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A new change in Washington, DC’s imagery on Google’s servers
|| 7/10/2007 || 9:42 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

For the last 3 years I have followed how the aerial & satellite imagery of Washington, DC has been released, redacted, and remixed. This entry marks another important observation and a new discovery in Google Maps.

Last week I discovered the extent to which Google has updated their servers with the 2005 USGS aerial photography. My findings suggest that Google has censored much of downtown Washington, DC by not using a substanial amount of newer imagery.

Continue reading:

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Comparative Meta-Data of the USGS Orthoimagery of Washington, DC – 2002 / 2005
|| 3/28/2007 || 9:50 am || Comments Off on Comparative Meta-Data of the USGS Orthoimagery of Washington, DC – 2002 / 2005 || ||

With the recent acquisition of the 2005 aerial photography of the White House, I decided to look over the computer generated meta-data that came bundled with the .tif file from the USGS. What I found was somewhat surprising in that the USGS makes note that “No metadata were received with this data.

This essentially means that not only is the White House itself redacted, but the agency/corporation that took the pictures has been redacted as well. In the 2002 meta-data, it explicitly states the name of the corporation that was contracted to take the aerial photography, EarthData International of Maryland, LLC. Yet in the 2005 meta-data this information is suspiciously absent.

I must ask why? Was it done using government planes or was it contracted out? Moreover, why should this fact be removed from the meta-data?

To say the aerial photography magically arrived on the USGS servers is one thing, but to say that it was acquired by EarthData International of Maryland, LLC then processed at a USGS facility gives a better picture of the process involved in the creation of this imagery.

After the fold are the two meta-data files from the 2002 and 2005 USGS orthphotography. Of note is that there is more detailed information about the process invoved to create the 2005 orthoimagery, yet the source of it is withheld.

Daniel Denk at RemoteSensingTools has an interesting take on this issue.

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The White House is Off-Limits to the Public: An Exploration of Censorship’s Perimeter
|| 3/26/2007 || 3:32 pm || Comments Off on The White House is Off-Limits to the Public: An Exploration of Censorship’s Perimeter || ||

click the image above to view my latest installment in the Lost Series

LEGEND:

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The U.S. Capitol is Off-Limits to the Public: An Exploration of Censorship’s Perimeter
|| 3/25/2007 || 9:46 am || Comments Off on The U.S. Capitol is Off-Limits to the Public: An Exploration of Censorship’s Perimeter || ||

click image above to view my latest installment to the Lost Series

LEGEND:

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Censored today in theMail…
|| 2/15/2007 || 6:05 am || Comments Off on Censored today in theMail… || ||

On Sunday I e-mailed Gary Imhoff who moderates the bi-weekly discussion list called theMail. This is the second time I have posted to the theMail, with the first being an e-flyer for “North South East Westminster,” and to be honest I am quite disappointed in the slight censorship Gary employed in my original entry. Specifically, he opted to not include what I feel to be the best piece of media: the Taxation Without Representation Google Map!

Here is what I sent to theMail:

The New DC Flag (if HR 328 passes) and other fractional media
Nikolas R. Schiller, DC [at] NikolasSchiller [dot] com
Co-Chair, DC Statehood Green Party

Fellow friends & enemies of fractional representation,

Last Thursday I received a phone call from the executive director of an organization that is promoting fractional democracy on behalf the disenfranchised residents of Washington, DC. I was kindly asked to refrain from using Photoshop to alter copyrighted images, even when done as a parody (see below). However, when an injustice is currently being promoted in the name of democracy, I cannot in good conscience be silent, or even 1/3 silent.

So to complete my fractional trilogy, I have redesigned the DC flag to represent the 1/3 representation DC residents will get with the passage of the unconstitutional DC Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act of 2007 (hr 328). I also created an animated version to accentuate the stupidity of claiming 1/3 representation as progress.

The flag is based on this proposed design:
https://www.dcwatch.com/issues/flagproposed.gif

The new DC Flag (if HR 328 passes):
https://www.nikolasschiller.com/images/flagproposed_text_left.gif
https://www.nikolasschiller.com/images/flagproposed_animated.gif

Fractionally Related (if HR 328 passes):
https://nikolasschiller.com/images/new_dc_plates.jpg
https://nikolasschiller.com/images/now_with_dc_vote.gif

Marginally 1/3 Related:
https://nikolasschiller.com/images/dc_is_the_capital_of.gif
https://nikolasschiller.com/images/utah_is_the_capital_of.gif
– Look at both and ask yourself, “Who is still getting screwed?”)

