The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


USDA, where is your organic?
|| 11/14/2005 || 6:42 pm || Comments Off on USDA, where is your organic? || ||

So earlier today I went to the USDA’s GIS Day at the USDA’s main building at 12th & Independence for work. We setup a booth for the My Community, Our Earth Program to show USDA employees the importance of geographic education for sustainable development. While I have been to the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) building before, this was the first time I have been in their main building. We setup in the back of the cafeteria, and after we had discussed our projects to the other exhibitors we were given the green light to go and get some “USDA chow.” I was sincerely hoping to find some organic USDA chow, but instead I found your typical pesticide ridden SYSCO food service grub. I am still quite amazed to be honest…. Is there no employee who prefers organic food at the USDA? You’d think they’d want to have that food available to show that they are serious about the program, but instead there was no mention of it- no logo anywhere. If I could go back there again, I’d definitely like to find one of the employees working on the program and pick there brain for a bit. Literally, I’d like to see them put their money where their mouth is!

Brown Bag Series
|| 11/10/2005 || 8:51 pm || Comments Off on Brown Bag Series || ||

Please Come if you can!

…no I did not design the flyer, only the background.

come one, come all!
|| 11/9/2005 || 10:13 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

I am so excited about this…

Please come if you can make it! I will be speaking on creative applications of geospatial technology using Flash, Bryce 3D, and Google Earth. I will also be discussing experimental map projections and ways in which students, teachers, and professionals can incorporate these software programs into their lives to foster more dynamic and effective means of knowledge dissemination.


You are invited to attend the second of our Fall Series Lunchtime Seminars.

NIKOLAS SCHILLER (Association of American Geographers)

Mapping Your Own Legend:
Creative Applications of Geospatial Technology

When: November 16th, 1pm

Where: Spatial Analysis Lab,
1957 E Street, Suite 512
(Geography Department)

See you all there, Arrive early for pizza!

Found Geospatial Art
|| 11/7/2005 || 12:19 am || Comments Off on Found Geospatial Art || ||

Today I devoted myself to the task of geocoding all of my Washington, DC renderings into Google Earth. Many many hours later, I’ve made it just over halfway through the task. I will be putting the layer on-line shortly…

As I was adding layers, there were two renderings that I decided to have a little cartographic fun with. When I got to Boxes of Jefferson, I decided to tilt the image 45 degrees and enlarge it to the size of Washington, DC. About two hours later when I got to DC Stencil, I decided to modify it to extenuate the lettering by removing the black background and turning it into a .png file (to preserve the transparency). I enlarged it as well to the size of a giant “you are here” sign. About an hour later I was going through the layers to see if there were any errors, I stumbled on the image below….

define: post-modern
|| 11/1/2005 || 7:14 pm || Comments Off on define: post-modern || ||

I decided to use google to define “post modern” and the result:

Definitions of post modern on the Web:

[1925 – 1980 AD] departure from generalized style into individual expression through innovative use of new building technology and materials to differentiate the structure, space and experience from all previous styles. The Guggenheim Museum by Frank LLoyd Wright exemplifies the flambouyant deviation from all previous architectural movements.
Related phrases: post modern design

Replace “architectural” with cartographic, and ya got it. Also, I was born in 1980, the year post modern is said to have ended, but I definitely think that definitiom describes my maps nicely…..a 25 year delay ain’t bad.

Star Series – BETA
|| 10/30/2005 || 11:46 am || Comments Off on Star Series – BETA || ||

Beta release of the Star Series Image Overlay KML file for Google Earth.
Click here to download the zipped up KML file

Unzip the file, drag starseries.kml file to your desktop, and double click on it to lauch Google Earth

Once loaded into Google Earth, the layer will download the maps from the Star Series hosted on my website. On the Places Panel the folder titled “Star Series” will be placed. Clicking on the triangle next to the folder you can expand and collapse the contents of the folder. By clicking on the “Send Comment” link, the blog entry in which the map is referenced will load up in the Google Earth web browser allowing you to leave a comment on my blog. By adjusting the transparency of the map overlay, you can find the area on the ground which was as a guide.

The Alpha release will have icons instead of overlays to facilitate the navigation of my maps. Within each icon will be a link for the overlay of the map.

Known Issues:
Due to large size of the maps, Google Earth might slow down considerably after they are loaded.
Google Earth’s browser is based off of Internet Explorer and my website does not show up as how I’d like it to.

Please provide me with feedback!

