Tag Archives | Maps

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

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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.

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Google Shoot View

The whole world as a first-person shooter game. It's down at the moment due to a the kibosh from Google, but Google Shoot View allows you to traverse Google Street View will holding an assault rifle, and to fire upon anything (to no effect). It's quite existentially disturbing. Perhaps, visit your childhood home and unload a few rounds, to symbolize releasing and moving on from the burdens of the past:
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Travel Back In Time With Yahoo! Maps

yahoostreet Long-term decay on the internet can be a fascinating thing. Google Maps’ not-quite-as-popular sister site Yahoo! Maps hasn’t updated some of its street images since the nineties, giving you the ability to virtually explore a pre-millennial London which some people prefer to the city today, Londonist writes:

Remember the days when Arsenal still played at Highbury? Those halcyon times when Heathrow was content with four terminals, when you could catch a train to Paris from Waterloo, and when Westfield was, if you had to guess, the latest boyband off of that new Popstars show on ITV.

In Yahoo! Maps, London is stuck in a new-Millennial timewarp. The satellite view still shows the old Wembley Stadium, complete with twin towers. Demolition of the landmark was completed in 2003, but hasn’t even started here. Over at St Pancras, work on the mammoth new Eurostar terminal has barely begun, while Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is a giant building site.

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A Continent Made Of Plastics

Taken from a 1940 issue of Fortune, a rendering of a map of an imaginary future continent, ‘Synthetica’, composed of synthetic materials and plastic debris. This is our magical future. Via Strange Maps:

“On this broad but synthetic continent of plastics, the countries march right out of the natural world – that wild area of firs and rubber plantations, upper left – into the illimitable world of the molecule. It’s a world boxed only by the cardinal points of the chemical compass – carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen. Rayon is a plastic island off the Cellulose coast, with a glittering night life.”

plastic

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Google Earth Begins Mapping Amazon Rainforest

Photo: Alex Guerrero (CC)

Photo: Alex Guerrero (CC)

Not sure if ‘street view’ is the right term for it, but Google has begun mapping the Amazon much like it does streets in cities and towns. Via The Australian:

Two women washed clothes in the dark water of the Rio Negro as a boat glided past with a camera-laden Google tricycle strapped to the roof, destined to give the world a window into the Amazon rainforest.

A “trike” typically used to capture street scenes for Google’s free online mapping service launched last Thursday from the village of Tumbira in a first-ever project to let web users virtually explore the world’s largest river, its wildlife and its communities.

The project was the brainchild of Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), which two years ago went to Google Earth with a vision of turning “Street View” into a river view in the lush and precious Amazon Basin.

[Continues at The Australian]

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DARPA Creates Interactive 3-D Holographic Map Table

A 2D Representation of UPSD's 3D Image. Source: DARPA

A 2D Representation of UPSD's 3D Image. Source: DARPA

Popular Science reports via DARPA:

Long gone are the days of pushing plastic armies around hand-drawn maps. Today’s military planners deserve technology of the future, and that means nothing less than 3-D holograms will do. Luckily, we have DARPA, ever-ready to step in with a solution. The Urban Photonic Sandtable Display (UPSD) allows up to 20 participants to simultaneously view and manipulate the 360-degree, 3-D image on the table, without having to wear 3-D glasses.

The display can be expanded to as large as six feet, and has a visual depth of up to 12 inches. UPSD is also interactive – battle planners can freeze, rotate and zoom in on the images. They can also print out two-dimensional representations of the 3-D data (seen above) that troops can carry with them on their missions.

Zebra Imaging won the contract to create the technology for UPSD, and DARPA is using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems for the data.

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