Interactive Google Map:
https://nikolasschiller.com/gis/taxationwithoutrepresentationmap.html
– This Google Map Mashup randomly plots 51 DC Flags around the U.S. Capitol and when clicked reveal 51 different messages about Washington, DC.

Don’t forget, if you have the time, take one-third of a day off work on Thursday and go to Capitol Hill and tell Congress what it’s like to be forced to take the backseat on the bus of democracy.

After the flap is what was actually distributed:

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Baghdad Imagery change in Google Earth
|| 8/16/2005 || 6:02 pm || Comments Off on Baghdad Imagery change in Google Earth || ||

I heard about this news last week…
Via NBC

Troops Worried About Popular Google Feature
Soldiers Worry About Insurgents Using Information

POSTED: 9:48 pm PDT August 11, 2005
UPDATED: 9:58 pm PDT August 11, 2005

SAN DIEGO — A popular new feature on Google’s Web site has troops in Iraq upset, NBC 7/39 reported on Thursday.

The “Google Earth Program” has satellite maps from around the globe, where people can zoom in on their houses — or a military base in Iraq.

The pictures are a year old, but troops say many things have not changed, such as aircraft that are in the same locations.

The program can show people the latitude and longitude of any spot. Troops said they fear insurgents can use all of the information to aim mortar rounds.

A local retired Marine said he does see some risk in the site.

“Clever and devious people can come up with any number of ways to use this and keep themselves out of harm’s way while doing significant damage to U.S. forces or any of the coalition,” said retired Lt. Col. Thomas Richards.

Google said the images are all publicly available; the program just puts them in one place.

Last night I decided to do some “research” and found that Google has actually changed their imagery in Baghdad, Iraq. I know this because when Google Earth came out I visited Baghdad and it had the same Digital Globe imagery that I downloaded to make some of my Baghdad renderings with. Look at the imagery below. Notice at big hole around downtown Baghdad? That contains the Greenzone as well as most of the important buildings in the Iraqi government.

It looks like Google has taken some heat and put in some older imagery… I don’t know for sure if it’s older or not, but I’ll have to check. If I remember correctly, I downloaded some pre-illegal-invasion imagery from Digital Globe, but I’ll have to check…

Related Censorship Entries:

Related Google Earth Entries:



I’m off google
|| 7/24/2005 || 12:29 pm || Comments Off on I’m off google || ||

Last week I wrote an e-mail to Google because someone from Google had decided to visit my website a couple weeks back and cached the page they visited, even when I requested them to not do so.

In response to my e-mail, Google has completely removed even the listing of my website from their database! Before when you’d google “Nikolas Schiller,” the first result would be a link to my website- without any text just “https://nikolasschiller.com,” and now (if you clicked the link above) it doesn’t display that anymore and the first result is the Washington Post article from July 4th, 2004 on the Adbusters website.

I guess I’m even harder to find now :-)



Redacted Flag
|| 7/5/2005 || 7:44 am || Comments Off on Redacted Flag || ||

An American flag with Made In China blacked out

I didn’t make down to the National Mall for the fireworks last night. I opted to stay far far away from the crowds of people down there. Instead my friends and I went to a few house parties in Adams Morgan and we watched the fireworks from the rooftop of the Adams Morgan strip. I think we were on top of the block from Tom Tom to around Bossa- it was PIMP- just as cool as the penthouse in Rosslyn last year! I love the ability to walk along connected rooftops!

As we made our way back to my house for some post fireworks festivities, we ran into my neighbor who had just returned from the National Mall. We also had run into her earlier in the day as we were heading to the Nats game! She showed me the flag (above) that she had been given while on the mall for the festivities. She also pointed out that little black line in the bottom left corner of the flag. To my astonishment, this flag, which was given out to probably over 100,000+ spectators, was blacked out because it said “Made In China.”

This is piss poor judgment on behalf of those who organized the celebration! I mean COME ON! You’d think they’d have the smarts to hand out flags made in America on the 4th of July, right? Worse is that there had to be someone who went through all of flags and redacted the flags before they were handed out.

