The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


QR Code Tessellation
|| 4/23/2008 || 10:42 pm || Comments Off on QR Code Tessellation || ||

: rendered at 18,000 x 12,000 :

While the QR-Code mistake wasn’t exactly what I was hoping to create earlier today, this design turned out exactly as I originally envisioned. The plan was to take one QR Code and plot the code as a very large tessellation. Like the Geovisual QR Code, I wanted to make the embedded code something self-evident so I chose the text to be “QR Code Tessellation by Nikolas Schiller. Created on Wednesday April 23rd, 2008 in Washington, DC.”

For this design I rotated the code 45 degrees to create a diamond shape and after the rendering was finished I cut out 4 of the squares and added an enlarged QR Code in the lower right-hand corner. In all, it’s a very simple design but at the size of a billboard it would be very interesting to see it displayed.

: QR Code Decoded :

View the rest of the details:


another QR Code mistake
|| || 12:24 pm || Comments Off on another QR Code mistake || ||

: rendered at 9,000 x 6,000 :

The other week I attempted to hack the QR-Code to see if I could visually embed a censored aerial photograph of the Washington Monument to create “Geovisual QR Code“. While I was unsuccessful, I enjoyed the process of experimenting with this type of visual code.

Today I tried to make a second QR Code design based off a QR Code tessellation. I was able to make the tessellation without a problem and when I was finished I saved the new QR Code as a GIF. When I imported the GIF into my rendering program I noticed that something was awry. Instead of being shown in black & white I was seeing bits of color. I assume that this happened because the program does not take GIF files well. This might have happened because I saved the GIF as an interlaced file and when the program was deconstructing the GIF it created some type of visual static. Instead of casting the mistake aside, I decided to see what the final result would be, and frankly sometimes even mistakes can look quite cool.

Up next will be the intended QR Code design.

: zoom to center :

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Memphis Cross
|| 4/5/2008 || 5:52 pm || Comments Off on Memphis Cross || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Memphis Cross

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and I decided to make a map the area around the site of the memorial. I made a similar cross a month ago using imagery from the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in Washington, DC and another cross-like map in the summer of 2005. Upon comparing the three, I feel that Mount Pleasant Cross looks more like a traditional cross because the reflection on 16th street forms the familiar shape. When preparing the imagery I adjusted the line of symmetry in the source tessellation to create a near perfect stadium reflection. In the current Google Maps imagery, which is newer than this map’s imagery, the dome of the stadium has Fedex Field printed across the top. Fortunately, the illusion of the symmetrical stadium was not ruined by corporate branding.

View the Google Map of Memphis, Tennessee.

Lorraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum Detail

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Vassar Quilt Refraction
|| 3/28/2008 || 3:46 pm || Comments Off on Vassar Quilt Refraction || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :
Vassar Quilt Refraction

Using this portion of Vassar Quilt #2, I made this derivative map of Vassar College using added elements from the Lenz projection. The optics create a very unique sense of depth at the center of the map. I also added four other optical elements that create a fluvial design, almost appearing to flow toward the center.

View the Google Map of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

View the rest of the details:


Scott + Dupont Circle Quilt
|| 3/18/2008 || 1:07 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Scott + Dupont Circle Quilt

Continuing my current project of mapping the portions of Washington, DC that Google is censoring, I decided use the same process that was used to create Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt. This type of digitally derived double exposure aerial photography creates some of my favorite maps as of late. While I am only touching on the germane juxtaposition of traffic circles in Washington, DC, I’ve been thinking about how I take two completely disparate geographies and create similar styled maps. One idea is to take two of the tessellations I created for the Los Angeles Interchanges Series and create a double exposure highway interchange. Another possibility is to make a Supreme Illusion Supreme by overlaying the Pentagon on to the site of the World Trade Center. I’m not sure how it would look, but I think I’ll try making one of these maps in the near future.

View the Google Map of Scott Circle in Washington, DC.
View the Google Map of Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

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Brownsville Spheres
|| 3/17/2008 || 5:30 pm || Comments Off on Brownsville Spheres || ||

: rendered at 15,000 X 10,000 :Brownsville Spheres.

Brownsville is the southernmost border town in the state of Texas. Similar to my “Ciudad Paso” maps, this map features land in both America (Brownsville) & Mexico (Matamoros, Tamaulipas) and literally focuses on border issues like immigration.

