Then & Now Birds-Eye Views of the Westminster Neighborhood in Washington, DC [1884 & 2005]
|| 4/14/2008 || 12:42 pm || Comments Off on Then & Now Birds-Eye Views of the Westminster Neighborhood in Washington, DC [1884 & 2005] || ||
Detail the bicycle track before Westminster Street was created
from Adolph Sachse’s birds-eye view of the nation’s capital, 1884
Due to file format issues, only recently have I been able to open most of the maps available in the Library of Congress’ American Memory Collection. Last night I found an interesting birds-eye view map of Washington, DC by Adolph Sachse that was published in 1884. Its a massive map that appears to be composed of six separate sheets and contains a listing of many of the businesses in Washington City as well as locations of various public & government buildings. In many ways the map acts like a geovisual address book (the phone had not been invented yet) because, at a glance, one can easily find services offered by local merchants. Judging by the branding in the upper right hand corner of the original map, it appears that the map was sponsored by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, a major railroad company of the day.
According to my neighborhood’s official history, Westminster Street did not exist in 1884 and the birds-eye view above supports this claim. While not labeled in the image above, Parcel 362, as it was known on the original DC maps, was called also called “the old circus ground” and Athletic Park. It had a 150-foot long grand stand along T Street, which was built in 1883 (building permit number 1047) in preparation for the fifth national convention of the League of American Wheelmen, a national organization of bicyclists. The first American bicyclist to ever ride 100 miles on an outdoor track did it on that track in 1884. As someone who uses a bicycle as their primary means of urban transportation, I can only smile knowing that 121 years ago my residence was an outdoor bicycle race track. However, I laugh because I traveled with an exgirlfriend’s family circus when I was younger!
Below is a birds-eye view of the Westminster Neighborhood published by Microsoft, with imagery of Pictometry International. It features imagery that was taken in 2005 and when compared, you can see how much the area has changed in the last 121 years. The Athetic Park is gone and in it’s place are dozens of rowhouses that were built shortly after the map above was published. A unique and historically aware addition to the neighborhood is something you can see below in the playground on Westminster Street. No, it’s not because that is where I had my exhibit “North, South, East, Westminster“. Rather, if you look closely, you can see a small race track! A scaled reminder of what once was.
Related Bicycle Entries:
Animated Map Showing the History of New York City’s Subway System
|| 4/11/2008 || 7:12 pm || Comments Off on Animated Map Showing the History of New York City’s Subway System || ||
Pretty fun to watch. I’d like to make one of Washington, DC, but don’t have the data.
The closest I’ve made to this map would be the Google Maplet of the 1880 Street Railway Map of the City of Washington. Click here for more information about the system’s history.
Remedia Amoris / The Cure For Love by Ovid
|| 4/3/2008 || 1:28 pm || Comments Off on Remedia Amoris / The Cure For Love by Ovid || ||
Remedia Amoris (Love’s Remedy or The Cure for Love) is a 814 line poem in Latin by the Roman poet Ovid written around 5 BC. The aim of the poem is to teach young men how they can avoid idealizing the women they love and to give assistance if love brings despair and misfortune.
I discovered this poem when I was researching antique stained glass sundials and I came to the initial conclusion that Ovid’s prose is visually interpreted on Blaeu’s world map from the mid-1600s (detail above). Late last night I found both the latin and translated version of the poem, so I decided to do something I wish there was more of on the internet: a side by side layout which shows the original Latin on the left and the translated English on the right.
To add a unique visual element to the poem, I made the line number (which came from the Latin text) the color of the English translation. This involved quite a bit of manual coding, but I think it makes the latin / english comparison easier and slightly more visually engaging. By using red & white type face and numerical indention, the layout looks like a creve coeur or broken heart when scrolling. I bolded one section for emphasis related it’s discovery [hint: around line #185].
There are a few translation discrepancies that I’ve found thus far and there are many others which come across slightly convoluted and require more inquiry, but overall the poem is quite interesting. It includes topics like tree grafting (Genetic Engineering Version 1.0), having multiple lovers, travelling, and what to do and not to do when getting over a relationship. It’s interesting how much things have changed in the last 2,000 years, and as cliche as it may sound, how much our emotions have stayed the same. We all face the same relationship troubles and like Ovid, there will always be people telling you how to deal with them.
If you’ve got about 45 minutes to spare, here is Ovid’s Remedia Amoris / The Cure For Love
(You might need to widen your browser window to view the on-line polyglot correctly — it was originally design for a previous layout on this website. Drag the lower right hand corner to make the screen wider. Some browsers you can adjust the font size to achieve a similar result.)
Featured on-line with the Maps exhibition at the Walters Museum
|| 2/27/2008 || 7:17 am || Comments Off on Featured on-line with the Maps exhibition at the Walters Museum || ||
Starting in mid-November I’ve been volunteering my time with the Walters Museum‘s upcoming exhibition. They have a small technology center (4 iMacs) in their cafeteria which I was given the opportunity to review. I look forward to going to the opening later this month!!
The Walters Museum has also included a layer for Google Earth that I produced for the exhibit. You can download the layer here or here.
Within Sight of the White House [Overlay of Hooker’s Division]
|| 12/9/2007 || 2:30 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||
[image links to .kmz file]
Google Earth Screen Shot of the Antique Overlay
One of the maps I recently downloaded was from a newspaper clipping showing the area near the White House. With 50 Saloons and 109 Bawdy-Houses the map was drawn to highlight business owners who were paying Federal taxes but not DC taxes. Of importance is how nearly all but four of the business owners were female. Were they not paying taxes because they were disenfranchised? Women’s suffrage didn’t come for another 30 years with the passage of the 19th Amendment. By taking the map and importing it into Google Earth, I was able to arrange it so that the buildings line up with minimal distortion. It’s not a perfect map, but it is truly an interesting glimpse into downtown Washington, DC in the 1890’s.
Today most of the buildings are all gone. There are some exceptions, like City Hall (Central Powerhouse) and the Old Post Office, which is written as the “New Post Office” on the map. In the place of the 109 Bawdy-Houses and 50 Saloons was the creation of Federal Triangle. Ohio Ave- gone, DC’s entertainment center, gone as well. Later built, on the year of my birth, was Freedom Plaza which was designed to look like L’Enfant’s map no less. By adjusting the antique map’s transparency you can see a approximately 117 years of development. From brothel to federal, what a strange entity time is.
The Dissected Map …continued
|| 12/5/2007 || 11:57 am || Comments Off on The Dissected Map …continued || ||
I mentioned before that I had scanned the postcard I obtained from the Special Collections Department at the University of South Florida. What I liked best was learning more about Columbia and what she represents. The Columbia wikipedia article does not fully explain her syncretic nature. But what I like best is the contemporary use of the phygian cap. It looks almost exactly like the prevasive Santa caps people wear during the holiday season. It makes historical sense too. Lastly, I have not read or heard any political commentary comparing Columbia to, of all people, Hillary Clinton. I won’t be voting for her (or any democrat or republican for that matter), but the allegorical parallel is there to be exploited.
An Updated Astrological Calendar from 1544 – Eastern Hemisphere
|| 8/10/2007 || 10:31 pm || Comments Off on An Updated Astrological Calendar from 1544 – Eastern Hemisphere || ||
About a month ago I made the first version of the map using the Western Hemisphere. At the time I didn’t even think about making a secondary map for the Eastern Hemisphere.