The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Youtube video of yesterday’s freeze-in at Union Station
|| 3/19/2008 || 9:38 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

You might have seen Improv Everywhere’s Grand Central Station Freeze-in a few months ago. This Youtube video is from yesterday’s anti-war freeze-in that took place in Washington, DC’s Union Station. For being less than 24 hours old, my friend did a great job editing the video.

Related Activism:


Old-School Car Navigation System
|| 3/18/2008 || 9:15 pm || Comments Off on Old-School Car Navigation System || ||

I thought this was too cute to pass up. I wonder how I could adapt this for my bicycle?
[via Eatliver]

Scott + Dupont Circle Quilt
|| || 1:07 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Scott + Dupont Circle Quilt

Continuing my current project of mapping the portions of Washington, DC that Google is censoring, I decided use the same process that was used to create Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt. This type of digitally derived double exposure aerial photography creates some of my favorite maps as of late. While I am only touching on the germane juxtaposition of traffic circles in Washington, DC, I’ve been thinking about how I take two completely disparate geographies and create similar styled maps. One idea is to take two of the tessellations I created for the Los Angeles Interchanges Series and create a double exposure highway interchange. Another possibility is to make a Supreme Illusion Supreme by overlaying the Pentagon on to the site of the World Trade Center. I’m not sure how it would look, but I think I’ll try making one of these maps in the near future.

View the Google Map of Scott Circle in Washington, DC.
View the Google Map of Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

View the rest of the details:


Watching Google Crawl…
|| || 7:42 am || Comments Off on Watching Google Crawl… || ||

Last Friday I removed the electronic Berlin Wall from my website and for the first time in 4 years I’ve released the contents of my website to search engines. Yesterday Google had crawled about 20 pages; half of which were already linking to my website from external sources. Today after last the check, Google has now cataloged about 320 of the 1500+ pages that were submitted with my website’s sitemap. I look forward to looking at the IP logs to see how Google’s robots do their crawling and the latency that exists between crawling and appearing in a search result. From my initial observations everything take at least 24 hours between the crawling and the content’s appearance within a search result. By the end of today, I bet there will be 750 pages indexed….

Brownsville Spheres
|| 3/17/2008 || 5:30 pm || Comments Off on Brownsville Spheres || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :Brownsville Spheres.

Brownsville is the southernmost border town in the state of Texas. Similar to my “Ciudad Paso” maps, this map features land in both America (Brownsville) & Mexico (Matamoros, Tamaulipas) and literally focuses on border issues like immigration.

Using the same elements of Charlotte Spheres, I decided to make another version of this type of Lenz-influenced map. Unlike the previous version, which featured the spheres completely centered, I chose to move the spheres around to achieve a desired result.

Specifically, I noticed that a few of the spheres (four to be precise) hovered over the border facility where cars are waiting in line (below) to cross into America/Mexico. If you look closely, you can see the border/bridge at 3 different spatial scales. This visual element is what I like the most about using the spheres in my maps because it forces your eye to move around the page to identify places where the geography is the same and where the scale is different. One drawback, however, is that I cannot accurately predict how much magnification the spheres will produce. This map, for example, was slightly overprojected (see the graininess below), but unless I am printing it at it’s largest size, its hard to tell the degree to which the imagery was overprojected. I chose to render the map at 15Kx10K instead of the normal 18Kx12K to allow for 3,000 pixels worth of magnification to take place, yet after looking at the results, I probably should have rendered it at 12Kx9K. Oh well, thats the beauty of trial & error; next one will be better.

View the Google Map of Brownsville, Texas.

View the rest of the details:


Pentagon Bans Google Map-Makers
|| || 2:01 pm || Comments Off on Pentagon Bans Google Map-Makers || ||

What a poorly written lead by the BBC. It should say something like “Pentagon Bans Google Street View from Military Bases.” Saying “Google map-makers” are banned implies that people who use the service of Google Maps are also banned. But that is not the case; I can zoom into many military bases, but what I cannot do, and the point of the story, is to use the Street View feature within a military base.

