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A Gigapan of West Sahara Lake Circles Quilt #2
|| 3/10/2009 || 11:25 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


Last month I decided to upload my map of the New York Public Library to Gigapan to see what it looked like. Today I uploaded my most recent map for you to check out. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to upload my maps here because it takes a long time to open them up and resave them as jpegs, but I find them quite fun to look at. Maybe the next one I’ll have something hidden in the map and make it into a quasi-Where’s Waldo style game.


If you are subscribed to my RSS feed and are reading this on through your RSS reader, please click here to view it on my website or click here to view it on the Gigapan website.


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A Gigapan of the New York Public Library Quilt
|| 2/12/2009 || 12:40 pm || Comments Off on A Gigapan of the New York Public Library Quilt || ||


A couple weeks ago, after seeing the fabulous Gigapan of the 2009 Inauguration by David Bergman, I decided to try out Gigapan for myself.

In the past I’ve used Zoomify to do roughly the same type of zooms, but over the years I’ve found that it has some important limitations. Most notably, I’ve found that Zoomify freezes up after I’ve been using it for a couple of minutes, which would always force me to reload the page. I believe this has to do with the Flash buffer or cache filling up with data and slowing down the viewing experience. Maybe the software engineers have changed this flaw, but I haven’t been too keen on adding all my maps as Zoomifiable entries because it takes too much time and I’m aware of a means to reverse engineer the tiles into the original map.

What is unique about this Gigapan, unlike all of my previous Zoomify maps, is that I went through the extra steps of saving the original map at its full size in .jpg format. In the past when I’d use Zoomify, I’d use a map that was saved at 9,000 x 6,000 pixels, which is half the original size of 18,000 x 12,000 pixels. The reason I shrunk the map was because I was unable to save the full-sized map in .jpg format using my photo manipulation software. Since the free Zoomify converter only took .jpgs, instead of the native tiff file format, I would have to resave the file at its largest size in .jpg format, which was around 9,000 x 6,000 pixels.

In order to bypass this current limitation, I chose to use Graphic Converter to open the original 18,000 x 12,000 tiff file and save it as a .jpg. The inherent problem here is that even with a somewhat new computer, it takes about 15 minutes to open the 216 megapixel file and another 10 minutes to save the file. In the end, the final .jpg saved to about 65 megabytes, which is considerably smaller than the original file size of about 500 megabytes. With this newly compressed map being so much smaller in size, I was able to upload it and share it here.

As regular readers know, a printed 60″ x 40″ copy of this map was donated to the Map Division at the New York Public Library back in October when I gave my presentation to the New York Map Society. If you are in New York City and curious about what it looks like printed out, head over to the library and ask to see it.


If you are subscribed to my RSS feed and are reading this on through your RSS reader, please click here to view it on my website or click here to view it on the Gigapan website.


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The Geospatial Art FAIL Landing Page
|| 12/14/2008 || 2:20 pm || Comments Off on The Geospatial Art FAIL Landing Page || ||

In continuance of my previous entry related to finding and exploiting a flaw in search engine aggregation algorithms, I decided to modify the landing page slightly. So instead of displaying a random foreground graphic, like my splash page, it only displays the text FAIL. Its an attempt to poke fun at the humorous FAIL Blog by extending the meme to failed search results. The title of the page says “Nikolas Schiller thinks you should try searching again,” and when you hover your mouse over the FAIL text the title text says “You clicked on a bogus search result.”

To get the extent of how many visits this internet bait has been generated, look at a portion of this weekend’s search results:

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Geospatial art created by exploiting search engine aggregation algorithms
|| 12/10/2008 || 6:22 pm || Comments Off on Geospatial art created by exploiting search engine aggregation algorithms || ||

The other day I noticed that there were literally hundreds of search engine results that contain a fictitious url to a page on my website that didn’t exist. It appears that Internet bots have exploited an issue with search engine aggregation algorithms to trick them into showing a bogus search result for a page that never existed on my website. Throughout the internet there are numerous pages that contain https://nikolasschiller.com/showthread.php?XXXXX and when people clicked on the bogus link they were brought to a 404 page. Last night I created a copy of this website’s splash page and renamed the file showthread.php. Now when people click on the fake link in the fraudulently created search engine result, they are brought to my website’s beautifully abstract splash page. Today I’ve been receiving all sorts of random visitors!



UPDATE – 12/13/08 – I’ve decided to change the page slightly and add the word FAIL to the landing page. The reason for this is because the person landing on the page failed to find what they were looking for.



