data maps

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I’m currently doing a lot of map stuff! I’m going with a tile system so I don’t have to copy and paste so much map data. Tiles only need to be made once and I can use them anywhere, and they work with irregular shapes as well, so map objects like trees and bushes are now just a single tile that I can place. Simple and easy!

All the tiles are combined into the same mesh when the map is loaded, so there’s hardly any performance loss when drawing. And I’ve left the old map system in, so I can still make unique non-tile structures like paths.

I’m in the process of recreating the existing maps out of tiles and improving some of the old designs while I’m at it. It’s going great so far, and it’s quite a timesaver and doesn’t cramp up my hand as much!

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau presents the most detailed picture yet of the dramatic rise in the number of people covered by health insurance since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

County-level data going back to 2010, when the law was signed, shows a patchwork of people living without health insurance that ticked down slowly for the first three years under the ACA. But, once the online insurance exchanges opened at the end of 2013 and Medicaid expanded, the population living without coverage dropped noticeably.

The recently released Census report is county-level data for 2015. Overall, the nationwide uninsured rate dropped 7.7 percentage points for people under 65 years old between 2010 and 2015, from 18.2 percent in 2010 to 10.5 percent in 2015.

Maps Show A Dramatic Rise In Health Insurance Coverage Under ACA

GIF: NPR

There are thousands of parks, refuges and wilderness areas in the U.S. that are kept in something close to their natural state. But one form of pollution isn’t respecting those boundaries: man-made noise.

New research based on recordings from 492 protected natural areas reveals that they’re awash in noise pollution.

Researchers from Colorado State University spent years making the recordings by setting out microphones in natural areas across the country. They caught all sorts of wildlife sounds, such as rutting elk and howling wolves. But they were also after “background” sound — wind, rain, birdsong, flowing streams and rivers, even bubbling mudpots in Yellowstone National Park.

They compared the decibel level of this natural background with the intrusive noisiness from human activity. And they have discovered that in two-thirds of the places they studied, the median decibel level of man-made sound was double the normal background sound. These were sounds that came from within the area, such as road traffic, as well from as outside, such as passing jets or mining and logging equipment.

America’s Protected Natural Areas Are Polluted, By Noise

Map: National Park Service

Dark Souls 1: Out of Bounds (Part 2)

(View Part 1)


5) The Unused Entrance to the Firelink Altar

There is concept art from the Dark Souls: Design Works book which shows Andre pushing a statue aside to reveal a hidden path:

There is also an unused cutscene in the game data which shows this statue sliding over:

https://youtu.be/MtJYtHGx2_c?t=56s (starts at 56 seconds end)

While the final game doesn’t actually have a path back there, bear in mind that there is that weird cylindrical structure behind it, which could have been intended to house a staircase.

There’s nothing to see if you clip inside, and I can’t recall if this statue has been 100% confirmed by the devs to be the originally-intended entrance to the Firelink Altar, but given its proximity to Frampt, it would make sense.

But since this is a post about out of bounds content, what do we have that relates to this? 

Down in the Firelink Altar, there is a broken staircase that leads over to whatever this stuff is:

As it is currently in-game, there’s no collision out there, and even if there was, the area is surrounded by an invisible wall so that you couldn’t possibly make the jump.

But there is something to indicate that this area would have been the original entrance. Up and off to the side is a weird cave-like entrance hidden behind the wall:

Stepping out from it would put us over here:

This indicates an unused physical entrance to this area, as opposed to the serpentine transit system, which fits in quite nicely with the idea of the statue sliding open to reveal a path that would lead down here. Furthermore, the map data is laid out so that the Firelink Altar is physically near the statue area of the Firelink Shrine.

