Archived entries for maps + wayfinding

Stephen Walter on BBC4

As mentioned before on fromztoa, our favourite mapmaker Stephen Walter features on BBC4′s Maps series, episode 2 here

magazines and iPad

This video summarises the thought processes involved in re-creating a magazine in a new way. That’s as in a new way since Caxton.

As an alternative, sure, to the print edition – but this is so immersive. Here’s Jack Schulze from BERG London, elucidating on the process.

Mag+ live with Popular Science+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

By the way, it seems the 3G iPad is the one to go for… saving already for UK launch.

Catch more of Jack at the Horizonless Manhattan Project.

cloudmade and mapzen

I’ve been using OpenStreetMap for a while now, but Cloudmade and its map editor, Mapzen, are a new offering from OSM. Designed to enhance the mapping experience for more commercial users, it offers a really delightful map editor that allows you to easily create new styles from either the vanilla map or from a range of user-generated styles. Fun!

The one thing lacking in OSM – that all UK users will know about, at least – is the patchy postcode locator. For those not aware of the UK postcode system, it’s based on fairly precise house number data – and that data, although paid for by the taxpayer, is not available to the likes of OSM. The recent good news that some postcode data will be released by the government in the spring, was quickly dampened by the realisation it’s pretty widefield – Googlemaps will still be necessary for a precise street location fix, at least for the time being.

This is the style I’ve been playing with for PsyGeo Edinburgh (still too messy at the mo but sure beats customising OSM data in illustrator). And here’s a good interview (ignore the bantering hosts) with OSM founder Steve Coast.

mapzen custom style

the mathematics of place and space

I’ve just finished Michael Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy (a standard work that most arts students globally will have had to read). As a primer on the quattrocento, it does make plain a few home truths about the relationship between painter and patron; and of course makes some obvious and less-obvious points about the first stages in the post-mediaeval development of a euro-centric, figurative fine art.

What was most interesting about the book for me though was the exploration of mathematics – in terms of the financing of projects, essential; but also the underlying geometry of the picture frame that was carefully formulated to create the illusion, for the masses, of perspective/depth in the painted scenarios. As with Leonardo, the artist Piero della Francesca (who seems to be getting increasingly namechecked here at PsyGeo Towers) was pretty good at sums. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many musicians and artists have a fundamental understanding of maths – it’s why science and the arts often go together fruitfully.

So the renaissance put in place a practical as well as theoretical understanding of the underlying grid that shapes our daily reality – as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the virtual and the real – the representational and the factual – will become commonplace this decade, as Augmented Reality (hope somebody invents a better name) goes mainstream. For Psychogeographers the rebirth of perspective and overlaid meaning, via a handheld, will open up many new ways of being creative with urban space.

But we focus too much on the visual I think – sound can be a more subtle, more intimate method of creating a thinking and imaginative place. The people at soundwalk deserve attention, if you’re interested in audio (note: the site is a bit sluggish – that’s flash for you).

soundwalk.com

urban gridded notebook

This is a nice visual take on the wireframe underlying cityspace. Designed by John Briscella and the people at walking things.

||A blank notebook and sketchbook that is gridded with 127 cities from all around the world. Great for urbanists, architects, designers, artists,… everyone who enjoys urban areas. Each city pattern is completely different from the next. Begin to realize the possibilities of cities while taking notes ; redraw parts of a city unconsciously ; or map your travel in a city… The possibilities are open to create anything within the modern city grid.||

urban gridded



from Z to A is a scotland-based psychogeography and urban topography magazine featuring creative, critical, playful urban journeys

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