This blog is a research platform organizing projects, examples, and thoughts surrounding the idea of an urban mapping which reads the city as a network of individual activities and relationships in time rather than as a static form. This research looks at the city both from within and from above as kind of urban cat-scan. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flight Tracking - a living map of sky activity in the U.S.

To follow the cabspotting post... we move above to the trajectories in the sky . Flight Aware offers realtime (almost - there is a six minutes delay) as well as departure and arrival times, progress along airplane paths, data analysis, discussion groups, pilot itineraries, route analysis, traffic graphs...

mapping of all flight movements in the U.S. during a 24-hour period

mapping of a day (from 4am until midnight) of snapshots of all the radar/radio contact air traffic in US airspace

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cabspotting - a living map using cabs and gps

In this living map the city of San Francisco is studied via the trajectories of individual cabs moving through the city. The map is created by these multiple itineraries and also analyzed by an array of artists. Social, economical and cultural tendencies of the city begin to become evident. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

A drawing that you can feel / x-ray technology transformed

A PhD candidate in Sweeden has developed a new technology which allows for the virtual touching of organs inside of a human's body while looking at the x-ray image. Haptic tecnology is used here and the computer keyboard is replaced by a "pen-like three-dimensional mouse" which turns the x-ray drawing into a drawing that can be felt.

link to article Fancy a touch of my organs, mate?

Trajects pendant un an d'une jeune fille du XVIe arrondissement

The accumulation of lines in this map captures the routine movement in one year's time of a young girl in Paris through her daily trajectories to piano lessons, home and school.

The study was done by French Urban Sociologist Paul-Henry Chombart de Lauwe in 1957 whose interest was to understand the city through the activities of the citizens. His work was meant as research for urban development decision makers.

One of his works - Paris et l'agglomeration parisienne (1952) is "a reference work, presenting at the same time snapshots of Paris and an experimentation of new methodological tools (aerial views, districts' monographs, "dynamic" cartography - that is to say making connections between different parameters - unstructured interviews, research-action, commented bibliographies, etc.)."

Another project La Decouverte Aerienne du Monde as presented in the linked blog, seems to be of an alternate approach... the mapping as done from above from an all encompassing view as opposed/ or maybe to be complementary to the internal understanding of the city via the movements and activities of individual inhabitants.

link to various books on Chombart de Lauwe and his work

Negotiations of Traffic on a Street in India


FROM BELOW (from within) absolutely crazy!

B i C i N g - BarCeloNa through the individual trajectories of movING BiCis

This is the project that I am planning for a mapping of Barcelona. For now I am simply posting a photo of the numerous trajectories start points. More later on the plan.

Urban Eyes

"URBAN EYES is a critical design concept combining RFID technology, CCTV cameras and pigeons to create a unique service for urban spaces."

link to Urban Eyes blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nokia and Google Earth - competing in the merging of GPS and Net space

Nokia has announced on Monday in Barcelona that new cell phones were designed to more closely link global positioning systems while Google Maps (their competitor) who also presented a prototype of its own Android operating system for mobile phones.

Both companies understand the importance of how people's location affects how they use Net space. However, Nokia has introduced a device (N96) which allows for videos to be shot on location and to be "geotag" - uploaded with the actual location of collected images into a website not unlike Google's YouTube. Also a new feature focused on directions specifically to pedestrians as opposed to the more common vehicular directions. There is a "walk" feature and an "accelometer" feature for detecting shift of direction. The free internet sharing service "share on Ovi" allows uploading and sharing in a variety of formats in an interactive community similar to Facebook.

According to an article on on 10/1/07, Nokia has also adquired Navteq, a mapping software allowing it to also compete with Google on mapping.

To see most recent BusinessWeek article Nokia and Goole Vie for Mobile Wed Role

Other articles on Nokia's new cell phone options and their potential mapping possibilities,2817,2259127,00.asp

More on recent developments of navigation and mapping devices

Bodily Engagement in New Media Art

Some thoughts on temporality and the body - a discussion from a course being taught at UCLA called Media Theory for the 21st Century

"Media theory is transforming the ways in which literature and art conceive textuality, do research, focus on projects, and present their results. This seminar will focus specially on New Media theory, electronic textuality, and New Media art, exploring the ways in which text, image, graphics, and design interact in digital media. It will explore the implications of media-specific analysis, asking in what ways and with what implications a media-focused approach changes traditional disciplinary practices. Among the provocative questions the seminar will entertain is whether a work has to have words to qualify as “literary,” and how text and image change when they interact together. Other issues will focus on the position of the embodied creator and user in New Media, and the ways in which digital works, as time-based media, change reading, writing, and interpretive practices."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Navigadget - a device for tracking movement

real time movement tracking device that uses GPS technology

Pictometry - an aerial imaging system

uses multiple angle photography, GIS to measure, see, orientate.

Swarming: the organization of groups in motion

In this New York Times Article "From Ants to People, an Instinct to Swarm" researchers speak about movement of groups and instinctive group organization. We humans are not the most advanced.

Monday, February 11, 2008


An animated and absorbent wall barrier designed by my design studio fieldoffice. The superABSORBER is a new proposal for highway sounds barrier which in addition to absorbing sound pollution will also absorb airborne and light pollution.

This animated diagram done using MAYA conveys the main attributes of the superABSORBER highway wall barrier system. In this project we are using video as a tool to understand the moving forces that affect the design of the wall. 

As an ever changing material, the superABSORBER is affected by the daily rhythms of traffic movement that it mediates and exploits as a cinematic experience. This video shows one of the sides that the superABSORBER interfaces – the highway and the neighborhood by the projection of light across and through its surface. The superABSORBER is enlivened by the passing light of the automobile while mitigating this potentially negative by-product of the roadway into an intimate play of light on the side of the residences.