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The Daily Render

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DFW Quilt #2
|| 6/8/2010 || 1:40 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Quilt #2 by Nikolas Schiller

Using a portion of DFW Quilt, I created this recursively sampled Octagon Quilt projection map. The muted tones from the airport’s concrete tarmac contrasted with the planes and the built environment make this quite a unique map.

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


: detail :
Detail of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Quilt #2 by Nikolas Schiller

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

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

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 :
Detail of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

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The Gershman Y Quilt #3D
|| 3/13/2010 || 9:46 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
The Gershman Y Quilt #3D by Nikolas Schiller

Based off of one sample of the Gershman Y Quilt #2, I developed a series of 8 different tessellations, and I selected the four maps that were the most visually appealing. This map will be printed out for my upcoming exhibition in Philadelphia. This map concludes this series. I’m looking forward to seeing how they all look printed out.

View the Google Map of Philadelphia.


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The Gershman Y Quilt #3C
|| 3/12/2010 || 2:39 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

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The Gershman Y Quilt #3C by Nikolas Schiller

Based off of one sample of the Gershman Y Quilt #2, I developed a series of 8 different tessellations, and I selected the four maps that were the most visually appealing. This map will be printed out for my upcoming exhibition in Philadelphia.

View the Google Map of Philadelphia.


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The Gershman Y Quilt #3B
|| 3/11/2010 || 3:37 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
The Gershman Y Quilt #3B by Nikolas Schiller

Based off of one sample of the Gershman Y Quilt #2, I developed a series of 8 different tessellations, and I selected the four maps that were the most visually appealing. This map will be printed out for my upcoming exhibition in Philadelphia.

View the Google Map of Philadelphia.


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The Gershman Y Quilt #3A
|| 3/10/2010 || 3:34 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
The Gershman Y Quilt #3A by Nikolas Schiller

Based off of one sample of the Gershman Y Quilt #2, I developed a series of 8 different tessellations, and I selected the four maps that were the most visually appealing. This map will be printed out for my upcoming exhibition in Philadelphia.

View the Google Map of Philadelphia.


: detail :

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The Gershman Y Quilt #2
|| 3/9/2010 || 3:31 pm || 4 Comments Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
The Gershman Y Quilt #2 by Nikolas Schiller

Using a portion of the Gershman Y Quilt, I rendered this derivative map.

The forthcoming series of four maps will be based on one portion of this map.

View the Google Map of Philadelphia.


: detail :

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The Gershman Y Quilt
|| 3/8/2010 || 3:27 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
The Gershman Y Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

The first map in this series uses the resampled aerial photography that was republished in 2006 laid out in a Hexagon Quilt Projection. Aside from the Gershman Y, this map contains the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and the Suzanne Roberts Theater.

The subsequent maps in this series will all be derived from this map.

View the Google Map of Philadelphia.


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The Eye of Philadelphia
|| 3/7/2010 || 3:20 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
The Eye of Philadelphia by Nikolas Schiller

I’ve started working on a series for next month’s exhibition in Philadelphia. I’m not sure what final scope of the project will end up being, but I’m enjoying the act of making new maps again.

The first in this series is based off of the similarly pattered “eye” series that I used in locations like Kansas City, Missouri and Erie, Pennsylvania. The imagery used in this project is based off of two type of aerial photography from the USGS. This map employs the .75m per pixel spatial resolution that was published in 2004. You can read the metadata here.

While there is newer 2006 imagery at .15m per pixel, there has not been subsequent imagery added to the USGS servers since I made my first generation maps of this city. I found and requested newer imagery from the city of Philadelphia, but was met with no answer upon two e-mails. Therefore I had to follow-up with the older imagery that is slightly out-dated, but just as useful for what I am working on.

I chose .75m resolution imagery for the oblique nature of the imagery. This allows the viewer to see the sides of buildings they would otherwise not see if the photograph was taken directly above; which is the case with most orthorectified imagery. I’m please with the results and look forward to printing it out.

View the Google Map of Philadelphia.


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The 2008 Washington, DC Orthophotography
|| 10/21/2009 || 4:30 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Screen grab from http://www.nikolasschiller.com/blog/wp-admin/post-new.phpGraphic Converter showing the entire dataset of the 2008 Washington, DC Orthophotography

A couple weeks ago when I was writing the entry about crime in my neighborhood, I discovered that the DC Government’s Citizen Atlas was using aerial orthophotography taken in 2008. I subsequently checked the USGS website to see if they had obtained the dataset, but they were still using the imagery taken in 2005. I decided to e-mail one of my contacts in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer. I asked if the dataset was available to the public or if it was going to be ported over to the USGS’s distribution system, and to my chagrin, the offer was extended to mail me a copy of the entire dataset. About a week later I received the CD in the mail and today I started to explore all the brand new imagery that I now have at my disposal! I now have the ability to use aerial orthophotography of Washington, DC taken in 2002, 2005, and 2008.

I first must note that the roughly 67 gigs worth of aerial orthophotography of Washington, DC was all compressed using the Mr. SID file format and was able fit on one CD-Rom. While that level of digital compression is pretty insane (80 to 1), I still have my reservations about it. Almost two years ago I wrote about how Mr. SID has been the bane of my cartographic explorations, and well, not much has changed since then. There is still only one software program for Macintosh that I am aware of that allows users to uncompress the imagery locked away in the proprietary file format, GraphicConverter X for PowerPC-Macs.

Worse, I am having difficulty extracting the imagery that I want to use! The screen grab above shows the selection screen that pops up after I open the Mr. SID file containing the 2008 Washington, DC orthophotography. At first I was really excited that I could quickly and easily draw a box around the portion of the city I wanted to extract. However, after testing it out, I found that there is some latent bug in either the program or the file.

After I draw a box around the area I wish to extract, Graphic Converter spends a few moments decompressing the portion of the file, then it opens up the imagery. There is just one catch: the box I draw does not correspond to the imagery that opens up! For example, if I draw a box around the White House, a few moments later I am looking at imagery from Woodley Park neighborhood. After experimenting for about an hour, I discovered that the imagery is being extracted from somewhere northwest of where I am selecting. This is frustrating to say the least! Instead of quickly and easily obtaining the exact imagery that I want, I now have to do a series of trial & error selections in order to obtain exactly what I am looking for.

Moreover, due the level of compression used in Mr. SID, the uncompressed imagery contains small artifacts that diminish the overall quality of the original aerial orthophotography. To visualize this, imagine for a second that you decided to save a photograph using JPEG compression, but instead of selecting a high number (less compression) you select a very low number (high compression). When you look at the file that you saved, you can see little bits of digital static in the image. These artifacts are the result of high levels of digital compression in the Mr. SID file (80 to 1) and while its not excessive, it is present. I prefer uncompressed TIFFs because they generally look better.

The only way I’ve figure out how to reduce this annoyance is to actually reduce the size of the source aerial photography and in doing so, I’m reducing the overall spatial resolution of the original aerial photography. Released at approximately 15 centimeters per pixel, the imagery is so sharp that you can see people walking on the ground and be able to identify types of cars, but any reduction in size results in less precision and detail.

Nonetheless, I am very excited to start making more maps of Washignton, DC using the 2008 imagery! I look forward to exploring the nuances in development that have taken place over the years. I am also very appreciative of the DC GIS Program for providing me the new imagery free of charge. Thank You!





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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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