Wednesday, 30 December 2009

24 Hours Palma de Mallorca

TimeLapse really makes sense to shorten a timespan and squeeze a lot of time into a short while. Well, everyone tried to do it all the time and multitasking is on e way of archiving something similar.
TimeLapse photography has something relaxing, partly because one can enjoy a few moments knowing you get only ‘the best of’. With this example you get the best of a popular holiday destination over one day in just 03:25, if this is no selling point.

Palma de Mallorca's Bay, a 24 hour Timelapse from Franklin Tello on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

GigaPan - Winter Park

I am testing some new gear, a GigaPan set to use for automated, very detailed panorama shots. I have done a few test over Christmas and it works really well and delivers impressive results. Even though the apparatus looks complicated the setup is straight forward. However the thing drains it batteries very quickly and because it is so cold at the moment I can only about do ten panoramas with one load of AA batteries.
It is a lot of fun and the detail of the images are great, the downside really is that one image is just too big and all the raw data eats up so much space on the hard drive.

Image by urbanTick

Monday, 28 December 2009

News Map

At the moment as long as you map something your on the top. Mapping is not only very much 2009 but also 2008 and probably 2007. However, mapping is no longer only to be understood in a very simple physical geography sense, but can be applied to any field really. It is extensively found in medicine and as far as literature.
One very interesting application of mapping can be found in the visualisation of news. There is very little as boring as browsing the news to find something you are interested in. For me it is either the headline I want to read or I don’t want to read it. I am lazy, am I? Partially it is probably also the news industry that trained consumers to go for the bold headlines and this now bites back. There is simply too much information out there, especially on the internet. Look at Google News, probably the most pragmatic way to present news. TV stations or news paper web sites usually take a more sophisticated approach to sort and resent the content. However they also have to sell ‘a product’, where Google only drags together headlines. Because of the wast amount it is about organising and making the interesting bits and pieces easily accessible for completely different tastes and interests.
The question really is, how do you do this. Mapping might be a good start.

Image by urbanTick - screenshot of the website in full screen mode (click on the image for the real dynamic version)

The project uses a treemap visualisation algorithm to display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualisations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognisable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.
The newsMap creators website can be found HERE, there is also a project bog.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

TimeLapse - Back and White

I haven’t consciously seen this before and it blew me away, a timeLapse in black and white. How beautiful is this! I love it and this is already reason enough to post it. However it gets even better and with the sunrise the colour fade in and the scene develops a different character.

Timelapse from Andre Merilo on Vimeo.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Tracking Santa

It is a really busy season for Santa Clause as he has to bring presents and surprises to children all over the world in only a couple of days. Its is every year the same rush, but luckily he’s got his little helpers. Together they spend all year long preparing for the mad trip to dispatch all the goods. However these days the big trip can be followed on line, Santa is tracked by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).
Check out the website where you can see him at different locations all over the world going about his business, mainly flying his sledge. There is little detail on how he actually slides down this chimney...

Image taken from - screenshot, map showing Santa’s stopovers.

There is also some detailed instructions on how to use the site in this slideshow.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Tracking the Void in Amsterdam

A tracking project based in amsterdam has produces a really nice visualisation of the GPS log data. A couple of people tracking themselves on their daily commutes presumably with a igotU GPS device.
The visualisation is done in processing.
It is amazing how quickly the structure of Amsterdam becomes visible. Compared to the London UrbanDiary map here in Amsterdam a much clearer urban structure shows. This is probably down to a number of factors, for example the urban morphology is fundamentally different between Amsterdam and London and the mode of transport is probably similarly different. A lot more bicycle transport, which makes for a more divers picture, than by using public transport or even traveling underground with the tube.
But because of this is makes for a really nice visual comparison between the two.

Tracks in the void from Steven M. Ottens on Vimeo.

Tracking the Void in Amsterdam

A tracking project based in amsterdam has produced a really nice visualisation of the GPS log data. A couple of people tracking themselves on their daily commutes presumably with a igotU GPS device.
The visualisation is done in processing.
It is amazing how quickly the structure of Amsterdam becomes visible. Compared to the London UrbanDiary map here in Amsterdam a much clearer urban structure shows. This is probably down to a number of factors, for example the urban morphology is fundamentally different between Amsterdam and London and the mode of transport is probably similarly different. A lot more bicycle transport, which makes for a more divers picture, than by using public transport or even traveling underground with the tube.
But because of this is makes for a really nice visual comparison between the two.

