The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Cathedral Quilt – Signed
|| 6/29/2006 || 1:32 am || Comments Off on Cathedral Quilt – Signed || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Cathedral Quilt - Signed by Nikolas Schiller

File this map under cartographic calligraphy. This is probably my favorite map yet.

While working at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, I had a colleague write my name in Arabic, I recently scanned her text and created a tile that has two attached signatures. The result is a reflection of my signature that can be read in different directions.

I chose to use this map for the DCCAH’s Young Emerging Artist Grant and printed 3 copies. One was framed and currently hangs in my house and another one was donated to the Library of Congress’ Geography & Mapping Division.

View the Google Map of the Washington National Cathedral

This map was submitted to the 2007 Web Biennel as an Interactive Map.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:


Park City Quilt, phase one
|| 6/28/2006 || 7:37 am || Comments Off on Park City Quilt, phase one || ||

A new client of mine has requested that I make her sister a map of their home in Park City, Utah. Unlike Salt Lake City, Park City’s aerial photography dates back to around 1992 and is in black & white. I chose to not use black & white for the states I have yet to finish (like Iowa), but fortuitously the client doesn’t mind the black & white color scheme and seemed open to the idea of allowing me to use color(s) for the map’s preparation. The result is a hexagon around the house in black & white with a red outline and a “background” (the unimportant photography) in a deep green. I am quite pleased with the result and for the first time have made 7 different draft renderings for the client to view.


Tea Time…
|| 6/27/2006 || 2:32 am || Comments Off on Tea Time… || ||

Green Tea with Statehood-Green Candidates at Future Green
Sunday, July 2, 2:00PM to 4:00PM

Come out for some refreshing green tea with our Statehood-Green Candidates at Washington’s first all eco-friendly store, Future Green.

Our slate of potential candidates will be there to discuss their platforms and election-year strategies. We say ‘potential’ because they need YOUR signatures to get on this year’s ballot.

WHEN: This Sunday, July 2, 2PM – 4PM
WHERE: Future Green — 1469 Church Street (15th and Church, Ward 2).
METRO: Red Line, Dupont Circle, walk 5 blocks East on P, than one block North on 15th.
BUSES: 14th Street Bus Line
FMI: Keith Ware, 202-234-7110 or Chris Otten, chrisotten2 at

All DCSGP candidates have been invited to come. Tell your friends to come and register with DC’s only non-corporate political party.

*Organizers: Feel free to bring your literature to swap with candidate literature.
*Get your shop on: Great store for family-friendly products.

Sunday, July 2, 2pm @ Future Green

106 Maps in 2004
|| 6/24/2006 || 2:14 am || Comments Off on 106 Maps in 2004 || ||

2004 features the creation of the Lenz Project, the Star Series, the Abstract Series, the Mother Earth Series and the Memory Series, as well as a few animations and my first interactive maps. See below for links to all of the maps of 2004.

The Lenz Project
Begun June 25th, 2004

More information about the Lenz Project(ion) below.

DC Lenz #2
Lake Reflect Cube Lenz
Kamache Cube Lenz
Himalaya Cube Lenz
Baghdad Cube Lenz
Monrovia Cube Lenz
Dutch Cube Lenz
Vortex Cube Lenz
Ganges Cube Lenz
Ivan Cube Lenz
Ballwin Bubble #2
Ballwin Bubble
Greenzone Full Lenz
Brussels Lenz #5
Dutch Full Lenz
Bissau Full Lenz
Ganges Himalay Guinea-Bissau Lenz
Greenzone #5
Kamanche Bissau Lenz
Vortex Spin #2
Vortex Spin
Vortex Lenz
Bolivia Lenz
Ganges Reflect Lenz
Ganges Lenz
Brussels Random Lenz
Kamanche Lenz
Namib Lenz
Dutch NYC Lenz #3
Dutch NYC Lenz #2
Dutch NYC Lenz
Dutch Bissau Lenz #2
Dutch Bissau Lenz
NYC Bissau Reflect Lenz
Bissau Lake Inner Reflect Lenz
Himalaya Brussels Lenz
Brussels Invert Lenz
Himalaya Invert Lenz
Bissau Invert Inner Lenz
Bissau Monrovia Lenz
Bissau Black Lenz
Inner Lake Lenz
Himalaya Bissau Lenz
Guinea-Bissau Lenz
Guinea-Bissau Lenz #2
Baghdad Bissau Lenz
Baghdad Bissau Lenz #2
Baghdad Lake Lenz
Baghdad Monrovia Eye
Baghdad Monrovia Lenz
Brussels Lenz
Brussels Lenz #2
Brussels Eye
Earth Eye Monrovia Black Lenz
Earth Eye Monrovia Total Lenz
Earth Lenz Monrovia
Earth Eye Monrovia
Earth Eye Reflection
Earth Eye
Fire Eye
Fire Lenz
Istanbul Eye
False Color Eye
Recycle Lenz
Mecca Lenz
Mecca Aqua Lenz
Moon Lenz
Pentagon Lenz
Statue of Liberty Lenz
Vatican Lenz
Iraq Lenz
Vatican Lenz #2
Abu Ghraib Lenz
Baghdad Lenz
Bora Bora Lenz
DC Lenz
DC Torus Lenz

