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(Mecca) is now Makkah
|| 11/28/2007 || 10:27 pm || Comments Off on (Mecca) is now Makkah || ||

On August 12th, 2007 I took this screenshot for my blog entry related to the Astro-theological overlays for Google Earth. The project overlaid the zodiac on locations of religious importance: Vatican City, Mecca, and Jerusalem.

Today I discovered that that the names for the locations have changed in Google Earth.

note: the Kaaba is in the lower right-hand corner

My entire life I have always spelled it the city as Mecca. I wonder when this was changed? Should I change my spellings? Some day I would like to visit the holy city of Makkah :-)


Related Mecca Entries:

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Found Celestial Cartography
|| 10/3/2007 || 12:50 pm || Comments Off on Found Celestial Cartography || ||

As I mentioned before, lately I’ve been dabbling in the confluence of astrology & astromony. Last night when I was playing with the Interactive Astrological Calendar from 1544 for Google Earth, I discovered that when I switched to sky mode I am presented with an interactive star atlas that juxtaposes the antique Zodiac with the constellations it’s named after. Granted the constellations *do not* line up correctly on the Zodiac, its a really interesting experience that deserves more work. Can the zodiac wrap around the envrionment if done correctly? If you have Google Earth installed on your computer, click on the image above to check it out! Please remix.

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Interchangable Earth
|| 8/15/2007 || 2:27 pm || Comments Off on Interchangable Earth || ||

Click the image below to download the .kmz file [7.8 mb] for Google Earth:

Screen grab of Interchangable Earth by Nikolas Schiller

Using the center of 710 & 405 Quilt, which is in the Los Angeles Interchanges series, I constructed this beautiful globe.

Continue reading:

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Terra Fermi
|| 8/14/2007 || 7:13 am || Comments Off on Terra Fermi || ||

Click the image below to download the .kmz file [14.3 mb] for Google Earth:

Terra Ferma means “firm land” or “solid ground” and has been used to describe the conquest of new lands since antiquity.
Terra Fermi is the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Reactor Quilt mapped on to the surface of the earth.
A fitting name for a dangerously beautiful new world.

Continue reading:

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Adams Morgan Earth
|| 8/13/2007 || 2:31 pm || Comments Off on Adams Morgan Earth || ||

Click on the image below to download the .kmz file [11 mb] for Google Earth:

I am quite impressed with this creation. This Interactive Globe for Google Earth features tessellated aerial photography of the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Continue reading:

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The Astro-Theological Overlays for Google Earth
|| 8/12/2007 || 12:14 pm || Comments Off on The Astro-Theological Overlays for Google Earth || ||

Click on the image below to download the .kmz file [888 Kb] for Google Earth:

Instead of just wrapping the Astrological Calendar from 1544 around the earth, today I decided to place the calendar alongside the 3 holy locations of Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. This geographic juxtaposition of pagan symbolism with established religion makes this series of overlays one of the more interesting cartographic creations I’ve ever made.

Continue reading:

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An Interactive Astrological Calendar from 1544 for Google Earth
|| 8/11/2007 || 11:49 pm || Comments Off on An Interactive Astrological Calendar from 1544 for Google Earth || ||

Right click on the image below to download the .kmz file [3 mb] for Google Earth:

The other day when I was developing the Eastern Hemisphere version, I thought it would be neat to see what the calendar would look like in Google Earth. By using the image overlay function I was able to wrap the entire calendar over the surface of the earth. The result is a very unique way to interactively view the calendar in 3D.

Continue reading:

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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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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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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!