On a freezing 11 degree day, (January 22, 2011 to be precise) the Gowanus Grassroot Mapping crew hiked out to Gowanus Canal to document the Superfund site. These balloons were made out of Mylar emergency blankets, and filled with helium that a local welder graciously donated to us. More photos can be found on my flickr photo set.
Archive for the ‘map’ Category
I’m admittedly way behind on my grassroots mapping updates… but here some more photos from our grassroots mapping excursions.
In our March 27th excursion, we also got immensely helpful assistance from Charles Stewart, who is a kite enthusiast / expert / entrepreneur. I was pretty psyched with my first experience with kite photography, rather than balloons.
Mathew Lippincott also gave a super interesting demonstration of his solar balloon technique, using thin plastic which is heat sealed, and dyed with pigment. It uses the sun to heat, and the sunny but still cold weather was great for getting the temperature differential to get lift. It is also super cheap to make, and eliminates the biggest expense of our Mylar balloon design, which is helium. It was great to finally meet him and some other of the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, PLOTS, founding members.
We got good photos that I haven’t seen yet, but when they get stitched together, I’ll update with a link.
Today, I worked with Jeff Warren, long time friend Liz Barry, and students from Parsons and the New School on Grassroots Mapping.
With what amounts to DIY Satellite Imaging, a camera was attached to Mylar balloons, which was tied to fishing line and floated up above Union Square.
On one of the last sunny warm Saturdays of the year, students avoided Farmer Market shoppers and evangelical Christians, while trying out the system that Jeff created.
I hope that everyone’s mailed back their 2010 US Census forms, which are due April 1, National Census Day. While it’s a rather arcane approach to studying people’s location, it is still important because of its scale, use to allocate federal funding for community services, and use for updating electoral districts. One thing I really love about the census is that it’s mandated in the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3.
Now that it’s 2010, they also have a interactive Google Map which display participation rate. Dubuque City, Iowa gets the gold star so far for a 70% return rate, which is well above the 52% national average. What makes this mapping project successful is that it raises questions (and potentially provides answers) about participation rates, location, and the allocation of resources, but in a way that is easier that reading at tables of the underlying data. They also provide widgets to display results.
However, what would really be great, of course, is if they released data sets to the public.
The fine folks at Urban Omnibus and WNYC are hosting a meet up at Bryant Park this Saturday to explore New York’s unbuilt future from the past with the project I worked on: Museum of the Phantom City.
Urban Omnibus and WNYC Meet-up
Museum of the Phantom City
Saturday, October 31
Meet at the Bryant Park Fountain (6th Avenue side)
Drinks and conversation to follow
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Museum of the Phantom City launched, which invites people to interact with unbuilt architectural proposals through an iPhone app and website. The project plays with some interesting ideas about location (obviously) but also of how designers in the past envisioned the future. We started with New York, and try to show that an invisible history that never was, resides to a physical/ actual space we inhabit.
We had a great team working on the project, and thanks go to Brett and Irene for getting me involved in building the website portion of the project. I hadn’t done any serious programming in a while, and I re-learned everything I love and hate about coding. (Also note, the site and iPhone are beta versions.)
On November 5th, I noted an important turning point in my media, among all the celebration of electing Barack Obama.
I didn’t watch any of the TV coverage on election night. I just had a few websites open to track reporting from different areas. I mostly stuck to the New York Times, that had the best interactive map, and the San Francisco Chronicle to get some West Coast reporting on things like Prop 8. I could also easily compare what states the sites were calling (it’s not always the same) and focus the races of course interest, Al Franken’s Senate race in Minnesota, for example.
It was interesting to note how the newspaper sites covered when TV programs called races, as their round about way to report results early without “really” reporting results early. But shortly after 11:00pm, I was alerted that Obama won, just like everything one else who were glued to their television sets.
Before 11:00 pm:
After 11:00 pm:
What did I miss from not having the TV on? Reporters, pundits, and anchors with often little meaningful to say as returns slowly are released. It was refreshing just to get the data. On the other hand, the decision also meant I had wait a whole day to learn about CNN’s Princess Leia Style Hologram.
I finally made it to the New York Art Book Fair after being out of town last year. I think I learned about the first one a couple of days after it ended, which is quite typical for me. In any event, there was the high and low brow and everything in between.
Image source: The Thing
I met Will Rogen and Jonn Herschend from The Thing Quarterly, which sends its subscribers a piece of art every quarter. I had just heard about it a couple of weeks ago, when I was out in SF, where they are based. It’s not quite publishing, although it’s definitely a self-described periodical, and a bit more like those organic local food subscription services where they mail you a box of kale or carrots or melons once a month, except its art and of course its quarterly.
I was pleased to find out that they were super friendly, and we had a short, but interesting conversation, on publishing. When I asked them if their backgrounds was in publishing, I found it of note that they said they are artists. That answer is personally great to me because I’m really intrigued in publishers (if you want to call them that) from non-traditional backgrounds. I finally got my tax stimulus check from the federal government, and a chunk of it may just go towards a subscription, especially because Jonathan Lethem is on the docket as an artist. Will and Jonn are in town participating in various art organizations in the city of the rest of the week.
Stuart and David of Dexter Sinister had a table, and it always fun to talk to them, especially about geeky things like the text editor Tex. I ended up buying something that was quasi-expensive and actually deserves an entire post of its own later.
Image source: An Atlas of Radical Cartography
At the table next to Dexter Sinister, I met Alexis Bhagat who co-edited “An Atlas of Radical Cartography” which is a collection of essay and maps. Coincidentally, Brett introduced to me the collection when I was at UArts a few weeks ago, funny how things work out that way. The maps touch everything from oil to surveillance to garbage production. He was fun to chat with as map have been on my mind lately.
J Morrison was selling silk-screened man purses for a suggested donation. He had young women helping him silk screen images on the spot, and everyone was wearing matching colored tee and shorts. His assistants made a bag to order, for a good birthday present, which was my next stop after the fair.