Visual Trace Route – I’m 42 hops from Google
|| 4/21/2008 || 6:00 pm || Comments Off on Visual Trace Route – I’m 42 hops from Google || ||
For nearly four years (May 2004 to March 2008) this website was a digital experiment how people find content on the internet. By withholding the contents of this website from search engines I was able to create my own digital island that could be found only by those who knew me or when I would selectively release specific content. Last month, exactly one year after an internationally syndicated article was published about me and my website, I concluded the experiment by lifting the electronic Berlin Wall that prevented search engines from accessing the content on this website. For the last month or so, I’ve begun to watch how people are able to find my content through search engines, and frankly its been nothing short of amazing. In the not-so-distant future I will have a more detailed pre & post search engine analysis posted here.
While this website was unlisted and before the article was published, I used to look at my website IP logs every morning. I would manually trace the IP addresses of every visitor to this website and obtain a decent guesstimate of how the person found my website. This IP analysis would give the location and hosting provider of the visitor, but what it did not give is the digital path that my content traveled.
Data does not travel through the internet in a geographic path of least resistance (like as the crow flies), rather data bounces around the world from server to router to user in a path that can go in multiple directions and routed through multiple servers before finally reaching your computer. A trace route is a means to see what servers the content passes through before reaching you. By clicking on the image above you can explore how content travels to your computer using the Google Maps interface to see exactly where the content travels. For example, data from www.Google.com makes 42 unique hops before finally reaching my computer. A fun experiment would be to trace how content from this website arrives on your computer screen.
Watching the route trace itself looks much like a sped up version of “The 21 Steps by Charles Cumming,” which is a cartographically interactive story told through the Google Maps interface. Each stop becomes a new chapter in the information’s delivery. How many stops did this blog entry take to get to you?
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
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.
National MSM of the American Indian on Google Maps; Why truncate the word Museum?
|| 3/31/2008 || 1:55 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||
Last night I was using Google Maps and discovered that the label for the National Museum of the American Indian has been truncated to be “National MSM of the American Indian.” This raised alarm because the shorthand for MSM is more recognized as “MainStream Media” not museum. Native Americans have been shortchanged for hundreds of years by the American government, and I found it downright rude that the museum’s name has been cartographically shortchanged as well. So why shorten the name?
Washington, DC Foreclosure Google Map Mashup
|| 3/26/2008 || 9:42 am || Comments Off on Washington, DC Foreclosure Google Map Mashup || ||
The 21 Steps by Charles Cumming – A story told through Google Maps
|| 3/21/2008 || 2:57 pm || Comments Off on The 21 Steps by Charles Cumming – A story told through Google Maps || ||
The 21 Steps by Charles Cumming is an interactive story that is told through the use of Google Maps. Readers can watch & navigate the story as it unfolds across a map of the world. About six months ago I tried making a Choose Your Own Adventure story using Google Maps, but I ultimately gave up because I didn’t want to code it all! I look forward to reading this story, and more importantly, seeing how people are able to further mash-up this concept of taking a work of fiction (or non-fiction) and putting it on a map. [via Metafilter]
Pentagon Bans Google Map-Makers
|| 3/17/2008 || 2:01 pm || Comments Off on Pentagon Bans Google Map-Makers || ||
What a poorly written lead by the BBC. It should say something like “Pentagon Bans Google Street View from Military Bases.” Saying “Google map-makers” are banned implies that people who use the service of Google Maps are also banned. But that is not the case; I can zoom into many military bases, but what I cannot do, and the point of the story, is to use the Street View feature within a military base.
Of course they shouldn’t be making a Streetview dataset of any military bases in the first place. Call this a very stupid mistake on behalf of Google. How is this helpful? Knowing where the F-14’s are housed is not information that can be used by the general public. Just like I don’t need to know how DC’s steam pipe network is laid out (a dataset that is withheld from the public last time I checked). Basically, its one thing to do Street View on public streets in innocuous cities, but its an entirely different story when they map out the inside of a military base.
I’ve had quite a few military personnel visit my Street View Improvised Explosive Device animation since I put it on-line last year in June (it was created about a week after Street View was released to the public). I would like to believe that the military is aware of how people can exploit Street View, but nearly 9 months later it doesn’t look like some of the military brass has taken any warnings seriously.
Also, I truly wonder if and when Google will release Street View for Washington, DC. With Google and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency already censoring downtown DC, I doubt that they would release DC’s Streetview imagery without some significant modifications (aka redactions). However, if Google does release DC Street View I already know exactly where I plan on making the next digital IED…. [you will just have to wait & see]
From Here to There in Google Maps
|| 2/10/2008 || 3:02 pm || Comments Off on From Here to There in Google Maps || ||
Screen grab of Google Map’s directions
Technically it’s the directions from HÃ©rÃ© to ThÃ©rÃ©, but lets just forget about the four accent Ã©gues as they are lost in translation. —via Haha.nu
Popular GIS Slideshow by Chris Hammond-Thrasher [March 07]
|| 1/24/2008 || 1:01 pm || Comments Off on Popular GIS Slideshow by Chris Hammond-Thrasher [March 07] || ||
A good friend of mine notified me that one of my maps was mentioned on a slideshow about popular GIS. The author of the slideshow used a screen shot from my American Stereography #1 viewing environment. Click the image above to be taken to the slideshow.
Concentric Development Dissected
|| 12/3/2007 || 4:58 pm || Comments Off on Concentric Development Dissected || ||
the intersection of 4 St. N and 62nd St. N. near Mystic Lake north of Saint Petersburg in Pinellas County, Florida.
How to design a better user interface for geographic information?
|| 10/2/2007 || 9:58 am || Comments Off on How to design a better user interface for geographic information? || ||
aka “How do we show this data better?”