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The Daily Render

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A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future

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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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15th Street on YouTube || North Meets South || A Game of Locational Awareness [part 2]
|| 12/3/2009 || 2:50 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

click image above to view

On August 5th, 2008 I made the first version of this mashup, East Meets West and with the newly created contraflow bicycle lane on 15th Street NWDC, I decided to make the second version, North Meets South.

The two videos were taken from one continuous video recording that I conducted while riding on my bicycle from U Street & 15th Street to Massachusetts Ave & 15th Street and back. At home I split the videos into North & South and used the crosswalks as the starting & ending points. The object of this video mashup is to find the exact time when the two recordings pass each other on opposite sides of the street.


A few notes:

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Randle Highlands VS Fort Dupont [Antique Overlay of an Anacostia Alternative Future]
|| 10/29/2009 || 4:07 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab from Google Earth showing the location of Randle Highlands

Image links to the KMZ file for Google Earth

The other day I was canvassing the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America newspaper collection and came across this advertisement that was published on May 27th, 1910 in the Washington Times. It shows development plans for Randle Highlands, a neighborhood in Southeast, Washington, DC. I was curious about the results of the newspaper ad. As in, how much has the map changed in the last 99 years? Surprisingly, not too much. Most of the land was developed to plan, except for one large chunk of the land that remains “undeveloped” to this day: Fort Dupont Park.

The National Park Service website says:

This particular fort had six sides, each 100 feet long, protected by a deep moat and trees felled side-by-side with branches pointing outward. It was named for Flag Officer Samuel F. du Pont, who commanded the naval victory at Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861.

Although its garrison and guns never saw battle, Fort Dupont served as a lifeline of freedom. Runaway slaves found safety here before moving on to join the growing community of “contrabands” in Washington. The barracks and guns are gone, but the fort’s earthworks can still be traced near the picnic area on Alabama Avenue.

In the 1930s, the National Capital Planning Commission acquired the old fort and surrounding land for recreation. An 18-hole golf course was constructed. As the city grew, golf gave way in 1970 to the sports complex along Ely Place that now includes tennis and basketball courts, athletic fields, and a softball diamond. An indoor ice rink offers skating all winter. Where once the Civil War fort looked out over farmlands, city dwellers now grow vegetables in community garden plots.

This advertisement was printed 20 years before the National Capital Planning Commission changed the future of this neighborhood. I wonder what it would be like today if it wasn’t a park? Umm, I mean golf course. I was able to line up the old map with the contemporary imagery and by adjusting the transparency in Google Earth you can see how much has been developed. Click here to download the KMZ file for Google Earth


Screen grab from Google Earth showing the location of present day Fort Dupont Park

Image links to Google Maps


Transcription below:

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The Infinite E-mail – An Artistic Potential Security Flaw in Apple’s Mail Application [Inbox Art]
|| 8/12/2009 || 1:53 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

A screen grab showing the Safari browser option of e-mailing a webpage

Imagine that every time you clicked on an e-mail in your inbox, the e-mail showed something different. Well thats what I discovered last night before I went to bed.

A few weeks ago I found out that Mac users can send fully coded HTML e-mails using Apple’s Mail Application. All one needs to do is open up Safari, go to the page you want to e-mail, and select “Mail Contents of This Page” in the File Menu (see image above). The contents of the page are then automatically pasted into an e-mail that is ready to be sent:

A screen grab showing the HTML in an e-mail

But what if the HTML contains PHP scripts that dynamically load content? The HTML (originally from the Grand Juxtaposition via the front page of my website) calls two PHP scripts that randomly selects two images from two different folders on my website. So when you click on the e-mail in your inbox, two new images are displayed because Apple’s Mail Application runs the PHP scripts:

A screen grab from Apple's Mail Application showing a different image in the body of the e-mail because the PHP scripts

Notice that the images in the e-mail are different than what was originally sent
Click to view the full-sized image

Lets say the script was malicious and called a website that attempted to download malware. Would this ‘discovery’ be a flaw in Apple’s Mail Application?


So far I have tested this splendid e-mail out by emailing myself the same page to my GMail, Yahoo Mail, and MSN e-mail accounts. With the exception of MSN, which only loaded the foreground graphic and not the background graphic, neither GMail nor Yahoo worked like Apple’s Mail Application. I have not tested it out on Entourage or any other off-line e-mail client programs and I am curious if they’ll run the scripts or not. Regardless, this is probably one of the coolest e-mails ever!


Related Lost Series Entries:

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Postmodern Cartography: You Are Probably Not Here
|| 8/8/2009 || 2:56 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||

You Are Probably Not Here with pushpins

Just click!

You’ve probably seen a map sometime in your lifetime that proclaims YOU ARE HERE. Well what if you are looking at a random location? You could actually be there, but you are probably not. I first came up with this postmodern cartographic concept back in December of 2007 when I made the first graphic. Yesterday I decided to expand the concept by adding new graphics and making a webpage dedicated to the concept. It currently features only 8 different foreground graphics that are randomly displayed over two folders of map ‘zoom-ins’ (146 close up & 136 far away) originally used in “American Stereography #3.” I hope to add more foreground graphics over time and I would also like to update the background image folders with newer imagery because the page currently shows only maps that I made in 2006.

