The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Erie Coke Corporation Eye
|| 3/22/2009 || 3:37 pm || Comments Off on Erie Coke Corporation Eye || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
Erie Coke Corporation Eye by Nikolas R. Schiller

After I rendered Erie Coke Corporation Quilt, I sampled a portion of the map to create a derivative tessellation. I applied this tessellation to the miscellaneous projection template I created last year when I mapped downtown Kansas City, Missouri. While the previous version looked more like a human eye made of the highway, this rendition is about focusing in on the pollution coming from the smokestack at the Erie Coke Corporation. I tend to work in perfect symmetries and by centering the plant, this map becomes asymmetrical and somewhat out of balance. I achieved this by moving the center of kaleidescope to the right side, and after a few minor tweaks, I was able to magnify the smokestack without degrading the source aerial photography (see below). Or check out the interactive Gigapan.

View the Google Map of the Erie Coke Corporation outside of Erie, Pennsylvania

: detail :

View the rest of the map details:


Erie Coke Corporation Quilt
|| 3/20/2009 || 1:08 pm || Comments Off on Erie Coke Corporation Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Erie Coke Corporation Quilt by Nikolas R. Schiller

Coke is used as a fuel and as a reducing agent in smelting iron ore in a blast furnace. Cokes are the solid carbonaceous material derived from destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal. Cokes from coal are grey, hard, and porous and the process of their creation gives off a lot smoke. It was also this smoke that brought me to this imagery.

The other night I was looking for new cities to map and came across the imagery of Erie, Pennsylvania. As I was looking around I found this blemish of industry near the center of the town. Like the maps Baton Rouge Quilt – An Oil Refinery Reflection and Enrico Fermi Nuclear Reactor Quilt, this map focuses on the smoke being generated by the geographic subject. I chose the Octagon Quilt Projection because I was able to create a smoke reflection that points to the eight general directions: North, South, East, West, North West, South West, North East, and South East (see image below).

What I find most interesting about the land on which the Erie Coke Corporation is situated is how dark the ground is. Surrounded by the blue hues of Lake Erie, the ground that factory sits on is completely black from all the coal that has been processed throughout the years. It makes me wonder how much pollution generated from this plant goes into the Lake and in the air around the town.

View the Google Map of the Erie Coke Corporation outside of Erie, Pennsylvania

: detail :

View the rest of the map details:


[DAILY LINKS] March 20th
|| || 7:00 am || + Render A Comment || ||

These are my shared links for March 20th

[DAILY LINKS] March 18th
|| 3/18/2009 || 11:46 pm || Comments Off on [DAILY LINKS] March 18th || ||

These are my shared links for March 18th

Where did Google’s video rankings go?
|| || 2:55 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

About a week ago I noticed that Google had quietly removed my favorite component of their on-line video services: video ranking. It was an automated service that allowed users to be able to see which videos were viewed the most, blogged the most, and shared the most each day, week, and month. This ranking system offered a unique snapshot of the internet video zeitgeist and oftentimes helped me find videos that I otherwise would not have found.

There was also the ability to seek out the popular videos based on geography through the country search. This allowed me to find videos that were popular in England or Canada and compare them to the popular videos in America. All there is now is Hot Videos, which does not provide the same depth of understanding the other metrics offered.

So why the removal of a popular feature with no note to the public? Well there was a tangentially related note posted back in January on Google’s Blog about the discontinuing support for uploads to Google Video. However, in their FAQ and blog entry there was no wayward mention that the video rankings would be taken away.

I understand that Google Video, the video hosting service, had to spend a great deal of time & money removing copyrighted material on an ongoing basis. With YouTube already having to deal with this, it makes sense to consolidate the video operations within YouTube. But why remove the rankings that cross over to all of the videos hosted by Google, including YouTube? It just doesn’t make sense.

The only answer that I’ve been able to come up with is the suppression of popular videos. By removing the ability of users to see what videos are popular at a given time, Google can prevent users from sharing the popular videos with others. If they want to prevent the next Zeitgeist film or rant about the smelly New World Odor, they have found the perfect way to do so: don’t let people know what is popular through their on-line services. Instead, make them find it themselves through other means.

But why would Google do this? What would be their motive? I really don’t know, but it reminds me of the Samizdat in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, where Google wants to prevent its users from watching The Entertainment in order to help maintain social cohesion. But, alas, people will always find a way to obtain what they are looking for. The only difference is that it now appears that Google is not being the best search engine it can be.