Larger images here: http://imgur.com/a/4jGhS

I learned about this from CrestfallenWarrior, he has a video demonstrating it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmtFKlLe1jI

6) Miscellaneous Junk in the Catacombs

Underneath the room before the first bonfire, you can find a couple things beneath the floor. Here I am looking back towards that room from the hallway, with part of the map disabled so you can see it:

Those blobs on the right are candles, the same kind you see nestled in those various nooks in the walls:

You can find a spot by the last door-opening-lever where you can see the VFX for a flame, but it’s not attached to any candle. It seems like one of these should have been moved there:

The other thing seen down there is a set of of these corpse-carrying nooks (do they have a proper name? They’re called “Loculi”, thanks algi!):

There’s also another spot in the Catacombs with an out of bounds object. Far beneath the entrance to Pinwheel’s lair, is a duplicate of the table found in Pinwheel’s room:

Why is this down there? I have no idea.

It’s not uncommon for videogames to hide assets used in cutscenes in out of bounds areas, to avoid having to spend time loading content. One of the first games I can recall finding a bunch of hidden cutscene assets in was Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

For example, there’s one level where after you beat the boss, it transitions to a cutscene in a “completely different” area, where you see your character on a plane. But the cutscene loaded quickly without a loading screen, due to this area simply being underneath the floor of the map. I looked up the cinematic on youtube, and in it you can even see debris floating in the sky above the plane, since the fight with the boss must have left some broken objects behind that the game failed to toggle visually:

https://youtu.be/UcuULvGGoD8?t=11m28s (11 minutes and 28 seconds in)

Dark Souls does this in a couple places as well. In the opening cutscene to the Undead Asylum, you can see a rat scurry by:

That rat turns out to be an object file that is stored beneath the floor of the opening cell (that small black thing in the center):

Also, when you place all of the Lord Souls in the Lord Vessel, the game shows all of the yellow fog gates dissipating. Instead of loading each area with a yellow fog gate, those segments of map are copy/pasted into the area of the Firelink Altar, floating somewhere out of bounds. 

But I’m still confused by Pinwheel’s table, because Pinwheel’s room already has that table in it. So it seems like it could be cutscene content, but it really shouldn’t need to be used for the cutscene in any way. 

MFW (insert witty meme about being confused here):

Larger screenshots here: http://imgur.com/a/uPAxq

7) Nito’s Third Coffin

So this last item is simply well hidden, and not technically out of bounds since you can see it in-game. But I don’t think most people will notice. I certainly didn’t, not without looking out of bounds in the first place.

Nito has those two coffins in his room. His personal coffin, plus that one smaller one to his side:

But wait, can you spot the third? It’s on the far right of the image, hidden in an inaccessible nook. It’s probably even harder to spot in this next image, but it’s dead center in this one:

Clipping through the map, we’re able to get a better look at it:

At first I thought this might have been storage for the coffin that’s used by Gravelord Servants to travel here. But it’s not the same coffin. It looks different, and this hidden coffin is part of the map data while the Gravelords’ coffin is a proper object file:

Plus bearing in mind that the third coffin is visible in-game and not hidden like 50 feet beneath the room, that suggests that it might be an intentional part of the design.

There isn’t a lot of Nito lore out there, but my interpretation is that this hints at Pinwheel’s obsession with Nito, and ties things together with the whole family theme of the Catacombs (the family masks, the statues showing the father and mother/child, and Pinwheel itself being comprised of three bodies inside that garb, each corresponding to a family mask).

If you take a closer look at the skeleton on the table in Pinwheel’s room, you can see that they’re giving the skeleton a Gravelord-sword kind-of-thing for an arm. Like a recreation of Nito:

Since Nito has two coffins nearby and not just the one, it’s evocative of this same kind of family theme. Additionally, pinwheel has three people crammed into it, and while Nito’s family is nowhere to be seen, they could just be piled into a much larger family that Nito built- all combined into his body:

Nito. Not just a bunch of random skeletons, but one big family?