Total number of visual combinations: 2256 = (146 X 8) + (136 X 8)

Just click click click to cycle through the images


Related Lost Series Entries:

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A Gigapan of West Sahara Lake Circles Quilt #2
|| 3/10/2009 || 11:25 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


Last month I decided to upload my map of the New York Public Library to Gigapan to see what it looked like. Today I uploaded my most recent map for you to check out. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to upload my maps here because it takes a long time to open them up and resave them as jpegs, but I find them quite fun to look at. Maybe the next one I’ll have something hidden in the map and make it into a quasi-Where’s Waldo style game.


If you are subscribed to my RSS feed and are reading this on through your RSS reader, please click here to view it on my website or click here to view it on the Gigapan website.


Related Interactive Entries:

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A Gigapan of the New York Public Library Quilt
|| 2/12/2009 || 12:40 pm || Comments Off on A Gigapan of the New York Public Library Quilt || ||


A couple weeks ago, after seeing the fabulous Gigapan of the 2009 Inauguration by David Bergman, I decided to try out Gigapan for myself.

In the past I’ve used Zoomify to do roughly the same type of zooms, but over the years I’ve found that it has some important limitations. Most notably, I’ve found that Zoomify freezes up after I’ve been using it for a couple of minutes, which would always force me to reload the page. I believe this has to do with the Flash buffer or cache filling up with data and slowing down the viewing experience. Maybe the software engineers have changed this flaw, but I haven’t been too keen on adding all my maps as Zoomifiable entries because it takes too much time and I’m aware of a means to reverse engineer the tiles into the original map.

What is unique about this Gigapan, unlike all of my previous Zoomify maps, is that I went through the extra steps of saving the original map at its full size in .jpg format. In the past when I’d use Zoomify, I’d use a map that was saved at 9,000 x 6,000 pixels, which is half the original size of 18,000 x 12,000 pixels. The reason I shrunk the map was because I was unable to save the full-sized map in .jpg format using my photo manipulation software. Since the free Zoomify converter only took .jpgs, instead of the native tiff file format, I would have to resave the file at its largest size in .jpg format, which was around 9,000 x 6,000 pixels.

In order to bypass this current limitation, I chose to use Graphic Converter to open the original 18,000 x 12,000 tiff file and save it as a .jpg. The inherent problem here is that even with a somewhat new computer, it takes about 15 minutes to open the 216 megapixel file and another 10 minutes to save the file. In the end, the final .jpg saved to about 65 megabytes, which is considerably smaller than the original file size of about 500 megabytes. With this newly compressed map being so much smaller in size, I was able to upload it and share it here.

As regular readers know, a printed 60″ x 40″ copy of this map was donated to the Map Division at the New York Public Library back in October when I gave my presentation to the New York Map Society. If you are in New York City and curious about what it looks like printed out, head over to the library and ask to see it.


If you are subscribed to my RSS feed and are reading this on through your RSS reader, please click here to view it on my website or click here to view it on the Gigapan website.


Related Interactive Entries:

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Found in the Grand Juxtaposition: I am not a terrorist in Tucson
|| 11/20/2008 || 5:09 pm || Comments Off on Found in the Grand Juxtaposition: I am not a terrorist in Tucson || ||

This screen grab from the Grand Juxtaposition and combines the arabic text “I am not a terrorist” with Tucson Quilt.

Related Arabic Entries:

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Found RSS Art in the Grand Juxtaposition
|| 11/18/2008 || 4:11 pm || Comments Off on Found RSS Art in the Grand Juxtaposition || ||

Screen grab of the juxtaposition of a detail from Good Hope Quilt #2 and my RSS Art

The image above was generated by my recent creation “the Grand Juxtaposition.” I’m posting it because I have not been blogging lately and one of the best ways to stay up to date with what is being posted to my blog is through Really Simple Syndication aka RSS. Click the graphic above to subscribe.



The Grand Juxtaposition
|| 11/15/2008 || 6:38 pm || Comments Off on The Grand Juxtaposition || ||

Back in March of this year, I mentioned that I was in the process of making another interactive environment for the Lost Series. The concept behind “The Grand Juxtaposition” is to put two unrelated images originally featured in a previous blog entry together on the same page. This is achieved by giving the viewer two random pictures from somewhere on this website upon each loading of the web page. In the background of the page, the viewer is shown a random image from my posters folder (which contains over 2,000 different images) and in the foreground the viewer is being shown an image from my images folder (which contains over 500 different images). Upon clicking on the image in the foreground, the next page that loads will be the inverse, where a graphic from the posters folder is placed in the foreground and the a graphic from the image folder is used in the background. Generally speaking, most entries on this website feature images from either one of the two folders and by placing them together on one page, I’ve created a grand juxtaposition to showcase this website’s visually diverse content.



Related Interactive Entries:

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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!