The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Signs of the Time: Michael Jackson
|| 6/30/2009 || 4:45 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Although this is a few days late, on June 25th, the night of Michael Jackson’s death, I was at Restaurant Marvin, (ironically named after another dead musician) in Washington, DC projecting old Michael Jackson videos on the wall of the adjacent building and this yahoo showed up at the bar. I couldn’t help but laughing at the crude nature of the sign. I understand we all experience loss in different ways, but showing up at a bar with a sign is a bit silly.

Metro Crash Quilt #2
|| 6/29/2009 || 2:23 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Metro Crash Quilt No.2 by Nikolas R. Schiller

Continuing on the theme of my last map, I decided to focus on the merging of the two Metro trains for this version. To create this map I first sampled a portion of Metro Crash Quilt, then I used that portion to create an intermediate map (that I chose to not publish), which I then sampled again to create this fractal Hexagon Quilt Projection map. This process of recursive sampling allowed me to focus more and more on the portion of the map where the two train merge together. The result is a weaved pattern of train tracks and merging Metro cars; a far more intricate map than my previous version. What is lost, however, is the area around the crash site and the crash site itself, in their place are more trains and more train track. I have sampled a portion of this map and am in the process of seeing what a third iteration will look like.

View the Google Map of the crash site in upper Northeast Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the map details:


Metro Crash Quilt
|| 6/27/2009 || 12:09 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Metro Crash Quilt by Nikolas R. Schiller

As I stated before, I decided to make a map of the location of where the Metro crash took place. When preparing the imagery I did my best to include both the train and the exact site of the collision, but when it came to trying out different Quilt Projection designs, I found the Square Quilt Projection to have a very interesting line of symmetry– the Metro train itself.

While this map is derived from orthophotography, which essentially flattens out the terrain, the train’s laterally merging together on a line of symmetry creates a different viewing approach to the train. Since I cannot replicate the Metro train on top of another Metro train (nor would I really want to or even have access to the aerial photos of the crash itself), this line of symmetry approach offers a stylized (albeit sad) way to show the merger of two trains.

The aim of this map was to document the location of this tragedy, but I was able to add more than I expected to the final result; a simulated merger of two trains. Had there not been a random train passing through the area on that day in March of 2005, this map would be devoid of the subject of it’s creation and only show the location of the tragedy.

I am working on a second iteration of this map which should be ready shortly.

View the Google Map of the crash site in upper Northeast Washington, DC.

: detail of the crash site with two Metro trains merging together :

View the rest of the map details:


The aerial photography of the area around the Metro crash site contains a Metro train
|| 6/23/2009 || 11:10 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Like the highway collapse of I-35 in Minneapolis, the partial collapse of the MacArthur Maze, the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, and the Columbine shootings, I’ve decided to make a map of the area around yesterday’s Metro crash site. Earlier today I downloaded the imagery of the site and found something I wasn’t expected. Not far from the actual crash site there is a Metro train on the tracks. While its not as interesting as the Ghost Cars on the I-35 bridge, I found it interesting that of all the locations for the Metro train to be when the plane flew over in March of 2005, the Metro train happens to be VERY close to the actual site of the tragedy.

Note: Google Maps currently uses the same USGS imagery that I am using.

Dreaming of being on the Metro then one hour & seventeen minutes later a Metro train crashes
|| 6/22/2009 || 10:29 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

So around 3:30pm I awoke from my afternoon nap and Twittered that I had two vivid dreams at 3:45pm. About an hour and seventeen minutes after I posted that, while I was sitting on my front porch reading today’s paper, the worst train crash in the history of Metro took place. This type of dream prescience has happened before, so before the dream goes into the deep recesses of my memory, I am going to briefly transcribe what I remember. The following recollection was written at shortly after 6:05pm on June 22nd:

The dream started out inside of a train that looked and felt like a Metro train traveling at somewhat high speeds. However it seemed to be moving faster than normal, or maybe that was just the nature of the dream. Behind me was what looked like an airline pilot and a lady in a business suit. We were talking about how it was nice to be traveling on the train and then the conversation made its way to Accela. Where I turned around and said, “But it still uses the same rail lines as the regular trains.” They both laughed and then the train went completely silent as we rolled on. The silence reminded me of when I am on the Metro and the AC goes off and this audible static goes away for a brief moment. As we roll on down the track in silence this portion of the dream ends….

