Tag Archives | Maps

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.

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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.

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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.

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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...
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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.

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The Hunger Games Map Of Panem

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the latest megaselling book to get the Hollywood treatment, ensuring that there will be few people who are unaware of the future nation of Panem. It is a nation located in a post-Apocalypse North America, leading to much speculation as to the exact location of the thirteen districts described in the book. The aimmyarrowshigh blog has developed a map using the phi spiral based on the sacred geometrical golden ratio.

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It’s a bit of fun based on YA fiction, no need to pick it apart unduly, but if you have other ideas…

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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:

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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.

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World Happiness Map

If you want to be happy, live in Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden take up the top four spots). TargetMap sourced the information from Forbes, which notes:
Quantifying happiness isn't an easy task. Researchers at the Gallup World Poll went about it by surveying thousands of respondents in 155 countries, between 2005 and 2009, in order to measure two types of well-being. First they asked subjects to reflect on their overall satisfaction with their lives, and ranked their answers using a "life evaluation" score from 1 to 10. Then they asked questions about how each subject had felt the previous day. Those answers allowed researchers to score their "daily experiences"--things like whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged. Subjects that reported high scores were considered "thriving." The percentage of thriving individuals in each country determined our rankings.
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Celebrity Recolonization Of Africa Map

RecolonizationPost-Oscars, a look at how Western celebrities have projected their egos across vast portions of the world. Created by Mother Jones's Dave Gilson:
Oversized shades have replaced pith helmets, but the new scramble for Africa has its share of adventurers, would-be saviors, and even turf battles. As Madonna's publicist explains, "She's focusing on Malawi. South Africa is Oprah's territory." The map takes a lighter look at the sometimes serious, sometimes silly business of celebrity altruism. For more on how Africa became the hottest continent for A-list do-gooders like Bono and Brangelina, see here. And if you're looking for a more sober approach, check out our recent package on human rights. Click on a country to learn which celebrity has claimed it, and how ...
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Google Maps Publishes A Murder Scene

Via Google Sightseeing, a series of aerial shots of Richmond, California that captured more than intended:

The ever increasing resolution of Google’s imagery has continued to reveal greater detail people’s lives, but this is the first time an aerial photgraph of such a graphic nature has been published on the site.

We can’t be sure about the details of the scene – there’s no sign of injury from this distance – but the number of police officers and vehicles (both marked and unmarked) suggests that this is unlikely to have been a case of accidental death.

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