These Richly Detailed Maps Give the Modern World a Victorian Twist

“Wouldn’t we all love to live in a city where floating dirigibles shared the horizon alongside the glass towers of our modern skylines? Such is the wild world featured in the highly complex, geographically accurate illustrations of Icelandic artist Kristjana S. Williams, whose maps are part of an exhibition for the London Design Festival that opened today.”

Via Gizmodo

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Cartographic Assemblages

Maps help us find our way in the world (or make us even more lost), but the concept of a map can also be applied when trying to organize together memories, identity, narrative and materiality.

Artist Lindsey Dunnagan explores the mapping of memories and identity in her series Mapping the Intangible, while in Mapping New Worlds, the artist focuses on manipulating topography, hinting at familiar places, but distorted in a way that the familiar becomes alien.

The materiality of Dunnagan’s work in Mapping the Intangible is significant because the watercolour is mixed with salt, allowing unexpected patterns to form, as if creating city limits, but also transform over time as the salt dries and flakes off. The artist focuses on locations that are familiar and important to her memories and identity, yet unrecognizable to the viewer because the maps juxtapose on one another, creating “false connections”, rather serving, as the artist states, “as an atlas of memory that informs identity”. The same kind of atlas, albeit abstract, can be found in Mapping New Worlds but rather than focusing just on identity and memory, the pieces in this series focus on “concepts of city development, communication, and abstracted” landscape. Familiar images such as cities and roads are obstructed by rivers or clouds, creating an almost mythological narrative of the geography.

Similar to Dunnagan’s work, is that of Scott W. Bradford’s, but rather than mapping out specific locations which focus on geography, Bradford pieces together various elements which map out a narrative through materiality. The artist states that he links “the materiality of the surface to the drawing itself, either metaphorically or in terms of the narrative” in order to emphasize that it is constructed; his maps are fiction. In both his series’ Blueshift and Journey to Nowhere, stories are being told.

Each piece maps out its own narrative, but when the series is presented as a whole, the works become a collection of stories, mapping out an overall narrative of materiality.

-Anna Paluch

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Lunar Surface

Interesting project from Kimchi and Chips blends the analogue with the digital - live depth rendering and projection onto a swaying sheet to produce a ghostly form captured with long exposure photography:

A vertical flag of fabric is stroked by the wind, displaced by curves of air pressure, swinging back and forth. As it sweeps, it extrudes a trail of light which draws a moon floating in space. The flag renders this moon from another reality, the silk surface acts as a boundary between 2 realities, intermediating the laws of the 2 realms.

Inspired by the 2 moons of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 and the flags of space travel, the artists present a portal into another existence where another moon orbits. This other place is made material by the fabric of the flag.

Long exposure photography trades the dimension of time for a dimension of space, extruding the moon into existence on a set of photographic prints, the technology capturing a painting, enacted by the details of the wind.

Lunar Surface begins a new line of enquiry for drawing into the air for studio Kimchi and Chips, forming artistic collaborations between technology and nature. The fabric is tracked by a 3D camera whilst a projector replays a response onto it according to its evolving shape.

Below is a very short video demonstrating how the form is rendered in realtime:

More at Kimchi and Chips here

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How The Temperature In Each State Has Changed In The Last 118 Years

“We often hear temperature changes explained on a global scale, but just how are those changes playing out in your local temperatures? This calculator answers that question for every American state.

The new tool is the work of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Using data on average temperatures collected since 1895, you can look at how average, maximum, and minimum temperatures have shifted.”

Via io9

Forehead and fingertips most sensitive to pain, research shows (The Guardian)

The forehead and fingertips are the most sensitive parts to pain, according to the first map created by scientists of how the ability to feel pain varies across the human body.

It is hoped that the study, in which volunteers had pain inflicted without touching them, could help the estimated 10 million people in the UK who suffer from chronic pain by allowing physicians to use lasers to monitor nerve damage across the body. This would offer a quantitative way to monitor the progression or regression of a condition.

Lead author Dr Flavia Mancini, of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, said: “Acuity for touch has been known for more than a century, and tested daily in neurology to assess the state of sensory nerves on the body. It is striking that until now nobody had done the same for pain.”

Mapping the world’s tropical forests with a fleet of airplanes outfitted with advanced LiDAR could rapidly and accurately assess global forest carbon stocks for a fraction of the cost of a typical Earth observation satellite mission — and far less than field-based sampling — argues a new paper published in <i>Carbon Balance and Management</i>.

Work in progress on neighborhood maps. This map is a part of lager panel that will show bus connections near light rail stations in Pittsburgh. 

I always start with ArcGIS to compile initial data layers, then I style everything in Illustrator. Major landmarks are used to orient transit users in relation to the two-letter stops. The simple 3D shapes can be quickly put together in either Sketchup or directly in Illustrator using ‘extrude and bevel’ tool. 

Map Lab

400 Years of Beautiful, Historical, and Powerful Globes

“To look at an ancient globe is to look at the Earth as it was seen by the people of another time. It reflects their understanding of the continents and seas, and it captures political divisions that have long since shifted. Even the typography and colors of a globe are indicative of the time and place of its origin, says Sylvia Sumira, a London-based conservator of ancient globes.

Often, it’s a thing of remarkable craftsmanship and beauty. “If you go into a room and there’s a globe, your attention is immediately drawn to it,” Sumira said. In her lavishly illustrated new bookGlobes: 400 years of exploration, navigation, and power, Sumira traces the history and making of globes and showcases dozens of fine examples drawn largely from the collection of the British Library.”

See and learn more at Wired’s Map Lab

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