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A La Carte: Paula Scher's American Maps
Chart More Than Just Territory
Paula Scher's paintings of maps, currently on display at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York, double as complex infographics that visualise a number of different topics. Pictured: US Geography and Climate, 2014
By day, Paula Scher is a partner at the top New York design firm Pentagram, where she not only created the logo for Citibank, but also works on numerous projects for clients that include the Metropolitan Opera, Microsoft and Bloomberg. On the side, she has turned her aptitude for design into an artistic endeavour of a different sort. Scher uses her spare time to create paintings of maps. Not simply abstract works, but pieces full of information.
Scher first became interested in cartography at a young age, when her father first showed her full colour US Geological Survey aerial photography maps of areas like the Rocky Mountains. 'I thought these maps were art,' says Scher. 'Later I began to play with the language of them.'
Her latest series is on display at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York until 26 March, in an exhibition titled 'USA'. The large scale cartographic paintings - some measuring seven feet tall - double as complex infographics that explore a plethora of United-States-related topics.
In one corner of the gallery, a mural traces the winding curves that make up the US highway system in red and blue. Another presents the country's geography and climate, showing networks mountain ranges, rivers, and weather streams in a chaotic, colorful jumble on the map. Scher also created paintings depicting median home prices, driving times and mileage, as well as counties and zip codes.
To select a topic for a painting, Scher gravitated towards her interests. 'I am obsessed by zip codes,' she explains. 'No one has yet given me a real definition of what constitutes one.'
The upcoming elections also played a role in the series. 'I think about location and population and wealth against the way Americans think and make their choices, and that is especially resonant for me in this election year, when I am obsessed with politics,' she says.
Though they might appear related, Scher looks at her art practice as a separate entity from her design work. 'My paintings are paintings,' she says. 'I accomplish them as a painter, not a designer.'
'Paula Scher: USA' is on view until 26 March. For more details, visit the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery's website.
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery 505 West 24th Street New York, NY 10001
Mani Singh is CEO of New Delhi based NextByte Technologies providing technology solutions for eCommerce migrations, Magento based implementations, Salesforce integration with eCommerce and map based solutions for web and mobile. NextByte Technologies has been around for three years and serves clients spread over North America, Europe, Middle East, India, and Australia.
Over the past 26 years, Mani has been working in the software and Internet industry successfully building and running websites, eCommerce and mapping businesses. His core competency has been building and executing strategies around online businesses involving eCommerce, advertising and mobile apps specifically for the mapping industry. He has also been involved with retail and distribution side of business with running eCommerce stores and setting up of distribution networks in India and the Middle East for physical products. Over the years, he has led marketing and development teams in India and the United States and worked extensively in international markets in the United States, India, Australia, and the Middle East.
South Pole Topography
NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center
Arizona State University / February 24, 2016
In this view of the Moon, the South Pole is at the center. The colors represent different elevations. The large, roughly circular, low-lying area (deep blue and purple) is the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the largest and deepest impact feature on the Moon.
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University
President's 2017 Budget Proposes $1.2 Billion for the USGS
The U.S. Geological Survey is slated to receive $1.2 billion in funding from President Obama's fiscal year 2017 budget request, should it be enacted into law. The funding will keep core USGS science programs intact, according to the agency.
"Our diversity of scientific expertise uniquely positions the USGS to help address today's critical natural resource issues," said USGS Director Suzette Kimball. "From earthquakes to invasive species, from water quality to critical minerals, USGS science plays a pivotal role, and this budget request supports that important mission."
The agency's breakdown of the funding request explains that it includes $228 million for water resources research, which is a $17.3 million increase above the FY2016 enacted level. "The budget requests $60.2 million for Water Resources programs to use in matching State, municipality, and Tribal contributions for cooperative water efforts. This includes a $4 million increase under the Water Availability and Use Science Program to develop a near real-time assessment of regional and national water-use trends during drought periods.
Other increases totaling $8.1 million would integrate water information from multiple agencies, provide state water resource agencies with the necessary base data at the resolution needed for decision making, and would develop better methods for sampling, estimating, aggregating, and presenting water use data. This increase also supports efforts to assess water budgets across snow-dominated regions of the Nation; including assessing systems, anticipating future changes, and extrapolating from monitored to unmonitored locations across critical landscapes in the Arctic," according to the summary.