Tracks in the void from Steven M. Ottens on Vimeo.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Dusk to Night

Nice timeLapse merging the changes of light.

Timelapse test 9 - Dusk to night transition from Andrei Zdetovetchi on Vimeo.

Friday, 18 December 2009

The View From the Road

Kevin Lynch’s book ‘The view from the Road’ is on one hand a really interesting and straight forward investigation on how to describe and classify aspects of the city from a particular viewpoint. On the other hand it is also a beautiful narrative engaging with the subject. Aspects of mobility are important in the preliminary conception of urban narrative as a succession. Graham Shane points out that Foucault identified the ship as the heterotopia par excellence mainly because of its quality of mobility and time (Shane 2005, p.252). Shane introduces the narrative as: “Because of the increasing speed of travel and communications, the Picturesque landscape entered into the narrative of the journey and city”. A series of projects and investigations fit into this approach of the narrative. For one, this is John Brinckerhoff Jackson with ‘The stranger’s path’ (2000) where he describes the town from the perspective of an arriving stranger (male) and how the town is read as a sequence of elements resulting in a aggregated narrative. There is also, in the light of Brinckerhoff Jackson, the Venturi and Scott Brown investigation of a similar object, but from the perspective from behind the wheel of a car. The same is true of Kevin Lynch’s narrative in ‘The view from the road’ (Appleyard, Lynch. 1964). They all document the scenography and choreography of movement and flows within the city or town but also beyond and into the landscape. This to some extent could be called the narrative of the machine, in reference to the urbanMachine and the functional city.

Image by Kevin Lynch, Donald Appleyard, - The View from the Road, detail -taken from

timeLapse of a road trip through Toronto

Toronto drive time-lapse from Adam @ Unit3 on Vimeo.

Appleyard, D., Lynch, K. & Myer, J.R., 1964. The View from the Road, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press for the Joint Center for Urban Studies of M.I.T. and Harvard University.

Jackson, J.B., 2000. The Stranger's Path. In Landscape in Sight. London: Yale University Press.

Shane, D.G., 2005. Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modelling in Architecture, Urban Design and City Theory, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Traveling Means Sunshine in my Guitar Case

A great movie made from timeLapse sequences by Christoph Schaarschmidt. It was produced for the Travelshooter Short-Film-Contest in southern Spain. The equipment “shot this video in Gibraltar, Granada, Ronda, Olvera, Salobrena and Setenil with canon 50d and used Sigma DC 18-200mm 1:3,5-6,3 and Sigma APO DG 70-300mm 1:4-5,6 Macro”.
Great work - enjoy!

travelling means sunshine in my guitar case from Christoph Schaarschmidt on Vimeo.

Memory - TimeScapes

Memory has a lot to do with repetition. It is a lot easier to remember something if it is a repetitive element that fits whit in a chain of elements. The memory then can be constructed from bits of information along the chain, but without knowing all the exact detail of one element. This applies to actions that become routines because they have been repeated a great number of times in a relative short period of time but this also applies to larger or over a longer period of time stretching events. E.g. memorials or remembering days.
Longer time periods are very difficult for the human brain to structure. We quickly loose orientation and mix up events. Sequencing is here very helpful. To have a string type of aid to line up the events can keep the orientation. This is where the concept of the calendar comes in as a narrating tool to structure events in the past but also in the future. It provides the framework to organise on the basis of time.
However, there are other sources that can be used to aid orientation. For example photographs can be used as memory triggers. A photograph is much more than simply a flat image. Multiple layers are attached to it, including spatial, social and also temporal aspects. This is obviously related to events of the past, but the human brain is able to use these experiences to also project possible events in the future. For example a photograph of last years Christmas Party, triggers memories of this years party and raises expectations for next years big Christmas bash. This conception raises the question to what extend memory is linear and it could be argued, that remembering is not linear at all, but mainly a construction, usually along similar characteristics.
Nevertheless the overarching, accurate calendar system has completely penetrated our everyday life. Everything lines up with this framework and to a large extend our pocket diary is the only point of reference regarding temporal aspects of life. Of course nowadays it is most likely no longer a physical, paper version but rather some sort of software piece on one or all the gadgets in your bag. For a long time these softwares have simply imitated the paper version and only recently they start to develop individual characteristics and possibilities. Take for example where events and objects are represented on a horizontal timeline. It will integrate with a lot of different media. not only does it contain text based notes with an assigned time but video, image, links and so on. You can even link a large variety of other sources of activity to it. This can be twitter, facebook, youtube, vimeo, flicker or any RSS source. This is pretty cool and I obviously fell in love with it immediately. Similar service offer friendFeed, daytum or
But it doesn’t stop here. Location is very 2009 and everything has to be tagged with at least a location. dipity is actually quite cleaver and tries automatically to identify the location of events and gets it pretty precise. Regarding location based memory you get a number of additional services such as brightkite but also twitter for example does include latLong now.
There is a large palette of accessible apps for everyone to store memories live and build up a pile of bites referring to your life.

