The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Philly Quilt #2
|| 1/12/2006 || 7:21 am || Comments Off on Philly Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Philly Quilt No. 2 by Nikolas Schiller

So I have yet to do so, but this weekend I plan on going through all my diamond quilt projection maps and re-categorizing them by rotation (0 & 45 degrees). I have yet to make any quilts that are wholly asymmetric. I have thought about making one or two, but for some reason I just don’t like the way they look. I guess it’s a sense of balance I am after and when I have one seam going horizontally across the page and add another seam that is 25 degrees rotated, it just looks awkward. I’d rather have clouds, than an asymmetric map.

As for this map, the seam makes an interesting reflection on the Pennsylvania Convention Center. What I also discovered last night, and is something I look forward to doing some more research on, is how there is a secondary texture that is being created in these maps.

When an aerial photograph or satellite image is taken there is usually some degree of distortion embedded into the orthorectified (defined as correcting distortions in an aerial image to produce a more accurate depiction of surface features) photograph. This distortion is usually caused by the angle at which the photograph was taken (directly above- nadir or at an angle- oblique). Thus if you take a photograph overhead at nadir (0 distortion at the center), then the buildings at the center will only show their tops, and the buildings at the edge will show their sides due to the angle of viewing. The interesting thing I discovered was the way the angles change with the seams. If you look closely at the details below, this angle creates an embedded texture of rotating the angle in which the buildings show. Essentially, its oblique alterations in the fabric of the quilt, and I think they make the tessellations even more intricate.

: detail :

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Philly Quilt
|| 1/11/2006 || 12:21 pm || Comments Off on Philly Quilt || ||

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

Finally I’ve gotten around to making some maps of Philadelphia. I had tried in the past, but when I downloaded the imagery I could never get the mosaic setup right. I wanted to make a large square of all of Philly to show both the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, but I’d either not have enough imagery, or I’d screw up the download, or in the end, it just ended up being too large of a mosaic to incorporate into a tessellation.

Essentially, if my desired output size is 18,000 and my tessellated source imagery ends up being 9,000 X 9,000, then I am not going to be able to show all of the city because the seams cut out some parts at the center. Also, large tessellations take a long time to import and take longer to parse through when rendering. That is why I made 5 renderings for Philly! This is the first time I’ve made so many. One of them is also a nondescript highway intersection of 95 & 676, which I might use next (not sure!). As for this map, it’s the standard hexagon quilt projection with the western side of Philly showing. I chose to set up the tessellation so that the Schuylkill river was the geographic identifier and rotated the imagery around it. The result is nice and the river makes it easy to find the seams of the tessellation. Up next is a diamond quilt projection map rotated 45 degrees and it should look nice :-) This year I am going to continue making more diamond quilt projection maps!!

: detail :

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Experiments with Territories: Post Cartographic Map Design II
|| 1/10/2006 || 11:09 pm || Comments Off on Experiments with Territories: Post Cartographic Map Design II || ||

This session will take place at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois on March 8th, 2006

I added links to abstracts and the author’s websites below.

Paper Session: 2231

Experiments with Territories: Post Cartographic Map Design II

is scheduled on Wednesday, 3/8/06, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM

Organizer(s): John Krygier – Ohio Wesleyan University

Chair(s): John Krygier – Ohio Wesleyan University

Abstract(s): 10:00 AM Author(s): John Pickles – University Of North Carolina

Abstract Title: Delete the Border! Activist Art Movements, New Mapping Projects, and the Reworking of the Euro-Border

10:20 AM Author(s): Nikolas R. SchillerAssociation of American Geographers

Abstract Title: Geographic Tessellations: Maps, Methods, and Mandalas

10:40 AM Author(s): Chris Perkins – University of Manchester

Abstract Title: Playing with maps

11:00 AM Author(s): kanarinka – The Institute for Infinitely Small Things

Abstract Title: Designing for the Totally Inconceivable: Mods, hacks and other unexpected uses of maps

11:20 AM Discussant: John Pickles – University Of North Carolina

Discussant(s): John Pickles – University Of North Carolina

Session Description: This session includes researchers and practitioners creating maps and working with models of map design outside of the traditional empirical model that dominated cartographic design research in the latter half of the 20th century: people who think critically about maps and map design and engage in actual map design and construction based on their ideas. Many artists have embraced the map in such a manner. “Map artists … claim the power of the map to achieve ends other than the social reproduction of the status quo. Map artists do not reject maps. They reject the authority claimed by normative maps uniquely to portray reality as it is, that is, with dispassion and objectivity…” (Wood & Krygier, 2006). Map artist kanarinka claims artists working with maps have an “ethics of experimentation” that is “anything but arbitrary.” “…artists experiment with a particular territory in specific ways to reach unforseen destinations.” (kanarinka, 2006). Other models of map design include narrative and ambiguity, suggested by literary and film theory, multiple mappings (or counter-mappings) suggested by humanistic and critical theory, indigenous mapping methods, and political mapping informed by post-structuralist theory focused on the complexities of power. Post-cartographic map design research and mapping seeks to expand the way we think about, design, and create maps in our map immersed society.

