The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Photo of my presentation at the New York Public Library
|| 10/5/2008 || 1:04 pm || Comments Off on Photo of my presentation at the New York Public Library || ||

Photograph by TaxiGang

The photograph above was taken yesterday by one of my friends in the audience.
The map on the projector screen is St. Paul Quilt.

A big thank you goes out to my friends who came to see the presentation!
You know who you are ;-)

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:


Ordered Today: New York Public Library Quilt
|| 9/15/2008 || 11:11 pm || Comments Off on Ordered Today: New York Public Library Quilt || ||

In conjunction with my upcoming presentation at next month’s meeting of the New York Map Society, I decided to order a copy of the map and will be donating it to the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division at the New York Public Library. It will printed out quite large at 60″ x 40″ on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl 285gsm paper and should be a splendid addition to their permanent collection.

My map of the Pentagon to be featured in the “We Are Here” Map Archive in the touring exhibition “Experimental Geography” [2008-2010]
|| 8/15/2008 || 1:39 pm || Comments Off on My map of the Pentagon to be featured in the “We Are Here” Map Archive in the touring exhibition “Experimental Geography” [2008-2010] || ||

I was contacted by Daniel Tucker in January of this year to participate in his map archive. I thought it was a great idea so I offered my Pentagon Quilt #3 map. I received notification this week that the map archive starts its tour for the next two years with the exhibit called Experimental Geography. Here’s the blurb from the website:

Geography benefits from the study of specific histories, sites, and memories. Every estuary, land fill, and cul-de-sac has a story to tell. The task of the geographer is to alert us to what is directly in front of us, while the task of the experimental geographer, an amalgam of scientist, artist, and explorer, is to do so in a manner that deploys aesthetics, ambiguity, poetry, and a dash of empiricism. This exhibition explores the distinctions between geographical study and artistic experience of the earth, as well as the juncture where the two realms collide (and possibly make a new field altogether).

The manifestations of “experimental geography” (a term coined by geographer Trevor Paglen in 2002) run the gamut of contemporary art practice today: sewn cloth cities that spill out of suitcases, bus tours through water-treatment centers, performers climbing up the sides of buildings, and sound works capturing the buzz of electric waves on the power grid. In the hands of contemporary artists, the study of humanity’s engagement with the earth’s surface becomes a riddle best solved in experimental fashion. The exhibition presents a panoptic view of this new practice, through a wide range of mediums including interactive computer kiosks, sound and video installations, photography, sculpture, and experimental cartography.

The approaches used by the artists featured in Experimental Geography range from a poetic conflation of humanity and the earth to more empirical studies of our planet. For example, Ilana Halperin explores the intersection of personal, historic, and geologic time, as may be seen in the photograph of her stooping at the edge of natural hot springs to boil a small cup of milk. Creating projects that are more empirically minded, the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a research organization, examines the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth’s surface, embracing a multidisciplinary approach to fulfilling its mission. Using pragmatic skill sets culled from the toolbox of geography, CLUI forces a reading of the American landscape (which includes traffic in Los Angeles, submerged cities, and the broadcast towers in the San Gabriel Mountains) that refamiliarizes the viewer with the overlooked details of their everyday experience.

Experimental Geography is curated by Nato Thompson, curator and producer at Creative Time in New York, and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

Francis Al
AREA Chicago
The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI)
the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)
kanarinka (Catherine D’lgnazio)
Ilana Halperin
Lize Mogel
Trevor Paglen
Raqs Media Collective
Ellen Rothenberg
Julia Meltzer and David Thorne
Deborah Stratman
Daniel Tucker, Organizer, The We are Here Map Archive < --- Hi! Alex Villar
Yin Xiuzhen

Featured in Daniel Tucker’s We are Here Map Archive:

1. Bill Rankin “My cities” 1978-2004
2. Bill Rankin “The United States” 2003-2007
3. Counter Cartography Collective “Disorientation Guide” 2006
4. Nikolas R. Schiller “Pentagon Quilt #3” 2007
5. Ashley Hunt “Prison Map” 2003
6. Friends of William Blake “The People’s Guide to the RNC” 2004
7. Subrosa “Biopower Unlimited” 2002
8. Ecotrust Canada “Statement of Intent Boundaries” 2008
9. NYC Indypendent “Threat to Peace”
10. Repohistory “Circulation” 2000
11. Lize Mogel and Dario Azzellini “The Privatization of War: Colombia as Laboratory and Iraq as Large-Scale Application” 2007/2008
12. Beehive Design Collective “FTAA” 2003
13. Jeffrey Warren “Armsflow” 2006
14. Center for Urban Pedagogy “Cargo Chain” 2008
15. Temporary Travel Office “Contaminating the Preserve” 2008
16. Hackitectura (Pablo de Soto, Jose Perez de Lama osfa, Marta Paz sweena), Indymedia Estrecho and collaborators “Tactical Cartography of the Straits” 2004
17. Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri “Fear is Somehow Our For Whom? For What? and Proximity to Everything Far Away” 2006
18. The Los Angeles Urban Rangers “Malibu Public Beaches” 2007
19. The Los Angeles Urban Rangers “Los Angeles Urban Rangers Official Map and Guide” 2004
20. The Los Angeles Urban Rangers “LA County Fair” 2006
21. The Institute for Infinitely Small Things “City Formerly Known As Cambridge”
22. Amy Franceschini “Silicon Valley Superfund Sites” 2006
23. Amy Franceschini “Intentional Communities in Silicon Valley” 2008
24. Adriane Colburn “Whose On Top (race to the pole, part two)” 2008
25. Bureau d’études “World Government” 2005
26. Grupo de Arte Callejero “Aqui Viven Genocidas”

There will be a catalog for the exhibition that will be published by Melville House Books. I look forward to getting a copy when it comes out.