The Grand Juxtaposition
|| 11/15/2008 || 6:38 pm || Comments Off on The Grand Juxtaposition || ||

Back in March of this year, I mentioned that I was in the process of making another interactive environment for the Lost Series. The concept behind “The Grand Juxtaposition” is to put two unrelated images originally featured in a previous blog entry together on the same page. This is achieved by giving the viewer two random pictures from somewhere on this website upon each loading of the web page. In the background of the page, the viewer is shown a random image from my posters folder (which contains over 2,000 different images) and in the foreground the viewer is being shown an image from my images folder (which contains over 500 different images). Upon clicking on the image in the foreground, the next page that loads will be the inverse, where a graphic from the posters folder is placed in the foreground and the a graphic from the image folder is used in the background. Generally speaking, most entries on this website feature images from either one of the two folders and by placing them together on one page, I’ve created a grand juxtaposition to showcase this website’s visually diverse content.



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The Geography of Personality Interactive Map
|| 9/25/2008 || 7:07 pm || Comments Off on The Geography of Personality Interactive Map || ||

The map above is from the Wall Street Journal’s on-line article about the paper A Theory of the Emergence, Persistence, and Expression of Geographic Variation in Psychological Characteristics[pdf]. The researchers poured through 600,000 surveys and came up with some interesting results on the spatial distribution of the big 5 personality traits in America. I found it interesting that Washington, DC leads the United States of America in Openness, is third in Extraversion, and is second to last in Agreeableness.



You Street on YouTube || East Meets West || A Game of Locational Awareness
|| 8/5/2008 || 2:28 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

The other day after I watched the interview conducted on a bicycle the idea that had been swimming in the back of my head resurfaced. Originally it was going to be something simple, as in, one YouTube video for U Street (sometimes written out as You Street) in Washington, DC that featured me riding down the street at night and another video that would be filmed on the exact same stretch of road, but filmed during the day. By using the YouTube Doubler, the on-line mashup helper, the viewer would be able to simultaneously see the same stretch of road at two different times of the day.

After thinking about the concept more thoroughly, I literally went in a different direction (actually two) and came up with a game of sorts. Last Saturday I filmed myself riding on the same stretch of U Street going to one end of the street and then filmed myself going back to the same point where I started. I then edited the videos so they start where the other on ends and then I placed the two videos side-by-side using YouTube Doubler.

The object of the game is to find the exact location where the videos cross paths. As in, the video on the right features me riding my bike on U Street going due East and the video on the left features me riding my bike due West and somewhere in the videos there is a specific point where the two videos cross paths.

Since they were filmed at different times you won’t actually see me riding down the street, but there is an exact point on the street where the two videos intersect and its up to the viewer to figure out where East meets West or West meets East.

Since I had more traffic going West than I did going East, the West video is slightly longer, but the spot where the two videos cross paths does not change. It might take a couple tries, but eventually you’ll be able to figure out the spot in question. If you need help with a map or two, I created a special Google Map that shows the starting locations of the two videos.

I’ve already found the location, but do you think you can find it? If you do, leave the estimated time in the comment section!! The answer is quite easy.

Click the screen grab below to try it out:

One disappointment with this game is that YouTube’s compression still stinks. I uploaded the videos at 640×480 in size with minimal compression with the hopes that they’d show up less pixilated, but alas the option to view the videos in high-quality was not there when I checked last. I still don’t know why either. The unfortunate result is that you are unable to see as much detail in the videos, which means the game is slightly harder to “win.” Currently Vimeo does not have an autoplay option which makes this mashup impossible on their platform, so there really isn’t much I can do to fix the compression issue.

One idea is to remove the YouTube Doubler component and redesign the videos in Final Cut Pro. By adjusting the size of the final video, I can place both East & West into one video and release the game without compression. This will take me longer to complete, but I think it might be a worthy effort. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this game.




Related Interactive Entries:

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FLIK International Movie Festival & Interactive Exhibit
|| 7/22/2008 || 1:23 pm || Comments Off on FLIK International Movie Festival & Interactive Exhibit || ||

Tomorrow I am going to be dropping off some of my artwork at Art Whino for this exhibit.


Art Outlet and Art Whino are proud to announce their partnership in presenting the 2nd annual FLIK International Movie Festival and FLIK Interactive exhibition to be held at Art Whino Gallery at the new National Harbor, July 25th thru July 27th, 2008.

FLIK is a multi faceted event that features not only the best in contemporary animation, experimental films, as well as multi-disciplinary and interactive new media art, but it also reaches out to the public at large with a call out for socially relevant expression and person storytelling thru its I CINEMA and VOX POPULI programs, which will continue beyond the festival itself.

FLIK interactive art will explore or reflect on how new and old technology and technique influence how we hook up and how we view the world. Is change or lack thereof good, bad, sublime, dystopic, utopic or irrelevant? How do these tools matter, if at all?


