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Hey Google & YouTube, those are not my Senators! I have no Senators!
|| 2/9/2009 || 6:26 pm || Comments Off on Hey Google & YouTube, those are not my Senators! I have no Senators! || ||

In continuance of yesterday’s posting, recently Congress changed their rules to allow Senators and Representatives to utilize YouTube to share information with their constituents. Today I noticed a secondary tragic flaw in their layout. Since the residents of Washington, DC are denied representation in the Senate, the coders at YouTube are using the state of the District of Columbia to show videos from different congressional committees. Instead of incorrectly listing DC as a state, they should include a link to “Committees.” Moreover, as you can see above & below, Google maps remove the words District of Columbia at different scales. This further shows how little YouTube/Google cares about the half a million disenfranchised residents of the District of Columbia.

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Hey Google & YouTube, that is not my Representative or Delegate!
|| 2/8/2009 || 6:21 pm || Comments Off on Hey Google & YouTube, that is not my Representative or Delegate! || ||

Recently Congress changed their rules to allow Senators and Representatives to utilize YouTube to share information with their constituents. Today I noticed a tragic flaw in their layout. Since the residents of Washington, DC are denied representation in Congress, the coders at YouTube are using the state of the District of Columbia to show videos from different congressional committees, not from my elected “Shadow” Representative Mike Panetta or Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Moreover, as you can see below, the Google maps remove the words District of Columbia at different scales. This further shows how little YouTube/Google cares about the people of the District of Columbia:

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Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop
|| 1/21/2009 || 4:30 pm || Comments Off on Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop || ||

Back in July of 2007 I found that Google was censoring the imagery of downtown Washington, DC. This discovery lead to an article that was featured on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post. In the time since, Google has not updated the imagery, even after the release of Street View for Washington, DC.

The other day they finally decided to update the imagery of Washington, DC. I believe they did this because there were millions of people coming to Washington for the inauguration and they would have been showing them outdated imagery on their maps. Now that the imagery has been updated, you can almost see the message on my rooftop that I installed in the summer of 2006. Since the imagery has a somewhat low spatial resolution, its slightly difficult to make out the words “No War,” and it kinda looks like “No W@R.” Below is the photograph that appeared on the front page of the Style Section of the Washington Post in March of 2007 which shows me standing next to the now-visible rooftop sign.


“The mapmaker on his Washington roof with a message that he hopes will someday be reflected in both government aerial photography and the art he creates from that imagery.” (Photo by Michael Williamson — The Washington Post)


Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery
|| 11/6/2008 || 5:53 pm || Comments Off on Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery || ||

As a cutesy election day surprise, Google announced the release of their Street View feature for the Google Maps of Washington, DC. For the last year and a half I’ve been waiting for Google Maps to include the city I live in, while at the same time planning my next installment of my geopolitical art project Google Street View IED , the first google bomb for Street View.

In June of 2007, around the time Street View was first released, Washington, DC’s imagery was “updated” with newer aerial photography from 2005. However, the central business district of Washington, DC continues to this day being shown using out-dated imagery from 2002, and the rest of the District is being shown using the newer imagery from September 2005. In the time since this”update”, even after I assisted in exposing this passive censorship in the Washington Post, the imagery has not been updated and because of this the new Street View feature suffers.

In the screen grab above you are being shown the massive parking lot known as City Center which was the site of the former convention center. The old convention center was imploded in December of 2004, which makes a gross mismatch. By using outdated imagery the convention center is still being shown on the Google Map, but the Street View imagery shows a completely different temporal view. The disturbing part of all of this is that the USGS imagery is completely available to anyone in the world to download. It’s already being used by Google Maps for the rest of Washington, DC and I’ve been using in my maps as well.

So, Google, when are you going to update your imagery? If its for security reasons, why release Street View? This provides far more “on the ground” information the aerial views profide. Please tell your content providers that the imagery of Washington, DC deserves an update so you can better serve your customers. Maybe you can use your new satellite?



Related Google Maps Entries:

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My New York Map Society Presentation at the New York Public Library
|| 10/4/2008 || 7:03 pm || Comments Off on My New York Map Society Presentation at the New York Public Library || ||

Below are the “slides” used in my presentation for the New York Map Society. Culled from the last four years of entries on this website, the selected maps show the range of my cartographic endeavors. What is missing, however, is my explanation of why I chose each slide.