The tour starts next month and has dates that are still available. I would like for it to come to Washington, DC! :-)

Exhibition Itinerary

Richard E. Peeler Art Center , DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
September 19 – December 2, 2008

Rochester Art Center, Rochester, Minnesota
February 7 – April 18, 2009

The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 28 – September 20, 2009

October 2009 – January 2010

Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine
February 21 – May 30, 2010

June – August 2010

Click on the detail of Pentagon Quilt #3 below to view the rest of the map:

Related Virginia Entries:


Mark Your Calendars!
|| 6/8/2008 || 2:45 pm || Comments Off on Mark Your Calendars! || ||

A few months ago I was contacted about giving a lecture at the October meeting of the New York Map Society. At first I was slightly bashful about the offer because most map societies deal primarily with antique maps, but after talking with the organizer I realized that it would be a great opportunity to present my work to a larger audience.

Originally the presentation was scheduled for October 11th (the day after my birthday) but due to potential scheduling conflicts with the New York Public Library (Columbus Day weekend), the date was pushed a week earlier. I haven’t given an extensive presentation related to my maps in a couple years, but with four months to prepare, I have ample time to collect my thoughts. However, since I’ve generated so much new content since my last presentation I think the hardest part will be finding a way to distill everything into 90 minutes!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m going to be making some new maps of New York City. On the docket are some maps of Midtown Manhattan, which is where the Humanities & Social Science Library of the New York Public Libraries is located. It’s also where I’ll be giving my presentation.

I hope to donate one of these upcoming maps to the library in conjunction with my presentation. I figure that there is no better way say thanks than through a donation. Its also a great way to give the audience a chance to visually inspect what I think will be one aspect of my presentation.

WHO: Nikolas Schiller & the New York Map Society
WHAT: A presentation & discussion about my maps
WHERE: The New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018
WHEN: October 4th, 2008 at 2:30pm
WHY: The questions related to where you are from, where you are at, and where you are going are timeless!

Mark your calendars!

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.)


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] || ||

Screen shot from a presentation by Chris Hammond-Thrasher from The University of the South Pacific Library

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.

Getting to know Mr. SID
|| 1/7/2008 || 3:13 pm || Comments Off on Getting to know Mr. SID || ||

Screen grab from the Library of Congress which DOES NOT list Graphic Converter as an option…. yet?

For the last few years I’ve found the file format Mr. SID to be the bane of my cartographic explorations. When I’d see a map available in the MultiResolution Seamless Image Database format, it meant I’d have to keep looking for other maps. Conversion of the Mr.SID format on a Macintosh had kept the maps locked away in an obscure file format; smiting me.

In my opinion, one of the worst decisions that the Library of Congress made was the choice to use the Mr.SID file format for their on-line maps. First off, its a proprietary compression algorithm patented by a company that is motivated by profit, not by the intent of furthering academic research. This means that any software maker originally had to get a license (pay) to use it. This resulted in only a few programs being written that can convert the file type. Worse is that there are even fewer Macintosh-based programs that can convert these files. The patent owner’s website offers only one Macintosh product and does not allow the rendering of the map at it’s full size. As in, I could only export sections of the original map, which makes the reader useless. Secondly, the file type is in itself “an American Memory,” because its not widely used anymore. It made sense to use it originally- it saved server space because of the high compression algorithm, but now server space is relatively cheap. Today only people who use high-end GIS software use Mr.SID formated imagery, and since most of this software only exists on PCs, there has been little cross platform support. Lastly, for any maps to be used by an image editing program, the map must first be converted out of the Mr.SID format and converted into another filetype (.jpg, tiff, etc.). This means that for every map that is available on the Library of Congress website, I have to spend 15 minutes converting it to a useful format.

Over the weekend I discovered that there is *one* program for Macintosh that can convert this file type: Graphic Converter. I also discovered that the newsest version (the Universal Binary, which I downloaded last summer) did not handle Mr.SID. Instead, I had to download an obsolete version (Graphic Converter for PowerPC) to convert this arcane format! So for the last 7 months I had been unable to convert any Mr.SID formatted map, but now I can, and I’m very excited about the new possibilities this opens up (literally hundreds of maps are now within virtual reach! The Library is only a few blocks away, but the digitalization is just as important.).

I sincerely hope the Library of Congress updates the page above to list Graphic Converter as one of the programs that can convert Mr.SID formatted maps. This software program is already listed for use with other media on the same Library of Congress webpage. Also of note, is that Graphic Converter can also convert JPEG2000 encoded maps.

Added by the Map Department at the Cambridge University Library
|| 1/3/2008 || 1:59 am || Comments Off on Added by the Map Department at the Cambridge University Library || ||

Since my website is coded uniquely, I have developed a means to find new incoming links. A couple weeks ago I was linked from a popular architecture blog “Archidose,” and today finds me linked from one of the finest universities in the world, the University of Cambridge. Next year the university will be celebrating it’s 800th year of educating the future.

Typographically, I like how Geospatial Art is oneword. I own, but the author did not link to that URL, so it reads odd that the words have been concatenated. Regardless, but equally entertaining, is that Postmodern Art is still #5 or so.

In the Map Collections of the British Library and..
|| 12/11/2007 || 3:03 pm || Comments Off on In the Map Collections of the British Library and.. || ||

British Library Map Collections Purchase Order

I am pleased to announce that my 2008 Urban America Calendar is on it’s way to the Map Collections at the British Libray. Last week the Map and Imagery Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara purchased a copy of the 2008 California Calendar. All in all, I am very pleased with how receptive people have been to the calendars.

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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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