The Craig Retroazimuthal Projection aka the Mecca Projection
|| 4/21/2009 || 11:45 am || Comments Off on The Craig Retroazimuthal Projection aka the Mecca Projection || ||
The Craig retroazimuthal map projection was created by James Ireland Craig in 1909. It is a cylindrical projection preserving the direction from any place to another predetermined place, while avoiding some of the bizarre distortion of the Hammer retroazimuthal projection. It is sometimes known as the Mecca projection because Craig, who had worked in Egypt as a cartographer, created it to help Muslims find their Qibla. Check out the mathematical calculation used to create the map on Wikipedia.
I think it would be neat to use this cartographic projection technique to create a map that uses Washington, DC as the center.
Related Mecca Entries:
Google Map Mashup: The Qibla Locator
|| 4/20/2009 || 10:54 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||
Following up on yesterday’s posting, I stumbled across this interesting Google Map mashup. The Qibla (or Kiblah or Qiblah or Quibla) is the Arabic word for the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays, otherwise known as the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca. For obedient muslims, the Salah, or formal prayer, is performed five times a day: at dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), at sunset (maghrib) and nightfall (isha’a). The Qibla Locator is a simple Google Map that is designed to automatically orient Muslims toward the direction of the Kaaba. Simply enter your location and the red line that is generated shows the shortest distance to the Kaaba. In the case of the screen grab above I decided to show what direction a Muslim would pray if they were in the White House in Washington, DC. I chose this location because I’ve read about some nutty folks who actually think president Barack Obama is a Muslim. Frankly, I don’t care what religion he practices and to take issue with anyone’s religion is a sign of intolerance and veiled ignorance. What I find most interesting about the Google Map is that the rhumb line toward the Kaaba can be somewhat deceiving. I’m not blaming the author of the mashup, rather, I think the nature of how the Quibla is found is unique. Since its based on the shortest distance to Mecca, sometimes the fastest way seems counter-intuitive, as in, I was thought the path from the White House (above) would be facing South-East instead of North-East. If you have a moment, try it out.
A couple interesting notes from the Wikipedia entry
• The head of an animal that is slaughtered using Halal methods is aligned with the Qibla.
• Muslims are buried with their faces in the direction of the qiblah. Thus, archeology can indicate a Muslim necropolis if no other signs are present.
A short history of the Qibla:
Originally, the direction of the Qibla was toward Masjid al-Aqsa, Jerusalem (and it is therefore called the First of the Two Qiblahs). At least since Mishnaic times (AD200), Jews face the Temple Mount in Jerusalem while praying. The Mishnah speaks about this in Berakhot (Talmud) chapter 4, Mishnahs 5 and 6 and this practice is even found as early as I Kings 8:35-36. In Islam, this qiblat was used for over 13 years, from 610 CE until 623 CE. Seventeen months after Muhammad’s 622 CE arrival in Medina, the Qiblah became oriented towards the Kaaba in Mecca. According to accounts from the prophet Muhammad’s companions, the change happened very suddenly during the noon prayer in Medina, in a mosque now known as Masjid al-Qiblatain (Mosque of the Two Qiblahs). Muhammad was leading the prayer when he received revelations from Allah instructing him to take the Kaaba as the Qiblah (literally, “turn your face towards the Masjid al Haram”). According to the historical accounts, Muhammad, who had been facing Jerusalem, upon receiving this revelation, immediately turned around to face Mecca, and those praying behind him also did so.
Related Mecca Entries:
[Update] The Architectural Athan Drum & Bass Mashup via YouTube Doubler is now transcribed
|| 4/19/2009 || 10:36 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||
Click image to view the mashup on YouTube Doubler
Just under one year ago I created an interesting mashup using Brian Kane’s YouTube Doubler. Dubbed “the Athan Drum & Bass Mashup” (and since then I’ve added “architectural” to the title), the mashup features a slideshow of Islamic architecture on the left side and a stationary camera focused on a Drum & Bass DJ’s turntables on the right. Last night I revisited the original entry and discovered that whomever had uploaded the slideshow decided to transcribe the Athan using YouTube’s annotation feature. Now you can actually read the English translation of the morning call to prayer sung in Arabic.
#update – This iteration also automatically rewinds!
Related Interactive Entries:
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.)
Thats the Kurti…
|| 3/3/2008 || 12:10 pm || Comments Off on Thats the Kurti… || ||
So as I mentioned back in January, I was looking for a blog where my website was linked using the words “Kurti.” Today I found what I was looking for! It’s a blog entry in Latvian from April. Now I just need to get it all translated…
Du Er Her
|| 3/1/2008 || 11:40 am || Comments Off on Du Er Her || ||
Du Er Her = You Are Here (in Danish)
About a month ago I was contacted by the author of the book “You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination.” She was interested in using one of my maps for her upcoming book (expect another posting in the not-so-distant future about this). One of my daily reads as of late is Copenhagen Cycle Chic. It’s a simple blog that shows photographs of women on bicycles in the Denmark’s capital city. Looking at the photographs everyday make me want to move to Copenhagen. The other day while I was looking through the author’s Flickr photostream I spotted the photo above and smiled.
Quadrant Map of DC – Translated into Latin – “Novus Columbus Quadrans”
|| 5/14/2007 || 9:20 am || Comments Off on Quadrant Map of DC – Translated into Latin – “Novus Columbus Quadrans” || ||
+ New Columbia – Novus Columbus
+ North West – Septentrio Occidens
+ North East – Septentrio Oriens
+ South West – Merides Occidens
+ South East – Merides Oriens
+ Anno Domino MMVII – Year of Our Lord 2007
+ Signature written in Arabic
This is my first draft of this map. I’ll probably make another with a different color scheme. I feel that there is a lot to be added to this map, but not sure where to start. It’s my first time using Latin as a main focus of a map. I got the idea after looking through the old maps yesterday that it would be funny to label the quadrants of DC in Latin (and future maps with historic samplings). Being that some feel Washington is the modern day Rome, I felt this lexical motif works well. It’s partly educational, partly humorous, and it crosses a few lingusitic barriers that I’ve never approached. Moreover, I am well aware that the water in the area of DC I live in has lead in the water, just like the Romans!
The choice of New Columbia as the title is a reference to the name that DC residents chose to-be for the state of the District of Columbia. I’ve honestly never liked the name “New Columbia” for the state’s name, it’s too old. There is nothing New about naming another state New. Plus, as for abbreviations, NC is already used by North Carolina! So after DC becomes a state, would it be called New Columbia in name but still go by DC or Washington? Or all three?
latin quote of the week…
|| 11/11/2005 || 3:51 pm || Comments Off on latin quote of the week… || ||
“mars gravior sub pace latet”
translated: A more serious warfare is concealed by seeming peace.