Image by urbanTick - screenshot dipity

The University of Leeds runs a large scale project to collect memories and store them and make the accessible to researchers. The project is run by the School of Sociology and Social Policy under the title TimeScapes. It runs in connection with the BBC where you can find a dedicated page. Leeds runs a series of workshops and conferences on the topic. It seems that the main challenge is not to actually find the memory, rep. the participants to share the memory, but to store it. It requires a multimedia database and this is tricky and becomes even more difficult if it is opened to eternal researchers for data processing.
On the BBC website the memories are strictly presented along an overarching time axis. This seems very rigid and for a start excludes any of the non linear narratives between narratives discussed in the beginning.

Image by UrbanTick - screenshot MemoryShare

However, the obvious problem is how to combine multiple individuals’ memory in a nonlinear fashion. One way is the traditional concept of the calendar as discussed above and as the BBC uses it for the timeScape. Another option could be the locative data, this also provides a shared point of reference. A really interesting project here is the, a web based memory project covering the New York area. Here the numerous memories are linked through the use of the map.

Image by urbanTick - screenshot cityofmemory

>Aldo Rossi “the museum of pain” in “What is to be done with the old cities?“ in Architectural Design no 55, 1989, p 19

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Google Street View TimeLapse

Driving around Paris from you comfy chair is obviously possible nowadays using Google Street View. You can zoom along the road.
Video by, music Phoenix - Liztomania

Google Street View challenge /2009 from CorentinZ on Vimeo.

Mental Maps on Google

Google has put online a set of maps containing local knowledge. Basically it represents pieces of local peoples mental map by locating their favourite spots and share it with the world. They can be accessed at Google Favorite Places.
Vancouver is the first Canadian city to go online and ten local experts share their most important places as the Google Blog reports.
Bif Naked (map) - rock singer-songwriter, breast-cancer survivor, Gordon Campbell (map) - Premier of British Columbia, Kit Pearson (map) - children's book writer, Governor General's Award winner, Monte Clark (map) - owner of Monte Clark Gallery, Rebecca Bollwitt (map) - Vancouver's Best Blogger & Top Twitter User for, Rob Feenie (map) - Food Concept Architect for Cactus Restaurants, Iron Chef champion, Ross Rebagliati (map) - Olympic Gold Medallist, snowboarding, Simon Whitfield (map) - Olympic Gold & Silver Medallist, David Eaves - public policy entrepreneur, open government specialist (map), triathlon (list taken from
But you also get other famous peoples favourite locations, as for example Al Gore’s spots or Tony Hawk’s most liked places. All in all this could start building up a personal world view through favourite spots. However at the same time it also points out the limitation of the Google Maps interface and especially the graphics. THe way locations get tagged and how information is embedded really is not intuitive.