Of course they shouldn’t be making a Streetview dataset of any military bases in the first place. Call this a very stupid mistake on behalf of Google. How is this helpful? Knowing where the F-14’s are housed is not information that can be used by the general public. Just like I don’t need to know how DC’s steam pipe network is laid out (a dataset that is withheld from the public last time I checked). Basically, its one thing to do Street View on public streets in innocuous cities, but its an entirely different story when they map out the inside of a military base.

I’ve had quite a few military personnel visit my Street View Improvised Explosive Device animation since I put it on-line last year in June (it was created about a week after Street View was released to the public). I would like to believe that the military is aware of how people can exploit Street View, but nearly 9 months later it doesn’t look like some of the military brass has taken any warnings seriously.

Also, I truly wonder if and when Google will release Street View for Washington, DC. With Google and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency already censoring downtown DC, I doubt that they would release DC’s Streetview imagery without some significant modifications (aka redactions). However, if Google does release DC Street View I already know exactly where I plan on making the next digital IED…. [you will just have to wait & see]

Street View Improvised Explosive Device

the wildlife of an idea
|| 3/16/2008 || 4:47 pm || Comments Off on the wildlife of an idea || ||

[Youtube Link]

French creative agency, Callegari Berville Grey, took a popular viral video of African water buffaloes valiantly defending a newborn calf from lions & a crocodile and anthropomorphically reassigned the roles of nature to that of an idea in our modern workplace.

The final and overarching message is that we should all struggle for our ideas- whatever they are. Like a raisin in the sun whose seeds have found their way to moist soil, ideas and their subsequent dissemination face many perils along the way from conception to execution.

Related YouTube Entries:


Cambio de Vida
|| 3/15/2008 || 1:54 pm || Comments Off on Cambio de Vida || ||

Although I don’t have an exact translation, I really enjoy this little rap (even if its a commercial). Releasing the contents of this website is a significant Change of Life in many respects. Anyways, I am now a fan of Sara Da Pin Up and will see if I can get her to come to DC sometime.

Welcome Robots and Strangers
|| 3/14/2008 || 1:48 pm || Comments Off on Welcome Robots and Strangers || ||

Below is the text of an e-mail I sent out today:

One year ago today my ugly mug was on the front page of the Washington Post’s style section in David Montgomery’s article “Here Be Dragons.” To celebrate the one year anniversary of this 15 minutes of fame I did something I’ve been waiting a VERY long time to do– I removed the Robots Exclusion Protocols from my website. This means that in a few weeks you will be able to find the contents of my website with a simple search string from your favorite search engine.

Before 12:01am today, you could only search the contents of my website on my website. By preventing my website from being crawled by spiders (or robots as they are technically called) I also prevented anyone [strangers] from freely accessing the hundreds of maps that I’ve made over the last 4 years. Thus the paradox of making maps without being able to be found is now over, and in that respect I am liberating myself from the self-censorship experiment that I’ve been conducting these last few years.

Frankly, dear reader, its a very nice feeling. I am unaware of any website that has opened itself up to the robots with over a 1,000 different pages to index at once. I sincerely wonder what search words will bring people to my website from this day forward. Currently postmodern art is my number one search string (I am currently listed at #5)– and that was only possible because of the article that was published one year ago today. So with that said, today marks the beginning of a new phase in my life, and maybe yours– if you search for the right words.

White House Peace
|| 3/13/2008 || 2:56 pm || Comments Off on White House Peace || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :White House Peace by Nikolas Schiller.

Similar to the Shanghai Map, this map uses Chinese characters as a decorative element. The source aerial photography of the White House was censored by the government before it was released to the public. I documented this about a year ago with my Lost Series project “The White House is off-limits to the public.” Unlike the Shanghai Map, I made a tessellation using the words for PEACE instead of placing the glyphs at the bottom. I was, however, thinking of revisiting this map in the near future and adding more text. As it is now, I think it’s somewhat plain, and deserves something else. I’m not sure what that ‘else’ is yet.

View the Google Map (which shows older imagery) of the White House.

View the rest of the details:


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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