The presentation was was supposed to go for about 45 minutes and have about 15 minutes of Q&A, instead it went for about 75 minutes and had about 15 minutes of Q&A. In all, I felt it was a very successful presentation and I deeply grateful for the New York Map Society for inviting me and the wonderful staff at the New York Public Library for their assistance.






Sensor Spatial Analysis





Park Circle Quilt – Quicktime Virtual Reality





North, South, East, Westminster – Outdoor Installation

View the entire presentation:

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Wasilla, Alaska is literally off the map, the Google Map that is
|| 9/4/2008 || 8:34 pm || Comments Off on Wasilla, Alaska is literally off the map, the Google Map that is || ||

The Republican Party’s vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is the former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Tonight this website had a visitor from Wasilla, Alaska who looked at this statehood-related map. Upon looking at the city on Google Maps, I found out that Wasilla is a border city where the imagery of the geography shows only a portion of the city using new high-resolution imagery. In some ways, this map proves that Republican Party’s vice-presidential choice was literally off the map.



UPDATE – Due to the presidential election, Google has updated their imagery of Wasilla, Alaska.


Related Google Map Entries:

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Democratic National Convention 2008 – Photos from Day One
|| 8/26/2008 || 11:15 pm || Comments Off on Democratic National Convention 2008 – Photos from Day One || ||

I decided to go to Denver to help a friend shoot video for some different websites.

Below are the photos I took today:

View the rest of the photographs:

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Streetfilms comes to Washington, DC and checks out SmartBikeDC
|| 8/22/2008 || 8:30 pm || Comments Off on Streetfilms comes to Washington, DC and checks out SmartBikeDC || ||

I stumbled on to this short video because I trying to find a Wikipedia entry on SmartBike DC (there isn’t one yet). I was originally going to post two Google Maps (see below) showing the number of stations in DC compared to the number of Velib stations in Paris. The point of the two maps was to show that Clear Channel, which was beat out in Paris by JCDecaux, went a little skimpy when planning and implementing DC’s SmartBike program.

Velib was launched just about a year ago on July 15, 2007, with 10,000 bicycles and 750 automated rental stations each with 15 or more bikes/spaces. This number has since grown to 20,000 bicycles and 1,450 stations, about 1 station every 300 m throughout the city centre, making Velib the largest system of its kind in the world. Washington, DC, on the other hand, started with 10 stations, about 120 bikes, and is the first program of its kind in North America.

While Paris is a much larger city, I am disappointed that with all the hype surrounding the SmartBike program, the planners were not as Smart as they could have been. Had they placed racks at *ALL* DC-based Metro stations before launching I would have bought my SmartBike pass immediately and I bet more would-be bicycle riders would have as well. Until then, I don’t see myself purchasing a pass because I can get to all the current locations on my own bike.

Washington, DC’s natural topography features a hill that surrounds the “Federal City,” or the old part of the city below Florida Ave, which was once called Boundary Street because it was the natural line of demarcation. This hill is what stops me from going to some places on my bike versus taking the Metro. Yet the locations of all the SmartBike stations are located below the hill, so why bother using the bikes when mine works fine for this area? For example, I’d rather take the Metro to Tenleytown, hop on a bike there, and take it down the hill to Georgetown.

Anyways, I still want to make a video called “Doing Dumb Things On A Smart Bike,” but I guess I am going to have to wait…

For a comparison of scale, check these two Google Map screen grabs featuring the locations of the Velib stations and the SmartBikeDC stations:


Velib




SmartBike DC

Related Bicycle Entries:

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One year later and Google Maps has still not updated DC
|| 7/23/2008 || 1:41 pm || Comments Off on One year later and Google Maps has still not updated DC || ||

One of the little plugins I installed on this WordPress blog was a link at the bottom of each post which shows what I had posted the year before. The other day I noticed that my research related to censorship of Washington, DC on Google Maps, which culminated into the lead article in the Metro section of the Washington Post had appeared. I decided to check out Google Maps to see if there had been any updates and to my non-surprise, there hadn’t been. All I can say is: “what gives?” DC residents are still looking at downtown Washington, DC from 6 years ago. People visiting the MSM of the American Indian are still seeing it under construction, the newly built dorms on GWU‘s campus are still not being shown, and the list goes on….. So when will the imagery be updated? When will DC residents get to enjoy the benefits of Street View? Google has office in DC to lobby elected officials, but they’ve chosen to keep imagery of their own office outdated. This doesn’t make sense to me.

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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.





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  • thank you,
    come again!