This would also be very cohesive with Pinwheel’s design, where Pinwheel is trying to copy/ steal everything that Nito has done, including becoming a creature out of a family bound together. The black garb itself could even be a cheap way to imitate Nito’s black aura.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to draw these parallels between Pinwheel and Nito, but I’m not sure if the extra coffin in Nito’s lair has been offered up as additional evidence to that hypothesis yet. 

Larger screenshots here: http://imgur.com/a/QDzhJ


This pretty much covers all the strange out of bounds content that I could think of (not counting skybox stuff like the “other burg”, etc). Thanks for reading! If I missed anything, please let me know and I can make an addendum. 

How has the number of people living in extreme poverty changed?

The treemap above (interactive version here) illustrates how the number and distribution of people living in extreme poverty has changed between 1990 and 2013. The reduction in the number of poor in East Asia and Pacific is dramatic, and despite the decline in the Sub-Saharan Africa’s extreme poverty rate to 41 percent in 2013, the region’s population growth means that 389 million people lived on less than $1.90/day in 2013 - 113 million more than in 1990

The World Bank is pleased to release the 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals. With over 150 maps and data visualizations, the new publication charts the progress societies are making towards the 17 SDGs.

There’s more grim news about inequality in America.

New research documents significant disparities in the life spans of Americans depending on where they live. And those gaps appear to be widening, according to the research.

“It’s dramatic,” says Christopher Murray, who heads the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. He helped conduct the analysis, published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Health experts have long known that Americans living in different parts of the country tend to have different life spans. But Murray’s team decided to take a closer look, analyzing records from every U.S. county between 1980 and 2014.

Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live

GIF: vizhub.healthdata.org/subnational/usa

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Monday’s picture: a travel to Pasargadae, Iran [gallery]

estimated reading time: 3 min.

Once capital of the Achaemenid Empire, the city of Pasargadae was constructed under the reign of Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC). Located in ancient Persia, near the city of Shiraz, it is today one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites…

Keep reading

This is not mine. From 8ch/v/:

“Gentlemen, I have done it. I have found a way to go slower than was ever thought possible.

You may remember from a few threads ago I made a vintage cars that used all the object data on the largest map possible - “The Wheel Of Life And Death”. The slowest ride with the longest possible track. at the time time i though this was the slowest you could go but I found a way to go slower.

When a roller coaster travels along a track of constant height its speed exponentially decays towards zero but never stops

With this in mind I build a spiral track on the biggest map. The train comes out of the station and hits breaks with slow it down to 4mph. then it travels along the track, always losing speed but never stopping, until it gets to the center. where it rolls back and does the spiral again until it gets back to the station. Calculations show that it would take 210 days to finish. not in game days. real life days.

Kairos - the slow

Just for comparison. Mr. Bones takes about - 70 minutes to complete. Wheel of life - 60 hours (3600 minutes) and Kairos - 210 days (303383 minutes).”

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“Every time the TARDIS materializes in a new location, within the first nanosecond of landing, it analyses its surroundings, calculates a twelve-dimensional data map of everything within a thousand-mile radius and then determines which outer shell would blend in best with the environment…. and then it disguises itself as a police telephone box from 1963.”

URL Graphic: Tardisly 

want one?

BOTW Details: Sanctum vs Shrine of Resurrection

when you look at the castle’s sanctum VS the shrine of resurrection where link woke up, you’ll find that their designs parallel each others’.

this is a neat detail. both these tubes functionally serve the purpose for reviving/resurrecting someone – ganon in the sanctum, link in the shrine.

calamity ganon is able to regenerate his form by “hacking” into sheikah technology. so wouldn’t this mean that ganon also held the power to interrupt link’s resurrection remotely from the castle during those 100 years? it does seem to suggest that. 

but remember: zelda is more or less able to suppress his powers for this duration and this is the reason why she can’t simply leave the sanctum at any time. without her, ganon would have progressed total control of sheikah technology, potentially harming link’s resurrection in the process.  

