Honored to be able to contribute several illustrations to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative book and excited to share them on my blog.
Click for sources Continue reading
Days from the printer’s deadline for completing the exhibit and everything is coming together with the help of Jonathan Linkus and our great closing team of research assistants (Jane, Ernesto, & Kevin).
One change worth noting is is the public reception has been shifted to Tuesday, December 3rd, 9am-11am!
Fires across the United States, and their relative intensity, from 2001 through July 9, 2012.
CREDIT: John Nelson, IDV Solutions.
The data, provided by two NASA satellites, were “about two mouse clicks away,” said John Nelson, the map’s maker, and the user experience and mapping manager for IDV Solutions, a Lansing, Mich., data-visualization company.
Nelson also created a map of 100 years of earthquakes:
and Earthquake Map
As 56% of the lower 48 are in a drought, we have an epic heatwave!
This image released on July 3, 2012, shows the average maximum temperature forecast from July 3-7. Black signifies a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, bright orange signifies 109 F.
CREDIT: NOAA National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center [I can’t find the original, just this attribution..]
The silver lining of the drought this year is the potentially smaller Gulf Dead Zone due to reduced runoff laden excess fertilizer with from the corn belt. (via grist.com)
Also spotted on:
The Chronicle for Higher Education looks at Ecological Urbanism from a weird perspective, and written by Jon Christensen, who recently appeared at the Now Urbanism project at the University of Washington (which gets mentioned at the end of the article).
[W]e ought to be teaching a new generation of students how to balance multiple objectives to increase sustainability from the city core out to the wilderness, along what Andrés Duany calls “the transect.” All along this transect, trade-offs must be made between people and nature. But in our own canvas of urban-planning programs at American universities, we found relatively few programs that offer an explicit and sustained focus on ecology and conservation science. And few programs in ecology and conservation offer any in-depth exposure to urban planning. Integrated programs that teach students both urban and conservation-planning principles will be key to overcoming this deficiency. Moreover, other disciplines should be brought into this vital conversation.
Guess they didn’t bother asking me about what I’m doing at Cal Poly Pomona, or my former colleagues at the University of Minnesota… [But I do take exception for the empty shout-out to Duany – he certainly isn’t the only person with an idea of how cities meld into the rural landscape.]
An educator named James Drake obtained over 350 full-resolution photos from the NTs OMZ (Russian Research Center for Earth Operative Monitoring), and used them to make several videos showcasing a day in the life of Earth. The satellite takes a full image of Earth from its stationary point over 35,000 kilometers above the Indian Ocean every 30 minutes, providing the material for the video below. The images have a resolution of one kilometer per pixel, and the one you see above was taken on May 14, 2011
Hint.FM (Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg) created a seductive visualization of wind flows for the US. Click the image for a real-time animation and links to the past few weeks of weather patterns. (via Lian)
Equally beguiling is David Wicks’ Drawing Water, which documents precipitation with the water transfers to urban users.
These maps remind me of ocean current visualization that I saw few months back created by JPL and MIT.
The NYtimes reports on how human noise is overwhelming natural sounds in the remotest places and the effort to document the baseline quiet of natural sounds before they are lost in the mechanical cacophony. The quest to map the quiet zones of the planet have been going on for the past decades and there was a recent special edition of Landscape Ecology dedicated to soundscape ecology.
From the NYTime’s article:
[Davyd] Betchkal’s stations capture exactly what we would hear if we could stand invisibly in the wilderness for a month. The recordings can reveal the sonic relationships that play out in our absence — and help us to modify our acoustic footprint. But our understanding of sound will always be limited by our perception of it. We will never experience the ultrasonic cries of insects, lizards or bats without distorting them.
…since 2006, when scientists at Denali began a decade-long effort to collect a month’s worth of acoustic data from more than 60 sites across the park — including a 14,000-foot-high spot on Mount McKinley — Betchkal and his colleagues have recorded only 36 complete days in which the sounds of an internal combustion engine of some sort were absent. Planes are the most common source. Once, in the course of 24 hours, a single recording station captured the buzzing of 78 low-altitude props — the kind used for sightseeing tours; other areas have logged daily averages as high as one sky- or street-traffic sound every 17 minutes. The loudest stretch of the year is summer, when hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Denali, embarking on helicopter or fixed-wing rides. Snowmobiles are popular with locals, and noise from the highway, the park road and daily passenger trains can travel for miles. That sort of human din, studies are beginning to suggest, is imperiling habitat — in Denali as well as wilderness areas around the world — as surely as a bulldozer or oil spill.
At the Grand Canyon (which is briefly mentioned in the NYT article), flight restrictions are now in place to preserve a modicum of tranquility without the buzzing of helicopters and planes over the entire canyon.
From the Energy, Infrastructure and Development Lab at Columbia University
Data Source: Spatial distribution of urban building energy consumption by end use
B. Howard, L. Parshall, J. Thompson, S. Hammer, J. Dickinson, V. Modi
A description of their methodology is here.
SUBLIME (adj): Of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe.
INFRASTRUCTURE (n): 1. An underlying base or foundation especially for an organization or system.
ECO-TECHNICAL SYSTEMS (n): ‘…an unprecedented amalgam of biology and technology… Urban eco-technical systems differ profoundly from nature’s ecosystems in that they are essentially linear systems. They transcend local ecological boundaries by importing ecological services from elsewhere, using nature as a source of materials as well as a sink for their wastes.” – Herbert Girardet
MAPPING (v): The act defining the spatial/temporal relationships between different places and systems.
INDEXING (v): The graphic spatial depiction of a system’s (or phenomena’s) influence on a place.
Each team is to create at least 3 distinct maps or indexes drawn to scale that exploring the political, cultural, spatial, ecological, temporal, or technical fabric of the Valley and their connections to larger systems. At least one of the maps must explore the temporal development of a system or place, and another must look at ecological systems.
Documents the site and systems around the site, edited together with animation of the maps produced in Project 1 and historic documents. Video 1 will provide a narrative about place that hints at the sublime. The readings are expected to inform the content of the video.
(Student generated videos next) Continue reading
I have to say that without a doubt, this is the most complex network that I have yet attempted. Not only are there far more numbered routes than in the Interstate system, but there are also historical extensions and branches of many routes to consider. In some cases, numbers that were used once were reused in different parts of the country (see U.S. 48, which has been used for three completely separate roads!). I have attempted to show these historical roads as thinner route lines “behind” the main network, including the most famous U.S. highway of all – Route 66, which gets special treatment, being solid black in colour.
Perhaps the most devastating impact of climate change to most American cities are water related. Yes, there is likely to be both increased flooding and droughts as precipitation events become more intense and sporadic. Without water (and with too much) our cities will wither.