About the Lenz Project(ion)
The Lenz Project was started in June of 2004 at my residence in the Shaw neighborhood in Washington, DC. Begun shortly after finishing my studies at the George Washington University, I began to plot the concept of being a square peg in a round hole (Living in Washington, DC). The Lenz Projection was born as a cartographic emotional response to finding myself and what I wanted to become. The answer, after nearly 77 maps, was inorder to fit in, I must focus.

The Lenz Projection is based on 4 simple items:
– Aerial or satellite image
– Torus (a donut)
– Transparent glass sphere
– Light source

The Lenz Projection was setup as follows:

– A light source is created to illuminate the scene
– The aerial or satellite image was placed in the direct center of the scene (the square peg)
– The Torus placed at the center of the scene and reduced so that the image fits exactly in the center (the square peg in a round hole)
– The transparent glass sphere was place at the center of the scene enclosing the image and half the diameter of the torus (Lenz)

By adjusting the the Z dimension (depth) of the transparent glass sphere over the square image in the circle, the Lenz causes the imagery to refract and fill the space of the circle. Thus by focusing the Lenz on a given space, the square peg becomes round. View this animation for a side by side comparison of how the Lenz refracts.

From June 20th, 2004 until October 19th, 2004 the maps below were created or a near daily basis. Due to the pace of my cartographic production, I gave my cartographic journal the title “The Daily Render.” The end of the Lenz Project came with the completion of DC Lenz #2 because I felt that I had created the best Lenz Projection to date and I was ready to begin experimenting with different shapes and dimensions. Through the process I had discovered quite a bit about myself and the means to project geospatial information. While this stage of the Lenz project had finished, I’ve continued to make maps using the perfected Lenz Projection template.

Some of the early maps in the Lenz Projection used copyrighted satellite imagery. At the time of their creation I was unaware of what imagery was legal and illegal to use. I discovered that all for-profit corporations forbid the modification of the pixels of the satellite image. I also discovered that there are some sources of public domain imagery that allow for the creation of derivative products. Starting in late 2004 all of my maps are composed of only public domain imagery, however I chosen to keep my early maps on-line for educational purposes.

Other Maps from 2004:
E Street Risk Analysis (Interactive)
Personal Card
Brussels Lenz (Animation)
U Street Development (Interactive)
Nambib Lenz (Animation)
Flower for Jerusalem
Flower & Sun
False Color Grid (Detail)
3D Lenz (Interactive)
Brussels Lenz 3D (Interactive)
Dutch Bissau Lenz 3D (Interactive)
Post 911 ReflectionDelta

Middle East Reflection
Mississippi Delta Reflection Balls
Star of the Mississippi River Delta
Star of Bissau
Star of the Ganges River
Star of Brussels
Star of Saint Louis
Abstract Netherlands
Abstract DC
Abstract Brussels
Abstract Saint Louis
Mother Earth #1
Mother Earth (Animation)
Mother Earth #2
Mother Earth #3
Star of DC
U Street Popular Locations (Interactive)
U.S. Naval Observatory Lenz

95 Maps in 2008
305 Maps in 2007
213 Maps in 2006
122 Maps in 2005

Starscape Animations
|| 6/23/2006 || 12:54 pm || Comments Off on Starscape Animations || ||

Inner Harbor Fly-Around

Made in the summer of 2005 for a client, this geospatial animation is a fly around of a Lenz projection centered on a high resolution aerial photograph of the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, Maryland

Fort Armistead Park Fly-Around

Created for VJs at the 8th Annual Starscape Music & Arts Festival on June 24th, 2006. This animation uses high-resolution aerial photography of the area around the location of the event and creates a synthetic fly-over similar to Google Earth.