I then found myself floating above Nationals Stadium. A batter has hit a baseball deep into the outfield. Instead of a normal wall, there a crowd of teenagers who are in the field with baseball mitts and one of them catches the ball and then the crowd of teenagers disperses. No once can see who took the baseball. Then the crowd of the stadium starts to sing in unison to the tune of “Happy Birthday To You,” a phrase that causes those in the stadium to break out in laughter, “Where is the baseball, Where is the baseball, Where IS the baseballllll, Where is the baseball?” Shortly after this scene the dream ends.

I found it interesting that my mind had created something both funny and completely new in the context that I tend to think of dreams as a subconcious means of rehashing ideas and visions that have taken place in my waking life. Every part of the train sequence was rehashed from experiences of being on Metro and Accela trains, but the baseball portion was different. I have never created a somewhat humorous song while sleeping. However, its the train portion of the dream that is still haunting me.

UPDATE: To make matters more eerie, it turns out that two of the fatalities in the train actually resemble the two people I was talking to on the train in my dream. The pilot who died, Maj. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr., was involved in protecting Washington, DC during the whack events on 9/11, which is the source of my previous dream and he was sitting next to his wife, who also died. I got a chill down my spine after looking at their photos. However, unlike my dream, we were all sitting in the back of the train, not the front where they were actually sitting. I specifically remember turning around to speak with them because they were behind me and from my experiences on Metro trains the seats at the end of the car tend face the direction of the trains movement. Moreover, the lead cars, where the conductor is located and where they were sitting, have fewer seats than the back of the train. Regardless, I’m still a bit shaken by this synchronicity.

Front Range Quilt #2
|| 6/20/2009 || 10:15 pm || Comments Off on Front Range Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Front Range Quilt no.2 by Nikolas R. Schiller

Using this portion of Front Range Quilt, I created this derivative map. I sampled that portion because I like the nature of how the shadows of the ridge presented themselves and I wanted to include the tarn at the base of Andrews Glacier. I opted for the Dodecagon Quilt Projection because I felt it that it would work nicely since I am not trying to capture any specific buildings or streets in the source imagery (there are none!).

View the Google Map of the Front Range in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

: detail :

View the rest of the map details:


Front Range Quilt
|| 6/19/2009 || 9:40 pm || Comments Off on Front Range Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Front Range Quilt by Nikolas R. Schiller

So I never got around to making a map of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, but I still plan on doing so. Instead I decided to seek out a somewhat new place and try out a new style. For years I have been reticent about making a map that it not composed of an urban area. I always thought that it was the buildings and the streets that gave each map its intrinsic uniqueness, but with this map, I have branched out, tried something new, and am pleasantly surprised with the results.

Years ago I posted a topographic map of Rocky Mountain National Park featuring the first mountains I ever climbed as a child. It was also the first topographic map posted this to this blog, and to continue this line of thought, I was delighted to find that the imagery was available to create the first map of its type. Instead of the aerial photography being too dull to be worthy of a map, I found it interesting that the shadows created by the ridge line added some aerial chiaroscuro. Moreover, upon closer examination, due to the spatial resolution of the source aerial photography, you can actually make out the trails crisscrossing through the forest. While they don’t appear as well as a highway or skyscraper, the trails and shadows help make create a map that I am happy to publish here.

Another striking feature of the imagery is the color tone of the tarn at the base of Andrews Glacier. This blue/green lake adds a unique color contrast to the somewhat monotone yellow hue of the rocky terrain. I do, however, wish there was a bit more color contrast between the east side of the continental divide and the west side of the continental divide that I’ve seen when I’ve stood atop these mountains. I also kinda wish, for once, that the aerial photography wasn’t taken from nadir, rather I wish it was taken at an oblique angle because we’d be able to see more elevation contrast between the various mountain peaks. However, since I have hiked these mountains, I know the continental divide shown in this aerial photography traverses north and south and the shadows are only formed from the ridges extending west from the continental divide. This makes it slightly easier to differentiate where the ridges are, but not where the peaks are. Anyways, I’ve decided to sample a portion of this imagery and will make another iteration of this map shortly.

View the Google Map of the Front Range in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Curiously, the imagery used on Google Maps shows the area during the winter time and covered in snow.

: detail of Andrews Glacier :

View the rest of the map details:


My Brash poem from Artomatic 2009
|| 6/18/2009 || 10:34 pm || Comments Off on My Brash poem from Artomatic 2009 || ||

Inverted scan of the poem

Brash is a poet that goes around Artomatic and leaves each participating artist a poem taped on to their exhibit wall. This week I noticed that my poem had been taped up to my exhibit space, so I decided to take it home, scan it, and post it here on-line like I did with last year’s poem. However, unlike last year, where Brash wrote about my entire exhibit, this year Brash wrote specifically about my Israel / Palestine 1993 map. From my understanding, Brash will probably write a poem for EVERY artist (thats over a thousand poems!) at Artomatic 2009. Brash, if you are reading this, thank you! I sincerely enjoy your creative spirit!

