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Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery
|| 11/6/2008 || 5:53 pm || Comments Off on Google Street View of Washington, DC suffers from out-dated imagery || ||

As a cutesy election day surprise, Google announced the release of their Street View feature for the Google Maps of Washington, DC. For the last year and a half I’ve been waiting for Google Maps to include the city I live in, while at the same time planning my next installment of my geopolitical art project Google Street View IED , the first google bomb for Street View.

In June of 2007, around the time Street View was first released, Washington, DC’s imagery was “updated” with newer aerial photography from 2005. However, the central business district of Washington, DC continues to this day being shown using out-dated imagery from 2002, and the rest of the District is being shown using the newer imagery from September 2005. In the time since this”update”, even after I assisted in exposing this passive censorship in the Washington Post, the imagery has not been updated and because of this the new Street View feature suffers.

In the screen grab above you are being shown the massive parking lot known as City Center which was the site of the former convention center. The old convention center was imploded in December of 2004, which makes a gross mismatch. By using outdated imagery the convention center is still being shown on the Google Map, but the Street View imagery shows a completely different temporal view. The disturbing part of all of this is that the USGS imagery is completely available to anyone in the world to download. It’s already being used by Google Maps for the rest of Washington, DC and I’ve been using in my maps as well.

So, Google, when are you going to update your imagery? If its for security reasons, why release Street View? This provides far more “on the ground” information the aerial views profide. Please tell your content providers that the imagery of Washington, DC deserves an update so you can better serve your customers. Maybe you can use your new satellite?



Related Google Maps Entries:

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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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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:



ABSOLUT STATEHOOD
|| 4/8/2008 || 4:52 pm || Comments Off on ABSOLUT STATEHOOD || ||

Screen grab links to .kmz file for Google Earth

A geovisual response to an LA Times blog entry showing mostly isolationist responses to an alternative history map of North America by Absolut Vodka.

This interactive map for Google Earth shows the familiar Absolut Vodka bottle labeled “Absolut Statehood” and placed inside of the original boundaries of the District of Columbia. These boundaries existed until 1847 after the residents of Virginia voted to cede back the portion of the District of Columbia that was west of the Potomac River.

Absolut Statehood represents the cartographic notion that the nation’s capital can become America’s 51st state*. Today there are over 550,000 American citizens living in the nation’s capital that are being denied the fundamental right of representation in Congress. This ongoing human rights violation currently practiced by the government of the United States has been denounced by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The United States is the only country in the industrialized world that forbids the residents of it’s capital city the right to elect representatives to their national legislature.

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Hello Cherubs – A New Splash Page Graphic Added
|| 3/30/2008 || 1:37 pm || Comments Off on Hello Cherubs – A New Splash Page Graphic Added || ||

With the addition of this graphic, my website’s splash page now contains over 18,675 different visual combinations. I’ve been working on a new lost series project called “The Grand Juxtaposition,” which uses all the images of my website. It should be ready in a week or two. This new splash page graphic was created using the letter z from the Oktober 98 font collection. I colored in the image and removed the color on the book’s page to create a transparency illusion that the book has been opened to one page somewhere on my website. Just hit reload to cycle through the different visual combinations.

Above the cherubs are showing a zoom-in detail of Washington Circle Quilt



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]



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.

Transcription:

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Interchangable Earth
|| 8/15/2007 || 2:27 pm || Comments Off on Interchangable Earth || ||

Click the image below to download the .kmz file [7.8 mb] for Google Earth:

Screen grab of Interchangable Earth by Nikolas Schiller

Using the center of 710 & 405 Quilt, which is in the Los Angeles Interchanges series, I constructed this beautiful globe.

Continue reading:

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Terra Fermi
|| 8/14/2007 || 7:13 am || Comments Off on Terra Fermi || ||

Click the image below to download the .kmz file [14.3 mb] for Google Earth:

Terra Ferma means “firm land” or “solid ground” and has been used to describe the conquest of new lands since antiquity.
Terra Fermi is the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Reactor Quilt mapped on to the surface of the earth.
A fitting name for a dangerously beautiful new world.

Continue reading:

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NOVA ET ACCVRATISSIMA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA [2007 Remix]
|| 7/9/2007 || 2:15 pm || Comments Off on NOVA ET ACCVRATISSIMA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA [2007 Remix] || ||

NOVA ET ACCVRATISSIMA TOTIVS TERRARVM ORBIS TABVLA - 2007 Remix by Nikolas Schiller

I updated the Library of Congress‘ version of Joan Blaeu‘s “A New and Accurate Map of the Entire World” (1662?) with NASA’s Blue Marble satellite images. Unlike the previous version, I decided to use a different satellite image for the eastern hemisphere so that the tip of Brazil does not overlap.

View the Interactive & Original version:

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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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  • thank you,
    come again!