consider the cutscenes as well… 
after you activate the first tower, calamity ganon “awakens” and is seen flying around the castle (which I interpret not as his physical form but merely as a projection). zelda warns link: the world will face its end when the beast regains its true power. why hadn’t ganon regained it earlier? why does she say this now, only after you activate the towers? 

the answer to this is simple. purah casually suggests to you that the princess and she didn’t realise earlier at the time of researching that “the ancient shrines didn’t have the energy to activate back then, and towers were still hidden underground” which was why nothing would open even when they prompted a sheikah slate over it. 

in other words. these towers = direct energy source = energy source needed for ganon to control hyrule. he corrupts the divine beasts, corrupted goo, and guardians through the proxy of sheikah technology (a type of mental manipulation). and thus, this suggests that the more towers link activates the more energy sources he makes readily available to ganon.

on a final note, this also points to why the princess’ sheikah slate is corrupted as well. I had been wondering why her camera and compendium data was erased. people might say that, “well after 100 years obviously it would go through wear and tear” but would that really explain for the corruption of its regional maps and data? sheikah technology is more enduring than that. the answer points once again to – like guardians and corrupted goo, calamity ganon is the reason for corruption of his slate.

TLDR on a scale of power it’s pretty amazing and intense to think about how much power calamity ganon actually held and how this basically affected everything in hyrule. 

Dark Souls 1: More on Quelaana’s Spawning Trigger

Over a year ago I made a post which demonstrated the known triggers for spawning Quelaana: 

http://illusorywall.tumblr.com/post/114027990034/dark-souls-1-triggering-quelaanas-appearance

The tl;dr was that:

  • She will appear if you have a +10 Pyromancy Flame or higher
  • She will appear if another player (invader or co-op summon) enters your world while in Blighttown, and they have a +10 Pyromancy Flame or higher

There was a lot of speculation about other possible triggers, but I tested a lot of different things and nothing else ever worked. This made me pretty confident that confusion over summoned/ invading phantoms having the Pyro Flame on them explained most instances where people wondered why she showed up.

But since then, reports of doing neither of the above and still being able to see Queelana have been slowly building up. A recent reddit topic pointed me in the right direction, where someone noted that while they weren’t invaded in Blighttown, they were invaded in The Depths.

Earlier testing I had done made me think that encountering phantoms outside of Blighttown wouldn’t be sufficient, because I tested that in The Burg and Anor Londo, and that didn’t work. But then I realized, maybe the Depths invasion worked because it’s near Blighttown. And as it turns out, that is correct.

To understand why that works, it’s helpful if we take a look at how neighboring areas “queue” or “pre-load”. Here’s a screenshot of me standing in the middle of New Londo Ruins:

You can see a submenu in this debug menu titled m16_00_00_00, which is the New Londo Ruins map. It contains a list of all enemy characters/models that exist in New Londo Ruins, which makes sense because I’m currently in that level. You also don’t see any other maps listed out here, you only see m16.

But what happens when you approach the beginning of New Londo Ruins, bringing you closer to the Valley of Drakes? The map data for Blighttown, m14_000_00_00, appears.

Even though these other maps aren’t fully rendered at this stage, the game is at least “acknowledging” the existence of the creatures that can load in those areas. So as it turns out, phantoms entering your game (with the sufficiently upgraded Pyro Flame) will still unlock Queelana in your game, as long as you’re in Blighttown, or near Blighttown, in one of these neighboring transition areas.

These areas include:

  • The opening area of New Londo Ruins
  • Almost the entirety of The Depths
  • The Demon Firesage boss room

So we can now add three more areas to our list of places where multiplayer activity can potentially spawn Quelaana for you. I’m hoping this ties up all the loose ends of this mysterious trigger. Unless reports still come rolling in of people still seeing her without any of the above happening, I think we’ve finally got this nailed down. I’m not expecting any additional triggers not related to the +10 Pyro Flame.

Special thanks to  certa_sprezzatura for their recent inquiry on reddit, and Liberty Prime for helping me confirm this by invading me in the above locations.