27 Feb

Television and Google Maps

HBO is getting into the Google Mash-up game.  As a promotional tool for the new season of The Sopranos, you can view scences from the upcoming season plotted onto a map.  How is this fictional mapping different from the story mapping that is taking place in so much digital art?  Aren’t both dissecting narrative and plotting into spatial coordinates?  In fact, the depth of experience one might comprehend in an episode of the Sopranos is perhaps greater than what one might possess in a personal story.

Link: HBO: The Sopranos: Behind the Scenes: Sopranos Maps.

26 Feb

Foundcity

This project brings together Found Magazine with Google maps.  The idea is interesting as a means of public archiving – but it seems to end at archiving.  The cultural desire to archive has seemed to have surpassed the desire to analyze or interpret.  I’d like to see projects like this that attempt to go beyond the archive and into interpretation.

Link: Foundcity.

26 Feb

The Rise of the Ephemeral City | Metropolis Magazine

Link: The Rise of the Ephemeral City | Metropolis Magazine.

Cities have always been about change. And as we plunge deeper into the millennium, we may now be witnessing the emergence of a new kind of urban place, populated largely by nonfamilies and the nomadic rich. This "ephemeral city" might become the prototype for advanced countries in the twenty-first century. San Francisco, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and parts of New York already serve as ephemeral cities. Unlike the imperial capital, which administered a vast empire and extracted riches from it, or the commercial city, which thrived by trading goods, the ephemeral city prospers by providing an alternative lifestyle to a small sector of society.

26 Feb

Virtual maps

Can’t exactly figure out how to make this "fly," but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.  Yet another way to see one’s home, one’s previous home, or various other landmark sites from a bird’s eye.  Mapping has fast become the best way to locate oneself in a virtual world.

Link: TerraFly.

21 Feb

New Urbanism in New Orleans

However, the ideas behind New Urbanism have seldom been intellectually
destroyed, with detractors preferring to sneer at the clichéd attempt
at Classicism (or Romanticism). The two other famous exemplars of New
Urbanism are Seaside in Florida, built 25 years ago (best known in
Britain as the picket-fenced setting for ‘The Truman Show’); and
Celebration, the town completed 10 years ago as Disney’s wholesome
urban paradise. (Celebration, incidentally was built on swampland). New
Urbanism primarily advocates close-knit communities based on
‘neighbourhoods [that are] compact, pedestrian-friendly, and mixed-use
[which] bring diverse ages, races, and incomes into daily interaction,
strengthening the personal and civic bonds essential to an authentic
community.’ (8) They decry suburbia, car-prioritisation and
sprawl.Today, in the particular setting of New Orleans, progressive
architects are refusing to engage, deeming ‘progress’ to be part of the
problem rather than the solution. Consequently, the more romantic
vision of community design emanating from the New Urbanists is in the
ascendant. And they are keen to make the most of their time in the
limelight.

Link: spiked-essays | Essay | New Orleans and the New Urban vision.

12 Feb

L.A.’s future is up in the air – Los Angeles Times

Ray Bradbury on the climate specific transportation imperative of Los Angeles.

Forty years have passed, and more than ever we need an open discussion
of our future. If we examine the history of subways, we will find how
tremendously expensive and destructive they are.

They are, first of all, meant for cold climates such as Toronto,
New York, London, Paris, Moscow and Tokyo. But L.A. is a Mediterranean
area; our weather is sublime, and people are accustomed to traveling in
the open air and enjoying the sunshine, not in closed cars under the
ground.

Link: L.A.’s future is up in the air – Los Angeles Times.