Taking Google Earth to a new level
|| 10/29/2005 || 10:21 am || Comments Off on Taking Google Earth to a new level || ||

Today I’ve begun geocoding my maps in Google Earth. Using the Image Overlay tool, I’ve diligently tried to match my renderings with the aerial/satellite image displayed in Google Earth. In most cases I am using the same imagery that Google Earth is and in other cases, like DC, I am placing my maps (derived from older USGS imagery) over the newer imagery. With each map I add to Google Earth, I also embed a link “Send Comment” to each respective blog entry for added interactivity. I’ve completed a few of my series and the results are awesome. You can now fly around the world and discover my maps…

I am making two KML versions for Google Earth because I have already run into a problem with using the Image Overlay feature– I’ve made too many maps! After loading all of the maps, Google Earth slows down to a crawl. The work around is to make one layer with basic icons without the image overlay and have the map load within the icon’s window with a link to it’s respective Image Overlay file. This prevents the Google Earth from loading all of the maps at once, and it allows me to maintain a comment link to my blog. What I hope to have in the end is 2 master KML files- one personal & one for the web, and then produce an Image Overlay KML file for each map for the web. The personal file used for presentations and the web will be for what was described above.

To finish off this task, I now need to go back through my blog and add the Image Overlay KLM file for each respective blog entry (to make discovery bi-directional, as in you can find the map first on my website or within Google Earth). I will add a footer, “View this Map in Google Earth,” and have the Image Overlay KML link.

First up will be the master Image Overlay file from which I can extract the individual KML files for the blog entries, and then lastly make the layer for the public. The public layer is going to take the longest, but it will be the most useful. This all sounds like a lot of work, and I do believe it is, but results will be rewarding- I will have taken Google Earth to my level (wherever that may be).

Civic Footprint
|| 10/27/2005 || 6:59 pm || Comments Off on Civic Footprint || ||

I was reading Chicagoist thinking about the annual meeting this winter, and I stumbled on a website called Civic Footprint. It’s ties together maps (albeit ugly) with Police Districts, Wards, Community Areas, County Districts, State Representative Districts, State Senate Districts, and Congressional Districts.

I’d really like to see this type of website replicated because it currently only works off a geo-database populated with Chicago area data. The concept of this website (below the fold) is an excellent way to empower people politically. It gives visitors the ability to become aware of their elected officials. Created by the progressive Center for Neighborhood Technology, I was suprised to find out who the sponsor was….


post-modern cartography
|| || 8:41 am || Comments Off on post-modern cartography || ||

While searching for information on “post-modern cartography” I found this quote:

“Today, ‘post-modern’ cartography gives more attention to other aspects of the mapping and map-making process…. i.e. that the map is a subjective, not an objective, representation, and that artistry has a role to play in such a representation.”

“The map of the future will almost certainly not be drawn on paper”

Dorling, D., & Fairbairn D. (1997) Mapping: Ways of Representing the World. Addison Wesley Longman Ltd.

I guess I was right to label myself a post-modern cartographer in the grant. I just wish I would have used this quote instead of the UNESCO quote. Oh well….

Confluence Project meets Google Earth
|| 10/13/2005 || 8:24 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

After being so impressed by the kind words and excellent recap of my first confluence, I decided on a whim late Thursday night (early this morning) to respond to Joseph’s generosity by geocoding his 86 different confluences using Google Earth.

Already listed on the Confluence website was Joseph’s previous confluences, so all I had to was manually cut & paste each confluence into Google’s search bar and the program would take me to the location. This proved to be somewhat more time consuming because there is a bug in Google Earth which does not allow the ASCII code for degree° to be used when searching. This forced me to paste the coordinates, then go into the search box and delete the degree character.

After being flown to the confluence, I clicked on the icon to add a placemark and within the placemark I cut pasted the confluence URL, the date Jospeh visited, and the location’s approximate location. This way when someone clicks on the placemark, they are given the option of viewing Joseph’s pictures and remarks. With Google Earth’s embedded web browser this hyperlinking works excellently because you can see the on-the-ground photos alongside the overhead aerial & satellite imagery. This works very similar to my “E St. Risk Analysis” flash animation I made at GWU.

My favorite aspect of this little Google Earth project is the ability of this to be used for learning and pedagogical development. Essentially, I’ve wanted to make a learning tool for the program since Google Earth came out, but there hasn’t been an opportunity yet for me to do so. What I’ve created is a fun, inquiry driven, learning module for Google Earth which teaches the basics of thinking spatially about latitudes and longitudes.

Directions: Load the layer I made (link below) in Google Earth and go to the menu, click on View –> Lat/Long Grid, you can see how his travels lineup perfectly with the latitudes and longitudes on the surface of the earth. You can the go one step further by clicking on embedded Confluence URLs to see the temporal aspects of his visit and how they relate to the time when the aerial & satellite image was taken.

If you have Google Earth installed on your PC, click save target as, and download the layer “JKconfluences.kml” Then open it up in Google Earth and have fun!

I’d love feedback!

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


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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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The Lenz Project

Mandala Project

The Star Series

Abstract Series

Memory Series

Mother Earth Series
Mother Earth

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