Tag Archives | cartography

An Atlas Of The Worlds Of Cyberspace

Maps of the physical world are obsolete. The vintage web page Atlas of Cyberspaces offers a strange and wonderful collection of nineties-era renderings of digital geographies – including physical infrastructure, virtual gaming realms, website and surfing structures, flows of communication, and more:

This is an atlas of maps and graphic representations of the geographies of the new electronic territories of the Internet, the World-Wide Web and other emerging Cyberspaces.

These maps of Cyberspaces – cybermaps – help us visualise and comprehend the new digital landscapes beyond our computer screen, in the wires of the global communications networks and vast online information resources.

Some of the maps you will see in the Atlas of Cyberspaces will appear familiar, using the cartographic conventions of real-world maps, however, many of the maps are much more abstract representations of electronic spaces, using new metrics and grids.

cyber

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Is An Enormous Mayan Head Visible In Google Earth?

Perhaps this is only an instance of our tendency to see faces everywhere. But nonetheless, located at coordinates 50° 0’36.67″N 110° 6’51.38″W in the mountains of Alberta, Canada is a geological formation which arguably bears strong resemblance to a Mayan chieftain. One wonders how he feels about recent oil drilling in the area:

How to find the giant profile head on Google Earth. Share this with anyone and everyone who also seeks weirdness.

Continue Reading

An Urban Surveillance Map Of Vancouver

The Vancouver Public Space Network mapped CCTV locations in the metropolitan core, revealing the geography of surveillance:

The preliminary map that we created indicates the places where surveillance cameras could be found prior to the installation of extra cameras for the Olympics.  We are particularly concerned about the surveillance legacy that the Olympics may leave behind, and will be monitoring the city government to make sure that this network is removed once the party is over. In all, the map represents the locations of 1500 of the 2000 cameras we found.

Public spaces are inherently places in which we can be observed by other people, and where we can observe others. However, the VPSN is concerned about the way that intense video surveillance, particularly networked, centrally monitored systems, might negatively affect the way that people enjoy public spaces. In the United Kingdom, which has intensive public video surveillance, security cameras have been used by security officers to harass people and to profile individuals based on race and socio-economic status.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Origins Of Google Earth

Via the Guardian, Oliver Burkeman on Google and Apple’s quests to map the world in ever greater detail, and how our maps’ creators shape how we engage with the world:

[Almost a decade ago], Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had been fascinated by the zooming satellite imagery used by US news networks to report on bombing raids in Iraq. Those terrain graphics were provided by Keyhole, Inc, a software company that the CIA had helped to fund. Unlike the rest of us, Page and Brin had the wherewithal to act upon their fascination: they bought Keyhole, repackaging and releasing the firm’s software as Google Earth in 2005.

“They say they bought it because it looked cool,” says Brotton. “But my view is that they absolutely knew what they were buying. They marketed it in this touchy-feely way, as an environmental thing, and they called it ‘Earth’ – ‘Google World’ would have sounded imperialist.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

A 1937 Map Of Segregated Durham

A fascinating example of how racism was officially inscribed earlier in U.S. history — a map created by the city government of Durham in which all geography and locations are racialized. Imagine needing such a map for the purpose of decoding what locations could be accessed by whom. Via Sociological Images:

Trudi Abel, who directs the Digital Durham Project at Duke University, sent [this] in. Created by the Department of Public works in Durham, NC, in 1937, the map illustrates the legal and taken-for-granted racial segregation of the time. The map indicates which parks and residential areas were for Whites and which for African Americans.

6.51

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Stealth Geography Of America: A Map

tumblr_m1m1nirJaI1qz4yloo1_500

Via Domus, a map of the United States, in the form of its 259 most crucial infrastructural sites as revealed by a 2010 WikiLeaks release:

We might say with only slight exaggeration that the United States exists in its current state of economic and military well-being due to a peripheral constellation of sites found all over the world.

These far-flung locations—such as rare-earth mines, telecommunications hubs and vaccine suppliers—are like geopolitical buttresses, as important for the internal operations of the United States as its own homeland security.

However, this overseas network is neither seamless nor even necessarily identifiable as such. Rather, it is aggressively and deliberately discontiguous, and rarely acknowledged in any detail.

That is what made the controversial release by WikiLeaks, in December 2010, of a long list of key infrastructural sites deemed vital to the national security of the United States so interesting…

Continue Reading

How Can We Map Cyberspace?

If the virtual world is increasingly competing with the physical one in importance, shouldn’t our maps include both? Refractal on this question, including a prescient 1945 map depicting the earth based around deep-sea cable connections:

In 2001, Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin published An Atlas of Cyberspace. The atlas locates cyberspace along many dimensions: geographic maps of core fiber optic back bones, social maps showing the relationships between individual users in virtual worlds, hierarchy trees of web page design, etc.

“Great Circle” map designed as a bit of marketing ephemera for the Cable and Wireless Company, showing the global connectivity of its telecommunications network, with Britain centered representing its position as “hub of the world”, 1945.

giantcirclemap

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Santa Cruz Conceptualized As A Giant Hand

The geography-as-person trope goes back a long time, and remains haunting — are cities sentient beings? As we traverse streets and subway systems, are we merely red blood cells coursing through a giant body? And when a place’s key locations and arterials seem to mimic the human form, is it just our imagination? This idea is illustrated beautifully in a 1912 map, via Big Think:

Hand-520x820

The map, designed by Polly Hill, was part of a promotional brochure extolling the beauties, joys and pleasures to be sampled in Santa Cruz and environs — centred on the Casa del Rey Hotel, and the adjacent Casino.

More than a cartographic gimmick, the hand shape is also a clever way of representing the local geography, with the two outer fingers representing the coastal corridor and the three middle ones some of the valleys radiating northward through mountainous terrain.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

A Guide To Getting Lost

Maps and directions are virtually worthless, as they have become ubiquitous. But what about the incomparable sensation of being lost? Much harder to come by. That’s where this guide comes in. (Eventually taking you back to where you started.) Via Pop-Up City:

Recent Chelsea College of Art & Design graduate Dan Cottrell has created a guide for the sole aim of getting lost. Pyschogeography is nothing new, but AWOL provides a beautifully simple design approach to the subject.

AWOL comes as a pack, consisting of a compass that doesn’t work, a simple poster and and a map that feature algorithmic walks, which always lovingly return you to your departure point – ensuring you can explore your surroundings worry-free.

lostguide

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Security By Bending GPS Geography

INV-TSABLDG BLOG writes that the exurbs of Washington, DC are scattered with office parks quietly housing organizations and companies connected to national security and government secrets. Drive though, and you may not notice, but your GPS could be jammed, giving incorrect directions, or even suggesting that you drive in an infinite U-turn loop. These are areas where maps suddenly go sour:

In a fascinating detail from a series of articles published two years ago in the Washington Post, we learn about one way to hide classified government infrastructure in plain sight.

“Just outside Washington,” authors Dana Priest and William Arkin explain, in the exurbs of depopulated office parks and “huge buildings with row after row of opaque, blast-resistant windows,” there can be found what the authors describe as “the capital of an alternative geography of the United States, one defined by the concentration of top-secret government organizations and the companies that do work for them.” And it is cleverly camouflaged:

The existence of these clusters is so little known that most people don’t realize when they’re nearing the epicenter of Fort Meade’s, even when the GPS on their car dashboard suddenly begins giving incorrect directions, trapping the driver in a series of U-turns, because the government is jamming all nearby signals.

Read the rest

Continue Reading