If you add what happened at RFK Stadium earlier in the day, I will remember this 4th of July as the least patriotic American anniversary I’ve ever experienced. I had a fun time at least :)


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Censorship on the 4th of July
|| 7/4/2005 || 9:40 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Today’s Strike 4 Statehood festivities at RFK were very disappointing. While the marquee outside of the stadium say that you are allowed to bring in signs, once in the stands, this is not true. Maybe it was because the game was being televised by FOX, or maybe the MLB management really doesn’t want people to entertain their freedom of speech while at the stadium, but when you are threatened to be kicked out of the stadium numerous times for holding up signs on the 4th of July, it’s really a sad sad sight.

The plan was the same as at the last game, we were going to hold up the signs that spelled out “S T R I K E 4 DC S T A T E H O O D” every time the pitcher struck out someone from the opposing team, or if the player is walked, we’d flip the signs to say “B U S H P L A Y B A L L W I T H DC.” Alas, this form of signage is not welcomed at RFK stadium, nor was ANY type of signage.

After our first display of the signs the RFK stadium security was on to us and told us that we were not allowed to hold up the signs and we needed to put them away. They said they were either going to kick us out of the stadium or take our signs, and of course we weren’t going to budge an inch- it was the 4th of July, the day we are supposed to celebrate freedom of speech and all that has came with 229 years of independence.

As we were being heckled by security, the Washington Post photographer approached us and we were able to tell him the story. He snapped a few pictures of us and took some of our names, and hopefully we’ll make it into the Post.

We pointed out to the security that there were others with signs that were not being heckled and they approached those people and told them that they needed to put their signs away as well. But of course, those people didn’t put up much of a fight like we did! We eventually put the signs away and the security left us alone.

Brendan brought his DC flag to the game as well (it’s the same flag you can see hoisted on Senator Strauss’ boat in the Examiner Article) and decided that he would hold up the flag during applause. And who would have thought that you are not allowed to hold up the DC Flag at the baseball game in Washington, DC? He, too, almost got kicked out of the stadium for refusing to not wave his flag. Can you believe the banality of censorship on the 4th of July at RFK stadium? I am still recoiling!

Eventually the second tier security came and told the security guard, who ended up being posted behind us the entire game, that it was okay to wave the DC Flag! Oh the fun of flags on the 4th of July!

During the 7th inning stretch we defied the RFK stadium security and held up the signs for the stadium to see, which they did! It was quite funny seeing the entire stadium looking up at us to read the sign. The powerless security guard who was stationed behind us came down to us and told us to take down the signs and we just ignored her. We held up the signs two more times before our critical mass of 20 DC Statehood supporters decided to head on home for the night.

As we were leaving the stands, I noticed that RFK stadium security had added a police officer to the ranks of those monitoring our 4th of July festivities in the stands.

We learned through this whole ordeal that the signs are not going to work, but we also noticed that people with letters on their shirts can do the exact same messaging, and it’s a bit more “legal.” There was a gaggle of folks who had “Happy 4th of July” on spelled out on their shirts and they were not given any hassle by the RFK security. We also learned that the DC flag is legitimate, so that means I need to get one for myself! (maybe one with “Taxation Without Representation”)

I came to the stadium dressed as the DC Colonist, which was perfect for the 4th of July, yet I realized that I need a bit more visible messaging on the outfit for it not to be misconstrued as “patriot” that some suburbanites told their children I was. Regardless, everyone got a kick out of seeing me in such a timely costume! I was able to rally our section of the stadium into doing the wave :) This was the first time I’ve actually partaken in the activity of getting people to literally follow the leader. Very fun!

This will definitely be the last time I attend a Nats game for a while. My next foray will be highlighting the fact that RFK stadium does not recycle. I believe that we’ll be able to make a strong case for adding recycling bins to the stadium to make sure PETE finds a home other than a landfill or an incinerator. There is no reason why RFK stadium is not recycling, and my only guess is because no one has pointed out this fact. Time to do so.



U.S. Naval Observatory Lenz #2
|| 5/28/2005 || 11:38 pm || Comments Off on U.S. Naval Observatory Lenz #2 || ||

I decided to update this rendering using the same template I’ve used for all the Lenz Project renderings I’ve made in 2005. I never really liked the way the old rendering looked much, and I’m still not 100% satisfied with how this one turned out, but oh well. Up next, Georgetown!





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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!