In summary, I don’t care if Google stops allowing people to upload videos to their Google Video servers, people will find other servers, but don’t remove popular methods of finding video content. I want to know what the most viewed video was yesterday in _____[country]_____. I want to know why ____________ was watched by more people yesterday than any other video on the internet. Google once provided an excellent tool for knowledge discovery through it’s rankings system but has taken it away without a decent reason. So, dear Google, when will you reinstate the video rankings? …And why did you remove them in the first place?

The screen grab above links to what used to be the video ranking page and now forwards visitors to basic Google Video front page.

Related Google Entries:


[DAILY LINKS] March 17th
|| 3/17/2009 || 11:59 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

These are my shared links for March 17th

  • Resource Hogs: Greening Prison Infrastructure – Greening all the prisons in the United States could create savings of up to $196 million per year.
  • Getting A Leg Over Shadwell – photos of a well executed installation of a woman's leg and high-heel shoe from atop a building.
  • VILLA SIMONT, 12.3.39 [1] – I didn't know the French Foreign Legion received a 1/2litre of wine a day [Orwell's Diary]
  • My Social Graph is Getting Weird – Jeremy Fuksa takes us on a little journey through the WTF friending land of Facebook at a Pecha Kucha
  • Liberia’s Blackboard Blogger – Alfred Sirleaf is an analog blogger. He take runs the “Daily News”, a news hut by the side of a major road in the middle of Monrovia. He started it a number of years ago, stating that he wanted to get news into the hands of those who couldn’t afford newspapers, in the language that they could understand.
  • FUNK the War – nice little video

[DAILY LINKS] March 15th
|| 3/16/2009 || 7:00 am || + Render A Comment || ||

These are my shared links for March 15th

[DAILY LINKS] March 14th
|| 3/15/2009 || 7:00 am || + Render A Comment || ||

These are my shared links for March 14th

  • Fenty Opens Up—A Little – On Congress and Guns: “What we have to decide in the District of Columbia is, do we take the momentum of the voting rights lobbying and do we say we’re going to have that and not let anything get in our way and then work hard to take off any non-germane amendments? I think that over the past decade there have been a lot less negative things put on our budget…it keeps going down, except for guns. Guns, from what I’ve seen, is the one issue where actually there’s more interference…which is an instructive thing to note if it’s true because it just means that no matter what happens with this voting rights bill, there’s going to be interference by the gun lobby on some other bill that we have going through Congress, not just this year but next year.”
  • Dan Funderburgh : This is how wallpaper is made – I would love to make wallpaper out of my Geospatial Art.

[DAILY LINKS] March 12th
|| 3/12/2009 || 7:00 am || + Render A Comment || ||

These are my links for March 12th:

  • It’s Really Simple; Be Valuable and You Will Be Valued – the paradox of this, of course, is finding or estimating one's self-worth.
  • Google Reader starts a conversation – You can now comment on my Shared Items from Google Reader…
  • Who killed the electric grid? – How many extra power plants do we need to build if we introduce electric cars on a large scale? According to ecotech advocates, that matter is solved: none. Electric vehicles can be charged at night.

    Many power plants have a surplus of energy during the night ("off-peak production capacity") because demand is low and generators keep spinning. Therefore, if we all start driving electric cars, oil consumption will plummet to zero and electricity production will remain the same.

    However, not all electric vehicles will be charged at night – and it takes a surprisingly small amount of fast-charging cars during peak hours to take the electricity infrastructure down.

  • Why We Immunize – details on the most common immunizations: Hepatitis B, Polio, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Chicken Pox…. Makes me want to get re-immunized!
  • The Seven Deadly Sins of my spam trap – made me chuckle…

The Daily Render Newsletter
|| 3/11/2009 || 4:15 pm || Comments Off on The Daily Render Newsletter || ||


Its been quite a few months since I sent an e-mail to this list of 2596 awesome people.
Sorry for the delay. Expect another e-mail in about a month!

This e-mail is about:

1) One year anniversary of being listed in search engines
2) Deaccessioning my maps / on-line store refurbishment
3) Books & touring exhibition updates
4) The Colonial Status
5) LOTS of Website Updates

Curious? Good. Scroll slowly….

Continue Reading:


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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