Denver Quilt #2
|| 1/9/2006 || 2:38 pm || Comments Off on Denver Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Denver Quilt #2 by Nikolas R. Schiller

After looking through my archives, it appears that I never put the first Denver Quilt online! I know I have a copy of it in my iPhoto repository (I keep the final versions of my maps there so I can, at few clicks of a mouse, order prints on demand), but I am surprised that I never posted anything about it. I remember that it was a Diamond Quilt Projection because that was all that I knew how to make at the time! I also believe I made a Denver Mandala as well, so it looks like I have some searching to do in my archives and some processing as well!

I remade the Denver source imagery for this map and oddly I found that I already had two versions saved, but both were not perfect squares (as mentioned before). This version uses my favorite quilt projection and it turned out decently.

I only wish that I would have used slightly less light or post-processed the map (adjusting for contrast) to make it slightly darker. I must say that getting the lighting right is one of the hardest, but most crucial aspects to making these maps. Light is a destructive force because once the imagery has been sufficiently bleached in a scene, the post-processing can only regain so much of what was lost in tone and contrast.

Up next I have a slew of maps from Philly! I have one that finished rendering this morning that I have to process this evening. And there is also another one being rendered right now. I made 4 different tessellations of the source imagery of Philly, so I expect there to be quite a bit of variety in the end. Normally I don’t make multiple tessellations with the source imagery, and instead rely on one tessellation for each specific geographic location. There are some exceptions, but this series is sure to end up rather interesting.

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Minneapolis Quilt #2
|| 1/8/2006 || 10:47 am || Comments Off on Minneapolis Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Minneapolis Quilt #2 by Nikolas R. Schiller

I haven’t touched my Minneapolis imagery in a long time and I felt another map was due. I had to remake the source imagery because when I first prepared the imagery for Minneapolis nearly a year ago I did not know about the importance of using perfect squares for tessellations. My first versions were tessellated rectangles- which do tessellate properly, but when placed into Bryce, there is a level of distortion in proportion to the amount the length is larger/smaller than the width. I think the best example of this distortion is found in the first Georgetown Quilts. Well this map is distortion free, errr, well, I didn’t add any of my own at least. The irony is that it all maps are distortions of reality :-)

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Miami Lenz
|| 1/6/2006 || 7:20 pm || Comments Off on Miami Lenz || ||

: rendered at 8,000 by 6,000:

Thats only a half signature :-) Check the google map, but imagine you can zoom in even further into the map above than you can on google maps! And my maps do not have my name embedded in them like Google’s do….

Miami Quilt #2
|| 1/5/2006 || 2:20 pm || Comments Off on Miami Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

I am really digging the 45 degree switch up. I think I might have to add a secondary category of two seamed quilts that are rotated. The rest of quilts do not show very much difference when rotated compared to the 2 seamed quilts.

Up next will be the finalized graphic of what I would have sold to the client, but made anyways… It’s going to be the standard lenz projection but with a new style of signature –its 2K6 and its time for a signatory remix.

: detail :

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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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Lincoln Memorial Quilt #2
|| 1/2/2006 || 3:12 pm || Comments Off on Lincoln Memorial Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

While I like the first Dupont Circle Quilt slightly better, I still find this one to be one of my finest. The beauty of this map lies in the preparation of the source imagery. When I set up the mosaic I rotated the Lincoln Memorial imagery 45 degrees and tessellated it so the relfection pool makes a perfect X at the center. However, when I set this scene up, I rotated the entire quilt another 45 degrees, which gives the appearance of an exquisite checkerboard. This process of rotating the source imagery and further rotating the scene is something I’d like to do more of. I look forward to printing this one out :)
I didn’t realize it at the time, but Vietnam Memorial also shows up prominently in details.

: zoom :

View the rest of the map details:


Dupont Circle Quilt #2
|| 1/1/2006 || 5:18 pm || Comments Off on Dupont Circle Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :

As I learned before, its always better to over-project than to under-project, however there is a caveat to over projection- that being my computer can handle files that are below about 25,000 pixels. I have gone higher, but in the end, I can’t fit the final compressed output on to a CD easily. So why make something so large that I cannot feasibly back it up? Tha’s why I’ve chosen to stick to the 18,000 by 12,000 file size. The trick to the over projection process is to make sure that the tessellation (source imagery) appears in the scene the appropriate number of times, and if not, I scale the scene so that the final product will be as close to 1:1 as possible. Alas, I really like this map, and I think the next one, which uses the already rotated source imagery, will look great!

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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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