Nikolas Schiller in Arabic
|| 6/22/2006 || 10:07 am || Comments Off on Nikolas Schiller in Arabic || ||

The perks of cultural exchanges :) The script is a scan from a former colleague at Georgetown University’s Center for Centemporary Arab Studies.

I am going to incorporate this signature in some of my upcoming maps. I think it will add a very interesting design element. I’ve been looking at Arabic calligraphy recently and I see an interesting fusion here.

new layout needed
|| 6/20/2006 || 12:34 am || Comments Off on new layout needed || ||

i am tired of this layout…. i don’t want to spend too long designing a new one. no more flash. bleh.

This will be fixed soon enough…

2006 Green Party National Meeting
|| 6/19/2006 || 10:39 pm || Comments Off on 2006 Green Party National Meeting || ||

I will be attending this.
You should come to one of the hottest places on Earth.

When: July 27th-30th, 2006
Where: Tucson, AZ

The Green Party of the United States is holding our annual national meeting in Tucson Arizona, on the edge of the border, in the Sonoran desert. In many, ways Arizona is a hub for some of the most important activism of the day. This spring, the state saw the largest demonstration in its history, when hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their allies marched for justice -the Arizona Greens proudly participated. Arizona is seeing some of the most rapid development in the country – during an ongoing drought. The politics of water privatization, sustainable development, and justice are omnipresent. These are burgeoning issues, not just for Arizona, but increasingly so for the rest of the country.

Arizona also has a great progressive history. The early days of statehood were rife with populist fervor: Wobblies at the mines, women voting before national suffrage, recall, initiatives, workman’s comp, when they were all radical concepts. Arizona has a tradition of the people leading in ways that no one expects. Arizona has the best Clean Elections laws in the country, and Greens helped set it up. Ballot measures here legalized medical marijuana twice, and expanded healthcare for the poor, and brought us clean elections.

We invite you to experience the rich cultural and ecological diversity of the region; learn about Arizona’s progressive past and present; and help build a sustainable, peaceful just future. El Futuro es Verde – The Future is Green!

Animations for Starscape
|| 6/18/2006 || 12:44 am || Comments Off on Animations for Starscape || ||

I got a call today from my friend Robin about helping make content for the VJs at the Starscape Music Festival in Baltimore next weekend. I told him I’d love to make some animations for the event. He used my Washington Monument Zoom during Thievery Corporation‘s set at Operation Ceasefire, so I’m excited to have opportunity to have more of my work played at another concert.  I made one of the inner harbor of Baltimore last summer for a client, but it’s short and I’d like to give the VJs a good minute clip to use.

Taxation Without Representation Google Map
|| 6/14/2006 || 10:07 pm || Comments Off on Taxation Without Representation Google Map || ||

Happy Flag Day!

This google map plots 51 DC flags around the U.S. Capitol. When the flags are clicked a random fact about America’s last continental colony pops up. You can open the source HTML to read them all quickly. I obtained some of the facts and figures from DC Vote and I sent the list out to the members of the DC Statehood Green Party for feedback. The result is what I think is one of the first political google map mashups. Have fun!

The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

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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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The Lenz Project

Mandala Project

The Star Series

Abstract Series

Memory Series

Mother Earth Series
Mother Earth

Misc Renderings


- The Los Angeles Interchanges Series
- The Lost Series
- Terra Fermi
- Antique Map Mashups
- Google StreetView I.E.D.
- LOLmaps
- The Inaugural Map
- The Shanghai Map
- Ball of Destruction
- The Lenz Project - Maps at the Library of Congress
- Winner of the Everywhere Man Award



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