Related Artomatic Entries:


Analyzing my Facebook friends social behavior through Google Reader
|| 6/17/2009 || 3:16 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I haven’t written about Facebook since I created the group “Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro” back in February. Previous to that, the entries were related to my experiments using their internal advertising system (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) and prior to that, I briefly wrote about the Nexus application that shows the relationships & commonalities of my Facebook friends. Back in March of 2008, I had a little under 400 friends and since then I have gained over 600 new friends and now have a little more than 1,000 Facebook friends and they share a lot links.

A few months ago I discovered that I could subscribe to my friend’s shared links on Facebook through an RSS reader. I was attempting develop a means to synch up what I shared on Facebook with what I shared on this website and found that I could subscribe to what all my friends were sharing on Facebook. I had come to the conclusion that it was easier to share information through the Facebook platform than through this blog and I wanted to find a way that my shared links would show up here using my Daily Links concept. While I ultimately abandoned the effort (as well as the Daily Links concept), I kept my subscription active in Google Reader.

Today I decided to check out the statistics related to my Facebook friends shared link RSS feed. What I found was quite interesting….

The average links shared per week is a little over 574 “posts” (posts are technically individually shared links) and with a little over 1,000 friends, this would statistically translate to half of my friends share one link a week. However, from my experience, I would say that its probably 10% to 25% of my friends are active users who share links often and the rest are passive users or don’t use Facebook that much. To reach the number of 574 shared links per week, then in the last 30 days there was roughly 2300 links shared during the month (574 posts per week x 4 weeks = 2296.8 links per month), which translates to a little over 2 links per person per month. As far as the shape of the graph goes, like the traffic on this website, there is a seemingly up & down flow that I’ve found to correlate to how most people use the internet during the week and not using it during the weekend.

This screen grab shows something I wasn’t expecting. The time of day in which my friends share their links does not completely correlate to my initial notion that most people share links on Facebook only while at work. Instead the times in which my friends share the most links are around 10pm & 11pm at night; probably before they go to bed. However, judging by the 4pm & 5pm spikes in the number of shared links, I can deduce that people are sharing links more at the end of the work day than at the beginning. The spike at around 11am in the morning might indicate that people are using Facebook during their lunch break. In all, I think this graph is the most telling of the Facebook usage of my friends on-line social behavior.

Finally, this screen grab also shows shows the which day of the week my friends share the most links. This graph mimics the undulation shown on the Last 30 Days graphic above. Interestingly, Thursday edges out Wednesday as the most popular day and Tuesday is more popular than Friday. I personally expected Friday to be the day that the most links are share because in my experience it was the day of the week that required the least amount of work. At below 200 links, nearly half the amount for the other five days of the week, I was not surprised by the low number of links shared on the weekends. As I stated before, this mimics the traffic this website.

In summary, I find this type of information very interesting. I don’t think its that useful information for everyone because it only shows the on-line social behavior of my friends. Moreover, this information does not fully paint the entire picture of my friends Facebook usage. Status updates, uploaded photos, uploaded videos, and those stupid quizzes are not shown in these graphs; only the number of links that are being shared. However, I believe there are some general concepts that can possibly be extrapolated if you were to subscribe to your friend’s shared links.

Malfunction Junction Offset
|| 6/16/2009 || 1:35 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Malfunction Junction Offset by Nikolas R. Schiller

The other week I downloaded the aerial photography of downtown Birmingham, Alabama to make some maps for a friend of mine. Upon closer inspection of the geography, I found that there was a nicely formed highway interchange close to the downtown area that happened to be colloquially named “Malfunction Junction.” While other cities can also claim in having their own Malfunction Junction, this highway interchange is the first one I’ve read about.

When I started working on this map I intended to render a couple versions and recursively sample them to created a fractal map, but I wasn’t happy with the results, so I decided to go in a completely direction. This map did end up using previously sampled imagery, but it does not conform to that regular quilt projection format of a centralized kaleidoscope. Also, this map is not unlike some of my previous maps, like White House Sunrise or Minneapolis Sunset, however, I chose to name it differently based on the position of the kaleidoscope’s focal point, which is offset in the upper left hand corner. I spent a lot of time adjusting this location and as you can see in the last detail below, I was a few pixels off. Up next I’m probably going to work on the downtown area of Birmingham, but I’m really itching to start mapping Europe.