View Ross Rebagliati's Favorite Places in a larger map

Found through wiseristhepath

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Indoor Tracking

Tracking movement of individuals in the urban environment is one of the elements of the UrbanDiary project run by urbanTick. However we re here interested in any sort of tracking and this ranges from tracking animals to climate change and planets. For the UD project GPS technology is used and this works fine. However it would not work indoors and as one of the first participants quickly pointed out, we actually spend quite a lot of time indoors. Take a normal working day and your likely to spend a bout three hours commuting an the rest your indoors, office, shop, restaurant or church.
At the same time however, you’re not likely to move very far inside. From the desk to the coffee machine or the printer and maybe from one floor to another. Nevertheless it can be quite a lot of movement over the day, depending on the job and the task.
So indoor tracking might be of some interest. And it actually exists as a commercial branch. It is of special interest to commercial and retail operators, like shopping malls for example. We featured a product HERE, that was based on mobile phone signals.
However the company timeDomain offers a range of products offering a similar tracking service. TD provides tag based tracking products, but also tracking without tags. This tag-less product is demonstrated in a video HERE and it seems to work stunningly well, even with a number of subjects in the same perimeter. Tag based products can be used in a number of settings and are mainly promoted for retail. Here trolleys or even individual goods, such as cloths can be tagged. Flash demo HERE, and a video demo HERE.

Image by timeDomain - illustrating usage of the Plus

POPFest - Call for Papers

POPFest needs you, POPFest needs your paper! This years POPFest has now put out a call for papers. Already the new website is worth a visit and you will get the paper details details HERE as well as submission guidelines HERE.
POPFest, in case you haven’t heard of it before, is the annual Population Studies Conference for postgraduate students. It says on the website: “It is open to postgraduates from all disciplines studying any aspect of population and demography and provides a supportive and stimulating environment for students to meet, present their work and exchange ideas.”
The conference is organised by postgraduates for postgraduates and this year it will be hosted by the University of St. Andrews together with the University of Dundee. It will be over three days from 28th to the 30th of June 2010.
I did attend this years POPFest at LSE in London and presented the paper ‘The Spatial Extension of Everydaylife’. It is a great experience for me and a very supportive context. Oral presentations will be 15 minutes long with 5 minutes for questions. There is usually also a session with posters.
However important here; #POPFest now also is on twitter! The only way to get them to actually twit is by subscribing numerous, click @HERE.

Image by POPFest - sorry no better graphic available.... I’ll ask Tom - Toooooooommmm where is the nice graphic?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Ambient Life

If live would be as smooth as this clip is in design terms coherent, would it still be fun. Nevertheless this is great stuff.

Freeband - The Ambient Life from The QBF on Vimeo.

Found through Digitale Schweinshaxe

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Origine of Mass

Space and the creation of, has occupied lately a lot of space on the blog. For the approaching weekend a fascinating clip that throws up an extended question ‘the origin of mass’ after the Higgs Boson particle which is expected to provide a scientific foundation for the origin of mass in the universe. For it find this clip really suitable. For not to say I love it.
Aleksandar Rodic created the clip for his animation class at Savannah College of Art and Design.

The Origin of Mass from Aleksandar Rodic on Vimeo.

Walking Through Time - iPhone App

The rise of location information brought us knowledge of where we are ad beyond. Today you’re not only told were you are but also what is around you, how it looks like, how far it is and in which direction. Almost assuming that you are not actually there. This is usually also the selling point. If you can’t find it for example or your still too far away this will give you guidance. However it also demands in-depth engagement of the end user. This is probably the point where all these services have trouble penetrating the everyday.
However, it is still fascinating and if you are into mapping and interested in what happens around you sooner or later aspects of time will start bothering you. Most of the apps feeding your ‘location awareness’ are actually static. They relate to one point in time or assume a permanence.
This is now being addressed with a number of emerging apps, including augmented reality like layar. But also in the area of the actual map information there is a rising wealth of information regarding past location information as in the form of old aerial photos or historic maps. Google has introduced the timeline feature in Google Earth earlier this year with the version 5.0, where you have the ability to access old aerial photos used since the launch of the Google Earth service in 2005. Now it has also swapped to the mobile market and apps for the iPhone are available. On this blog earlier featured the great app Historic Earth which has a huge database of old digital maps from the mother company Historic Map Works. Now the Edinburgh College of Art has developed a new web based mapping service called ‘Walking Through Time’ that is also available for mobile gadgets, such as the android and the iPhone. It looks really promising, with the developers saying: “...our user group is interested in walking through real space whilst following a map from 200 years ago (for example) and being able to tag and attach links to the map that offer historical and contextual information”. Tagging and linking? that is something we are interested, sounds great!
See teaser below.

