a Cloverleaf by Nikolas Schiller

View the original, interactive version, and legend:

This historic map mashup is courtesy of Heinrich Bunting (1545-1606) by way of the Yale University Map Library.

Originally the three cloverleaves were of Africa (South/Middle) , Europe (West/Left), and Asia (East/Right) and at the center was Jerusalem. You can read more about this map at the website Strange Maps.

My rendition is San Francisco’s Financial District (West/Left), the Saint Louis Arch (South), and Lower Manhattan (East/Right) and at the center is the rowhouse in Washington, DC where I reside at.

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LOLmaps
|| 5/24/2007 || 9:42 am || Comments Off on LOLmaps || ||

So last week I mentioned I was working on a new project and after working on it for the last 4 days or so I have nearly completed my latest cartographic creation: LOLmaps

There is still some work to do on the project, but I am quite pleased with how it has turned out thus far. It currently uses the same design as the Lost Series, and I’d ultimately like to code a sequential version, but for now I am enjoying the randomness. After the first revision of the project, I now have a handy-dandy legend for the maps (aka I added numbers to corresponding maps) which explains the background of the project, gives the translations, and locates the maps I have created thus far. But there is still a few more tasks to do before I’d say it’s a completed project (like a Google Map Mashup). Regardless, I am curious as to how the project will be received.

View the Legend for LOLmaps



San Antonio Quilt
|| 5/4/2007 || 8:38 am || Comments Off on San Antonio Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
San Antonio Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

The other day I realized I hadn’t made any quilts of San Antonio, Texas yet….

View the Google Map of downtown San Antonio, Texas.

View Details:

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THE GEOCOLONIAL SLOTS – Match 3 for Statehood!
|| 3/22/2007 || 9:36 am || Comments Off on THE GEOCOLONIAL SLOTS – Match 3 for Statehood! || ||

Screen shot below features 2/3 – American University Quilt & 1/3 Meridian Hill Park

I mentioned that I was thinking about doing some sort of gambling themed lost project. And after about 7 different random image generator scripts I settled on this one. On Firefox & Safari it doesn’t appear to work as I intended. When attempting to gamble for representation I found that the images were not randomly loading. So you will probably have to manually hit reload for equality. I tried a few different javascripts to directly reload the page, but none worked. So I am stuck with this slightly substandard geographic casino. Casinos are substandard anyways; just like taxation without representation.

This interactive geographic environment consists of the 2 types of map details from my Washington, DC map collection. The folder consists of the {name}-zoom.jpg, {name}-zoom2.jpg, {name}-cut.jpg, {name}-cut2.jpg– related to each map. The Zooms represent central details that geographic tessellations at two different scales. The Cuts are details of places and spaces around the map. The 144 different Zooms & Cuts were placed into 3 folders: right, middle, left. Each time the page reloads there is a 1 out of a 2,865,984 chance of winning statehood!

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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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  • thank you,
    come again!