Archive for the ‘CC Lab’ Category

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sample of part 1: Comparing point of interest data from OSM and USGS


sample of part 2: Mapping non-normative features in Prospect Park

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sample of part 3: a non-euclidean map of Prospect Park


Part 1, Points of Interest, OSM vs. USGS: here

Part 2, Mapping the park from my point of view: here

Part 3, Moving beyond maps (OF): here

Final paper for project available here

We live in world inundated with maps yet we are never critical of maps, assuming that if it’s mapped it must be empirical and free from subjectivity.

Dennis Wood, The Power of Maps; “Mirror,” “window,” “objective,” “accurate,” “transparent,” “neutral”: all conspire to disguise the map as a …reproduction… of the world, disabling us from recognizing it for a social construction which, with other social constructions, brings that world into being out of the past and into our present.

This project seeks to address the following:

1. Maps have always been political in nature; the idea that maps embody interests of not only the mapmakers but also who they are serving, (developers, advertisers, etc.)

2. The unintended consequences of maps: Google Maps (web-mercator & their algorithm)

USGS criteria for what they represent on their topographic maps: 1. permanence of features, 2. cost of compiling information (aerial photography and field checking), and 3. map legibility.” (Wood)

How To Lie With Maps; “Not only is it easy to lie with maps, it’s essential…maps must tell white lies to avoid hiding critical information in a fog of detail the map must offer a selective, incomplete view of reality” (Monmonier, H2LWM)

Map Art: began in the 1920’s and was used by artists from different movements (surrealists, situationists, Fluxus, post-Minimalists) surrealist map of the world.

Wood again:

“…map artists are reclaiming the map as a discourse function for people in general. The flourishing of map art signals the imminent demise of the map as a privileged form of communication. The map is dead, long live the map!”

Counter / Critical Cartography: If maps are political why not use them for subversive purposes?
“All maps, whether institutional or counter-cartographic, embody and produce power relations” (Mogel)

Maps in the Digital Era:

Are now made from geospatial data. No data is ever completely “raw” or “objective” (Para-Empiricism, coined by Annette Kim). How do new forms of web-mapping and spatial data embody bias and subjectivity? Is new technology really allowing mapping to become more democratic or just pseudo-popular?

map 1: looking at bias in spatial data

> what does the USGS say about PP according to their criteria?

> what does OSM say about PP from their contributors?

map 2: what don’t normative maps show the reader?

>If maps are a snap shot in time how do we define permanence?

>What is deemed worthy of being mapped?

map 3: how can we make mapping more humanistic?

> is our perception of maps as objective and neutral too embedded to make them truly democratic?

> do we need something beyond the map?

using on the ground research methods to collect qualitative data (field papers, photography, video, sound)

A non-euclidean “map” of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Created using a GoPro camera mounted to my head, iMovie for video editing and Open-Frameworks for combining the video shots into one screen space. Inspired by the theory of artist and cartographer Dennis Wood and work by Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning Annette Kim (of MIT’s SLAB):


Arduino Flex Sensor Instrument

Posted: December 13, 2013 in CC Lab


Using an Arduino Uno with a speaker and flex sensor to make pitches in a simple pentatonic scale. Code here and video demo here.

CC Lab Midterm: Arduino & Node JS

Posted: December 13, 2013 in CC Lab
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This project uses an Arduino Uno with a Node JS server running locally to create an abstract visualization within the HTML5 Canvas element. The button and potentiometer on the arduino alter the the shapes being drawn on the screen. Code is available here and demo video available here

Weather Underground API improvement

Posted: October 16, 2013 in CC Lab
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I managed to write a javascript function that creates html elements for the API calls from Weather Underground. This way I don’t have to hard code an API call for each city. The function is passed an object that contains {“key” :  “value”} pairs of states (or countries) and cities,as well as parameters such as the API key, specific data to grab, and the html list element to append new list item elements to. A satellite image and various other weather data  are pulled for each location and then written to the DOM. I also got this script running locally using Node.js and Python’s SimpleHTTPServer module.  

Live example here

madlib generator

Posted: October 16, 2013 in CC Lab, Uncategorized

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Older assignment from CC Lab that creates a mad lib by selecting words stored in an array at random.

link to assignment here

Fun with the Weather Underground API

Posted: September 27, 2013 in CC Lab
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link to live example here

code on github here

For this assignment I used the Weather Underground’s API to create weather identifiers for some of my favorite cities. The API call grabs data for satellite imagery, current weather, wind, high, and low temperatures for the day. In my next iteration (unfinished) I’m looking to write the javascript code so that an object of areas and cities can be given rather than rewriting the $.ajax script 4 times.  For example an object called `geo` would have the following:

‘NY’ : ‘New_York’,
‘CA’ : ‘San_Francisco’,
‘MI’ : ‘Detroit’,
‘Germany’ : ‘Berlin’

and could be passed to a function that then generates data for all four locations, rather than hard-coding them. A further option could ask for a list of cities as user input and then generate the data.

Fun with Canvas and Javascript

Posted: September 25, 2013 in CC Lab
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For this assignment we explored the canvas element in html5 with javascript to create an interactive web page. My code incorporates two draw functions, one to create circles at random sizes and another for the lines.  JQuery maps the mouse’s position to the center of the circles and end point of the lines. while a setInterval function calls the drawing functions at a specified rate in frames per second.  The transparency effect is created using the rgba color mode where an “alpha” or opacity value can be given to the normal rgb color value.

link to live page here