View the Google Map of Malfunction Junction in Birmingham, Alabama

: detail :

View the rest of the map details:


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

©2004-2023 Nikolas R. Schiller - Colonist of the District of Columbia - Privacy Policy - Fair Use - RSS - Contact


Fair Use

41 queries. 3.609 seconds.
Powered by WordPress

Photo by Charlie McCormick
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:

If you would like to use content found here, please consult my Fair Use page.









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



  • 2004 Elections (2)
  • 2008 Elections (35)
  • 2014 Elections (4)
  • 2016 Elections (2)
  • ACLU (3)
  • Activism (287)
  • Adbusters (13)
  • Advertisements (33)
  • aerial photography (19)
  • Analysis (31)
  • Animals (30)
  • animated gif (7)
  • Animation (25)
  • Antique (104)
  • Apple (1)
  • Arabic (17)
  • Architectural Archeology (9)
  • Artomatic (25)
  • Astronomy (15)
  • Astrophotography (9)
  • Audio (2)
  • Awards (3)
  • Backpacking (2)
  • banner graphics (5)
  • Beat Google to the Map (56)
  • bicycle (23)
  • Birds-Eye View (5)
  • Blaeu (10)
  • Book Covers (7)
  • Bridge (10)
  • Building (15)
  • calendar (28)
  • calligraphy (6)
  • Capital (61)
  • Cars (18)
  • Cartography (74)
  • Cartoon (9)
  • Celestial (31)
  • Censorship (32)
  • Chinese (7)
  • Chronicling America (34)
  • Classroom (5)
  • Clothing (12)
  • Commentary (76)
  • Commissioned (27)
  • Credit Cards (3)
  • Crime (12)
  • Cyrillic Alphabet (1)
  • DAILY LINKS (30)
  • Dance (2)
  • DC History (93)
  • Design (102)
  • Digital Scrap (5)
  • Election (11)
  • ESA (3)
  • Facebook (19)
  • Fantasy (3)
  • Fashion (23)
  • Fast Food (2)
  • FBI (7)
  • Flag (15)
  • flickr (4)
  • Found Map (56)
  • French (9)
  • Gallery (54)
  • Gardening (25)
  • General (256)
  • George Bush (12)
  • GIS (69)
  • GMO Labeling (4)
  • Google (31)
  • Google AdSense (4)
  • Google AdWords (3)
  • Google Earth (28)
  • Google Maps (47)
  • Google Reader (4)
  • Google Streetview (8)
  • GPS (7)
  • Graffiti (5)
  • Greek (4)
  • Green (72)
  • Green Party (18)
  • Healthcare (15)
  • Highway (35)
  • Hiking (2)
  • Hipster (2)
  • history (151)
  • Holidays (10)
  • House Party (2)
  • Hubble Telescope (2)
  • Humor (88)
  • In The News (88)
  • Insects (2)
  • Interactive (74)
  • Interiors (4)
  • IP Trace (28)
  • Latin (22)
  • Law (15)
  • Lecture (11)
  • Legislation (19)
  • Library (21)
  • Library of Congress (66)
  • Location (1,018)
  • LOLMaps (3)
  • Mass Transit (6)
  • Memorandum (2)
  • meta-data (32)
  • Mobile Phone Applications (1)
  • Movie (3)
  • MrSID (4)
  • MSN (5)
  • Museum (5)
  • Music (48)
  • MySpace (6)
  • NASA (10)
  • National Archives (3)
  • News (182)
  • Obituary (2)
  • Oil (4)
  • Ornithology (4)
  • orthophotography (4)
  • OSCE (16)
  • Photography (134)
  • Poetry (18)
  • Portuguese (1)
  • postmodern (8)
  • QR code (9)
  • QTVR (4)
  • Radio (3)
  • Renderings (675)
  • RSS (3)
  • Seasons (12)
  • Sold (40)
  • Spanish (7)
  • Speech (5)
  • Sports (1)
  • Stadium (40)
  • statehood (94)
  • Statistics (2)
  • Stellarium (4)
  • Stereogram (1)
  • Street (21)
  • Street Art (10)
  • Submissions (5)
  • Tattoo (2)
  • Testimony (2)
  • time-lapse (19)
  • Torture (3)
  • Transportation (6)
  • TV (23)
  • Twitter (5)
  • University (41)
  • Update (24)
  • Vegetarianism (2)
  • Video (49)
  • Vimeo (18)
  • visualization (36)
  • Washington Critic (2)
  • Weather (19)
  • Web Crawler (9)
  • Wikipedia (14)
  • Wordpress (4)
  • Wordpress Upgrade (2)
  • World Wind (3)
  • Yahoo (6)
  • YouTube (113)
  • Zodiac (23)

  • thank you,
    come again!