found via digitalUrban

Thursday, 10 December 2009

UrbanDiary Working Paper

The UrbanDiary working paper has just been published on the CASA publication page. It is a write up of the GPS tracking study undertaken during 2009 with twenty participants. Each one was tracked for a period of two month. The paper outlines the methodology the concepts, such as mental maps and also examines technical aspects of GPS. A main focus is on the aspect of visualisation of this kind of temporal data.
Thanks for supporting this project go to Garmin for supplying the Forerunner 405’s and especially all the participants of the study.
Details on urbanTick can be found on this blog/urbanDiary or on the UrbanDiary facebook page - become a fan!
Now to the content of the paper, abstract: “This working paper investigates aspects of time in an urban environment, specifically the cycles and routines of everyday life in the city. As part of the UrbanDiary project (, we explore a preliminary study to trace citizen’s spatial habits in individual movement utilising GPS devices with the aim of capturing the beat and rhythm of the city. The data collected includes time and location, to visualise individual activity, along with a series of personal statements on how individuals “use” and experience the city. In this paper, the intent is to explore the context of the UrbanDiary project as well as examine the methodology and technical aspects of tracking with a focus on the comparison of different visualisation techniques. We conclude with a visualisation of the collected data, specifically where the aspect of time is developed and explored so that we might outline a new approach to visualising the city in the sense of a collective, constantly renewed space. “
The actual paper can be downloaded from HERE and detailed information are on the CASA publication page.

Image by CASA - working paper 151 cover (part)

Obama's Speeches - Visual Comparison

While living in the era of knowledge the visualisation of content has become ever so important. At least this is what current trends suggest. At the same time incredible and powerful tools are available to do so and synthesis new knowledge as a result. The spiral is turning fast especially in the field of digital or web based knowledge. However there are a few people out there that produces very high quality syntheses with intriguing visualisations. One of my favorit is BLPRNT.
Only recently BLPRNT has put online the visual comparison between two speeches by President Obama on the same topic. One speech was given in July 2009 in Cairo and the second one in Tokyo, during Obama’s far east trip in November 2009. It is all produced using processing 1.0 an open source tool. The project featured in an article on cluster.
It works on the basis of word comparison. The word in the centre is shared by both texts, the size of each word shows how often it is used and text snippets show the context of words or word groups.

Image by BLPRNT taken from cluster, more can be found on BLPRNT’s flickr page.

BLPRNT has earlier developed the tool to compare two texts on a different subject. For this project a clip demonstrate how the software works.

Two Sides of the Same Story: Laskas & Gladwell on CTE & the NFL from blprnt on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Book - Architecture and Narrative

Stories are part of the human identity and allow to deal with the aspects of time other than the immediate present. It provides a tool to communicate, express or invent activities beyond the here and now. This activity is directly linked with the construction of memory and ultimately leads to the creation of identity. The most common use of the story is probably the report or oral transported information, very much in the sense of tales, fables and myths. However in every field of our everyday life the narrative plays an integrated role. The same is true for science and practice. For a very long time and probably still is, the narrative is associated with an anti objective view and therefore needs to be overcome. Nevertheless a lot of fields have silently made great use of stories and the power to create stories. The media for example relies heavily on it. In this context, architecture might not be the most obvious field to also relay on stories. But it actually does and has always done, even in the context of modernist doctrines of absolute objectivity. Recently the topic has become more fashionably again and the narrative emerges as a new term to describe processes and creations. Probably the rise of methods, such as system theory and network theory, the story as a transformer of the process managed to gain importance again.
The new book ‘Architecture and Narrative’ by Sophia Psarra published by Routledge in 2009 is here trying to provide a conceptual foundation to the idea of the story in architecture. To do so, it heavily relays on built examples, who are examined and during the process a logical argumentation is developed to illustrate the viewpoint of the narrative in spatial arrangements. The book is structured in four parts and can be geographically be described as a journey from Greece to the United States with a stop over in England. Those locations coincide with the authors career. The examples then line up the Parthenon and the Erechtherion, the Barcelona Pavilion, the Sir John Soane Museum, the Natural History Museum London, ending with the MoMa in New York. However it not only relies on built examples, part two is examining examples in literature.
The idea of the book is described by the publisher as: “Looking at how meaning is constructed in buildings and how it is communicated to the viewer, this intriguing study will be of interest to anyone concerned with architecture and culture; from architects to museum specialists and exhibition designers.”

