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First Amendment Violation in Lafayette Park yesterday; ACLU contacted
|| 7/19/2008 || 3:29 pm || Comments Off on First Amendment Violation in Lafayette Park yesterday; ACLU contacted || ||

Brave New Voices in Lafayette Park

Youth poets from around the country pose for a group picture at Lafayette Park

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by my friend who owns a sound system that is frequently used for outdoor demonstrations, rallies, and press conferences. Since he has a couple of businesses that siphon much of his time, he normally contacts me about doing the sound for these events. Over the years I’ve helped a wide array of disparate groups amplify their voices and help facilitate their freedom of speech through my sound engineering skills.

Yesterday’s event was organized by a DC non-profit Sol y Soul in conjunction with Youth Speaks‘s 2008 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. Throughout last week over 450 different youths between the ages of 13 & 19 from around the world came to DC to compete, learn, and forge new friendships through spoken word poetry. This competition culminated into a final competition tonight in Lincoln Theater that will be recorded by HBO for a future episode of their Def Poetry series.

Friday afternoon’s event was called “Hear the Children Speak” and the theme of the poetry was about No Child Left Behind and America’s educational system. The permits allowed the organizers to construct a stage on the west side of Lafayette Park and have me setup a sound system that allowed each student the ability to recite their poetry on the microphone.

For the first two hours everything went superb, then a National Park Police Officer decided that their poetry, their 1st amendment, was too much and told one of the organizers we need to turn off the sound system.

I have done sound at Lafayette Park (also known as President’s Park, which is located just north of the White House) over a dozen times in the last few years and never before I have been told to turn off the sound system. I’ve been told to turn it down, but never off. After consulting with the organizers, I decided to contact the ACLU about what transpired and below is my initial e-mail which lays out exactly what happened:

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Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 4 – Fvck Censorship]
|| 5/18/2008 || 3:56 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 4 – Fvck Censorship] || ||

For my last experiment I decided to just screw around with Facebook to see if I can get one by their censors. This experiment involves the use of geeky lexical humor to poke fun of the antiquated way of using the letter V in place of the letter U and to see if I could get a quasi-curse word through their filters.

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What the Artomatic 2008 venue looked like in March of 2005
|| 5/6/2008 || 4:34 pm || Comments Off on What the Artomatic 2008 venue looked like in March of 2005 || ||

My next map will feature the area around the 2008 Artomatic venue. On Google Maps, which currently shows the geography in April of 2002, the location is still a parking lot. Since the venue is located within the 12 mile perimeter of passive censorship on Google Maps you don’t see the construction or completion of the office building.



Geovisual QR Code
|| 4/12/2008 || 5:42 pm || Comments Off on Geovisual QR Code || ||

: saved at 6,000 x 6,000 :
Geovisual QR Code by Nikolas Schiller

QR Code is a two-dimensional bar code created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is stands for “Quick Response,” and it operates very similar to traditional bar codes, but allows for more customization. QR Codes are common in Japan where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional code. In recent weeks I’ve read about some very interesting uses of the code and decided to make something with it.

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The first Artomatic prints have arrived
|| 4/9/2008 || 12:30 pm || Comments Off on The first Artomatic prints have arrived || ||

Federal Triangle Quilt #3 with Chinese Signature

Federal Triangle Quilt #3 with Chinese signature

Using some of the funds from my DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities 2008 Young Artist Grant, I purchased the first set of prints that will be shown at next month’s Artomatic exhibition.

One of Kodak’s newest products is their fleece blanket, which is 100% polyester, machine washable, and frankly, are a very good deal at about $45 each. I’ve been waiting a long time to print my maps on large media cost-effectively and fortunately the size of these blankets match the aspect ratio of my maps (3:2) so I can upload my 9,000 x 6,000-sized maps (one half the original rendering size) without any extra image manipulation. Or so I thought.

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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:

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Indirectly referenced in the Sydney Morning News?
|| 8/16/2007 || 10:12 pm || Comments Off on Indirectly referenced in the Sydney Morning News? || ||

Google’s photos of Sydney go all fuzzy
by Asher Moses, 8/13/07, The Sydney Morning News


Google has in the past been accused of censoring its maps due to national security concerns by governments, most recently in June when it updated its maps of Washington D.C. but maintained older, blurry images for -most of the downtown area.

I believe the author is referencing this article, “Google’s View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy by Jenna Johnson (Lead story, Metro Section, Washington Post, 7/22/07) which was written because of this blog entry and my subsequent press release.



MyGoogleMaps : Google’s Censorship Perimeter
|| 7/29/2007 || 4:42 pm || Comments Off on MyGoogleMaps : Google’s Censorship Perimeter || ||

&ie

Links to the MyGoogleMap:

Download the KML file

I previously made a few static maps of the area but today I decided to make a MyGoogleMap so that others may interactively explore the area of Google’s censorship. I tried my best to be within 50ft of the line throughout the roughly 12 mile perimeter. As I stated yesterday, the area matches up with Google’s 3D buildings and I still feel that Google should update the entire downtown area with the most recent imagery.



3D Buildings at the expense of newer imagery?
|| 7/28/2007 || 3:59 pm || Comments Off on 3D Buildings at the expense of newer imagery? || ||

After conducting some more analysis concerning Google’s censorship of Washington, DC, I discovered a possible reason as to why the older imagery is being used….. 3D Buildings

Continue reading:

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Google’s View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy – Washington Post
|| 7/22/2007 || 4:39 pm || Comments Off on Google’s View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy – Washington Post || ||


Today my analysis concerning Google’s censorship of downtown Washington, DC made it into a story on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post.

Here are two snippets from the article by Jenna Johnson titled, “Google’s View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy”

The older images frustrate cartographer Nikolas Schiller, 26, who takes an artistic approach to mapmaking and is working on an atlas. Schiller, who lives in the U Street area, said that too much of the District is represented using the older photos, diminishing the amount of information — and thrill — that aerial photos can provide.

“Maps are about power,” he said. “Maps decide what gets developed, who lives where, how people get around.”

Schiller said he thinks Google should just use the 2002 map for the small spots the government has censored rather than the whole downtown area.

And he said he’s puzzled that any level of blurriness is needed by anyone — even the government — especially because he recently took a detailed tour of a nuclear reactor south of Detroit via Google Earth.

“Where is the concept of national security in this?” he asked.

By random chance, tomorrow’s map is the nuclear reactor mentioned in the article.

Read the entire article:

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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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  • thank you,
    come again!