Using the same elements of Charlotte Spheres, I decided to make another version of this type of Lenz-influenced map. Unlike the previous version, which featured the spheres completely centered, I chose to move the spheres around to achieve a desired result.

Specifically, I noticed that a few of the spheres (four to be precise) hovered over the border facility where cars are waiting in line (below) to cross into America/Mexico. If you look closely, you can see the border/bridge at 3 different spatial scales. This visual element is what I like the most about using the spheres in my maps because it forces your eye to move around the page to identify places where the geography is the same and where the scale is different. One drawback, however, is that I cannot accurately predict how much magnification the spheres will produce. This map, for example, was slightly overprojected (see the graininess below), but unless I am printing it at it’s largest size, its hard to tell the degree to which the imagery was overprojected. I chose to render the map at 15Kx10K instead of the normal 18Kx12K to allow for 3,000 pixels worth of magnification to take place, yet after looking at the results, I probably should have rendered it at 12Kx9K. Oh well, thats the beauty of trial & error; next one will be better.

View the Google Map of Brownsville, Texas.

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White House Peace
|| 3/13/2008 || 2:56 pm || Comments Off on White House Peace || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :White House Peace by Nikolas Schiller.

Similar to the Shanghai Map, this map uses Chinese characters as a decorative element. The source aerial photography of the White House was censored by the government before it was released to the public. I documented this about a year ago with my Lost Series project “The White House is off-limits to the public.” Unlike the Shanghai Map, I made a tessellation using the words for PEACE instead of placing the glyphs at the bottom. I was, however, thinking of revisiting this map in the near future and adding more text. As it is now, I think it’s somewhat plain, and deserves something else. I’m not sure what that ‘else’ is yet.

View the Google Map (which shows older imagery) of the White House.

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ordered last week: New Blaeu
|| 3/10/2008 || 9:25 pm || Comments Off on ordered last week: New Blaeu || ||

New Blaeu by Nikolas Schiller

Originally created last summer as “NOVA ET ACCVRATISSIMA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA [2007 Remix],” when this map was published in the December 14th issue of the Christian Science Monitor, the editors truncated the name and simply called it “New Blaeu.”

Last week I decided to update the map slightly by trimming the edges and doing some color correction. It’s being printed at 20″x16″ and preserved behind glass in in an ornate gold frame. I am also planning on framing some of the other antique maps I purchased recently to compliment this map. I think they’ll look really cool all hung together; the real old with the fake new.

View the other detail:


Federal Triangle Refraction
|| 3/6/2008 || 12:16 pm || Comments Off on Federal Triangle Refraction || ||

: rendered at 12,000 X 8,000 :
Federal Triangle Refraction by Nikolas Schiller

Lately I’ve been revisiting some of the elements from the Lenz Projection— specifically in the Charlotte Spheres, Pentagon Spheres, Grand Design Lenz Quilt, and Rochester Quilt #2. Today I decided to experiment a little more with aerial refraction. Using the 3rd derivative tessellation, originally used in Federal Triangle Quilt #4, I this created a visually engaging map. I like how the bars look very similar to my polar coordinate experiments. Specifically, I like the way that they imagery is curved and refracted. What I don’t like, however, is the way the shadows present themselves within the refraction. Since like bars are angled toward the viewer, they create a darker hue due to their internal shadows. The way around this is to decrease the angle of the bars, but in response to this, the imagery bends less. I will probably revisit this type of map in the future.

View the Google Map of Federal Triangle in downtown Washington, DC.

View the rest of the details:


Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt
|| 3/2/2008 || 11:43 am || Comments Off on Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Washington + Dupont Circle Quilt by Nikolas Schiller

I decided to switch things up a bit with today’s rendering. I have become very efficient with most of the processes used to create my maps, which both makes them standardized and sometimes a bit too similar to each other (while paradoxically being different geographies). This map and probably the next few maps are going to be slightly different.

In order to have the most recent maps of Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, and Washington Circle look similar to each other, I would take the first derivative tessellation and overlay it on top of the tessellation that I was constructing. By adjusting the transparency, I can overlay the circles directly on top of each other which makes the subsequent map look nearly identical.

Normally, I simply delete the original tessellation when I have the two lined up perfectly, however in today’s map I chose to not delete the other map. Instead, I adjusted the transparency of Dupont Circle to 51% to show both geographies at once. The result is something that I wasn’t expecting, but am quite pleased with the results. I can see myself using this process again. It’s like a double exposure…

View the Google Map of Washington Circle in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC.

View the Google Map of Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

View the rest of the details:


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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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