Image by urbanTIck - Book front cover

The examples are examined in detail, piece by piece or by section of the narrative and then sequentially pieced back together. The examination covers a number of different areas a techniques. It does not relay solely on for example theory or literature on the subject. The argumentation is mainly constructed along spatial observations which makes the discussion interesting. For spatial investigations Psarra’s past association with Space Syntax shies through. The explanations as well as the illustrations relay heavily on concepts developed in the context of Space Syntax, such as the concept of the room connection description (was discussed on this blog HERE) or the concept of axial views. It does make sense in the context of the book, however it also creates paradox situations, as for example with the concept of reflexion in Sir John Soane’s Museum.
Nevertheless, I have read the book with a constant mental nod and a growing satisfaction. It provides a beautiful collection of examples together with structures or narrated examinations and release the reader with a ‘I wana go out and do my own observations on narrative now“ feeling. What more can you demand?
Image by urbanTick - analysis drawings of a series of viewpoints inside the Sir John Soane Museum

Psarra, S., 2009. Architecture and Narrative: The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning, Abingdon: Routledge.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Fisheye by Beat

A timeLapse that makes use of the fisheye lens. I have to say I really like the lens after having seen this clip. Even though it is ‘just a test’ as the author calls it, it is pretty good. I believe the sound plays an important role too, Bushido by The Others.

Downtown Tulsa Timelapse Winter '09 / Canon EOS 7D from Dustin Kukuk on Vimeo.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Book - Empty LA - the Scary Urban

One of the main characteristics of the urban environment is the buzz. It is always busy and full of activity rendering any of your own actions anonymous. This is at the same time part of the attraction as a well as the disguise people feel towards the city. There i no escape from the urbanMachine. And right because this atmosphere is so familiar alterations to it usually create quite an impression. We have seen in it movies such as ‘28 days later’ or ‘I am legend’ where the urban area is emptied and single individuals stumble around in search for contact and survival. This works so beautifully because such a situation seems impossible without a major change as our experience tells us that because of the density of activity and the complexity of interrelated cycles it is impossible to hit a moment of silence and calmness in the buzzing city.
These moments are exactly what the photographer Matt Logue managed to capture. Los Angeles as it sleeps, Los Angeles as it is evacuated, Los Angeles at rest, Los Angeles at peace. The astonishing thing is that he managed to capture empty scenes not in close ups and parts, but in long distant shots and overviews. The scary bit are not the missing people, but the indication that activity could happen that doesn’t, like the traffic light that is still on, waiting for a car to come, or the empty swing on the playground, waiting for children to use it.
Matt has worked on this project he calls ‘empty L.A.’ for four years and has no published the result in a book with the same name. A tip for those who are interested, keep clicking on the main image on the book website and it will reveal loads of shots, even though some of them repeat. You can buy it and also get a good preview of the book on Blurb HERE.

Image by Matt Longue

Image by Matt Longue

Friday, 4 December 2009

Body and the Creation of Space

I have been talking a lot recently about the creation of space as a synthesis of body and body movement. The idea is directly linked to observations or better visualisation method used for the UrbanDiary data.
The track log is simply points with a lat/long coordinate and a time stamp. However it can be assumes that around this location up to certain distance, depending on physical objects, the environment is experienced. Regarding the sequencing along the clock time information, these experience multiply and over time create a spatial corridor.
Purely by thinking of the body as a physical object moving you can imagine the same creation of ‘space’. This idea heavily draws on the use of memory, of the fading ‘space’ and the imagination of possible ‘spaces’.
To illustrate this idea of choreographed movement here is a series of dance moves that create the space along a clearly defined stepping sequence.
Image taken from - T'ai-chi footwork

The instruction to Thriller - taken from Nada Mas

For the Thriller instruction here is the original for more facial expression! check it out.

Thriller from Mauro Firmo on Vimeo.

If you have noting to do over the weekend here is the step by step youtube instruction.