Curator Joshua Barlow, founder of www.flikfestival.com, selected the following FLIK artists for the FLIK International Film Festival and interactive exhibition:

Emmanuel Blessed Aisabokhae, Rodney Ascher , David Butler, Kim Collmer, Tomoska Constantina, Ben Drewry, Casey Drogin, Shawn Lawson, Rudy Lemcke, Samantha, Leriche-Gionet, Bruce McKraig, Tewodross Melchishua, Rob Parrish, Serena Rodgers, Daniel Rolli, Renee Shaw, Fatouros Thanos, Vidlits (Liz Dubelman & Paca Thomas), Filip Walgraef, Millie Wissar


Curator Andrea Collins, selected the following FLIK interactive artists for the FLIK International Film Festival and interactive exhibition:

Eric Celarier, Guthery Duncan , Rita Elsner, Roman Gershkovich , Michael Gordon, Sean Hennessy, Shawn Lawson, Rob Lindsay, David London, James Mallos, Bono Mitchell, Bill Mould, Chris Peloso, Meek Phelan, Tarik Rafiq, Joe Reinsel, Nikolas Schiller, Pindar Van Arman, Andrew Wodzianski


The exhibit and screenings will be held at Art Whino @ National Harbor, 173 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745, July 25th through 27th. Admission will be a suggested donation of $10, which will also get you a free beverage and a bag of popcorn. For directions or the complete program listing, visit www.artoutlet.org , www.artwhino.com or www.flikfestival.com.


Try to come out on Friday or Saturday to check out the videos and artwork!




I was not able to get my artwork driven out there, so it looks like they’ll only feature my QTVR map of National Harbor and no printed maps. [damn!!!]



National Harbor 2006 – A Quicktime Virtual Reality Environment
|| 7/20/2008 || 4:42 pm || Comments Off on National Harbor 2006 – A Quicktime Virtual Reality Environment || ||

76.5mb QTVR showing a 6,000 x 6,000 tessellation of aerial photography featuring the construction site of National Harbor in 2006


This interactive environment was created in late June, but I had forgotten to put it on-line!


On June 21st I was invited to come and check out the new Art Whino gallery in the newly developed plot of land called National Harbor. There is an upcoming new media exhibit and I decided to make this interactive map. More details on the exhibit forthcoming.

There are three different ways to view this map:
1) You can click on the image above and have it load in your browser
2) You can right click on the image above and save the file to your computer
3) Copying the URL above, opening up Quicktime, and pasting the URL into the “Open Url..”

I recommend going with option #2 or #3 because it allows you to resize the window and view more of the map on your computer screen. By going with route #1 you are forced to view it at roughly 320×240 in size (at least using FireFox) which does not full show the size of the map as easily and it also increases the risk of having your browser crash. Route #3 does not permanently save the file on to your hard drive like route #2, but it gives you the same control over the size of the viewing environment.

Since these types of maps are easy to make I think I should start making more of them. I wonder what the largest size I can render is? I shall find out in due time.

Related QTVR:



My Artomatic 2008 Opening Night Exhibit Dissected on Flickr
|| 5/27/2008 || 2:50 pm || Comments Off on My Artomatic 2008 Opening Night Exhibit Dissected on Flickr || ||

I’ve never been a fan of Flickr. I dislike how photos are lifted from Flickr all the time without proper citation. One of my biggest annoyances regarding my artwork or other people’s work is when it’s posted on-line with no link back or extra information regarding the artist or the circumstances regarding the image’s origin. Instead you get “neat huh?” “Cool photo!” “Look at this!” etc and while it’s great that more eyes are seeing the image, it undermines the artist’s visibility because the citation is not always accurately presented. A good example of this lack of information can be seen at the social image bookmarking website FFFFOUND!. This lack of citation is not the case 100% of the time, but its the main reason why I don’t upload my artwork to Flickr. Since I have ample server space and nearly unlimited bandwidth I’ve never needed another repository for my images.

I also don’t like the stalker ability that comes with having all of your photographs on-line for strangers to look at and download. I won’t name names, but I’ve looked through some Flickr photostreams of some of my friends and have found that the photos offer far too much information about their lives, activities, and friends. You can look through someone’s photos and see their exes, the interior of their homes, and basically just about anything the person decided to place out there for strangers to view. Worse is that you cannot access the information regarding where your photographs are viewed from. Since I have access to my website’s server logs I can find exactly how many times a photograph has been looked at and by what IP addresses. This information is shielded from the Flickr user and dumbed down to a lowly view counter.

With those reservations aside, I decided to play nice and upload one photograph of my Artomatic 2008 exhibit taken on May 9th. I went through and tagged the photograph twelve times showcasing the content that has been placed on top of the Base Map. Since I embedded quite a few links into the notes, I’ll be able to track exactly who clicks on the image and know with a certain amount of certainty how many times the photograph has been looked at and where the photograph is being looked at from– if they click.

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The Daily Render By
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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 QUILT PROJECTION::

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  • thank you,
    come again!