Urban Abstract

Simply because it is such a nice clip. There is a lot more to be found on if one clip is not enough. It is created by Art Director Jopsu Ramu from Musuta Ltd. together with Shun Kawakami from artless Inc. The urbanAbstract project is a collection of forty 5 second clips that explore the urban environment in one, two and three dimension. Together it makes this 200 second clip, enjoy.

Urban Abstract from Musuta on Vimeo.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Space - The Description Of

The representation of space is obviously a very big topic and especially with the UrbanDiary project visualisations I am always struggling with the ‘right’ way. So looking in to examples is very helpful.
I would like to come back to the ‘Space is the Machine’ example was posted HERE. It would just not go out of my mind. Essentially Hillier describes here the basic structure of the SpaceSyntax approach. Simply explained the way it works is that it describes the way a person would ‘normally’ navigate the space. Meaning that to go from one room to the other you would use the door to get there. However this is a very much physical description of space. As argued in the earlier post it is a space concept of the physical setting of built walls and floor slabs, the architects space, the boxSpace concept. Meaning that space is everything between walls where you can arrange objects, including yourself.
The approach explored with the UrbanDiary project however, is arguing that space might not exist per se, but is a resulting product of the presence of the human body together with the memory of previous experiences and projected possibilities.
If we are in one room, which might be the kitchen, we still now that next door, behind the wall, is the bathroom. We even now how the bathroom looks like and how it is organised all in relation to the current position in the kitchen. In fact this combination effort is something young children have to learn. It can be observed that babies don’t have a spatial concept and as soon as objects disappear from the filed of view they are non existent. However as children grow older a sense of space develops and they start searching for things that disappear. Then comes the point when they realise that behind the wall is something else, maybe while playing a game knocking on the separating wall from both sides. The child suddenly can connect a map of experiences with locations and ‘knows’ that behind the wall is actually another ‘known’ room, the bathroom. With this combination effort we overcome the physical-access-concept.
This synthesis is probably the mental map.
It is true that we might still use the door to go from the kitchen to the bathroom and in a physical way it makes no difference. However it rises the question of the space description as there is a need to include more ways space is processed than simply the physical aspects. Therefore it can be argued that the mental map plays an important part of this conception which is otherwise a simplification.spaceDiagramms00.UlpwgWjAXP8J.jpg
Images by urbanTick - London terrace house with rooms and room connections. Black dots after spaceSyntax and grey with mental connections.

Memories of Summer at Small Scale

It is cold and wet and ... winter in London. Besides the christmas lights there is not many things shining bright. However we still have our memories of the past beautiful autumn and summer period, of warm days with sunshine. If you don’t quite remember here is a refresher, a beautiful small world toy version by Christoph Schaarschmidt.

Small Life in Spain from Christoph Schaarschmidt on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Upgrade Seminar - Presentation

I will be giving my upgrade presentation today in the form of a CASA seminar. It is under the title: “UrbanDiary - The Spatial Narrative of Everyday Life or the construction of time and space in the city”.
The abstract: This PhD research project focuses on cycles and rhythms in the urban environment. Cycles such as day and night or the rush-hour - there are a number of repetitive patterns occurring in the city.
These patterns are the result of spatial and social organisation methods, but they are involved in the organisation of the city as a system.
The hypothesis is that these rhythms stand in a direct relationship to the urban morphology.
The presentation of posted here is now updated.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

UrbanDiary on Layar

Layar featured on the blog before and now I have been playing around with the augmented reality platform to use for the visualisation of the urbanDiary data. I have now created an UrbanDiary layer show track points that are already in the database.
For now this is only a test with and it is not yet available as a public layer. The POI’s it displays are all GPS track points collected by participants of the UrbanDiary project. So each dot means someone passed by here earlier.
I am however not quite convinced with the layar platform visually, as I have expressed in previous post. As a first test to visualise the collected data it serves very well. I am actually thinking about it as an extension to the time-space aquarium.
However this is of course only a first stab at it and a lot of information is not yet included. I tried to have a go at the aspect of time. Each point, after it has properly loaded, displays a visual time indication on the bottom right as a waxing or waning crescent. This gives an idea of the time this particular point was recorded. I choose to do this as for now layar does not allow for individual icons. There is only a set of three icons currently available.

Image by urbanTick for UrbanDiary - waxing and waining crescent indicating the time of the day.

And here is the video to see it in action.