There is also a $1.4 million increase for the Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program to expand the use of flood inundation mapping and rapidly deployable streamgages, which provide data to help manage flood response.
Of Hyperbole And Geography: A Map Of The World's 'Other' Capitals
To be named "world capital" of something is both a badge of honor, yet also something of a badge of shame, writer George Pendle tells NPR's Robert Siegel. It means your city revolves entirely around a single product, like gravel or toothpicks.
Pendle should know: He's reported on a series of random but rather amusing list of "Other Capitals of the World" for Atlas Obscura - not the capitals of countries but of products, games and states of mind. Here is a random but amusing list of world "capitals" and how they got their bragging rights and made us chuckle. Go to: http://n.pr/1PWI4zO
This stunning image shows the full view of the Milky Way from the SouthernHemisphere.
Scientists stitched together the enormous image from more than 700 observations by the
APEX telescope in Chile's Atacama Desert. It reveals finer details of the galaxy than seen in earlier images, including most of the places where new stars are born-such as the mysterious Galactic Center-and cold regions where dust and gas hover mere fractions of a degree above absolute zero.
The image is also the first to image our galaxy's southern half in sub-millimeter wavelengths-light between infrared and radio waves. By combining views using different wavelengths of light, scientists add extra layers of detail. Here, the new telescope data shows up in red against an infrared background image-rendered in blue-from an earlierscan by the European Space Agency's Planck satellite.To read more...
For all its colorful frenzied glory, the Tokyo Metro map isn't the most complex subway guide in the world. New York and Paris both have it topped-at least in the eyes of one group of theoretical physicists and mathematicians.
Researchers Riccardo Gallotti and Marc Barthelemy of the CEA-Saclay in France and Mason Porter of the University of Oxford in the U.K. recently set out to calculate the maximium transit map information someone can "reasonably process." The goal, they write in Science Advances, was to see whether the growth of urban transportation systems has led to visual guides that "exceed our cognitive limits." If that's the case, then city residents and visitors might soon have to rely on digital navigation apps less as a crutch than as a necessity.
Drones aren't just for Amazon deliveries, lethal airstrikes, and unsanctioned White House lawn landings. They're also redrawing maps.
Traditionally, a civilian mapping an area required a helicopter, plane, or satellite. Those options are all costly and require recruiting people with specific skill sets. And you might be able to afford a flyover of a particular mappable area just once or twice a year.
But today, a few hundred bucks is enough to make anyone a drone owner. And from there, mapping is a matter of simply downloading the right software to the aircraft, and then taking it for an unmanned spin, a practice easily replicable on a far more frequent basis than the traditional alternatives. One option is Maps Made Easy, a product from San Diego-based store Drones Made Easy.To read more...
Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement? Sounds pedestrian, but is it? What has occurred has in fact amounts to a revolution, and redistribution of power in the hands of map users.
Over the past three years the National Library of Australia has been working through replacement of its digital systems. In January this year the new delivery system for maps and other pictorial formats was launched, and added to people's ability to use the materials.
The Library is proud to announce that nearly 40,000 maps from over 18,0000 catalogue records are now downloadable FREE as high-resolution tif files. Most items have already been visible on the library's catalogue, and on Trove. Now all digitised maps are available for free and immediate download in both the highest resolution (tif) and lower-resolution compressed formats (jpg, pdf). This represents about 5% of the Library's total maps collection, from the earliest mapping by European cartographers, the early explorers and maritime charts, colonial settlement and pastoral mapping, land administration, town planning, Australia's early topographic series, commercial, pictorial, wartime etc.
The Library has been scanning its maps since 2002, and over that time users have consistently voted for change, especially where out of copyright materials is concerned. As the project developed, the Maps team has focussed effort on how to get maps out to people as easily as possible, and how get more people to use the Library's maps. Late in 2015 the new functionality passed the test, and last month we took the step and released the Library's entire collection of digitised maps. Once out of copyright material is scanned, free download saves time and effort on both sides. To read more...
Dr Martin Woods | Curator of Maps
National Library of Australia
The Godfather of Digital Maps
On the last Friday in January Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gathered in front of a group of reporters and government officials to unveil his city's latest tech initiative: GeoHub, a digital mapping portal aimed at reinventing how L.A. delivers services. Maps, of course, are vital tools of municipal business everywhere, be it in planning, transportation, public safety, public works, economic development and more. But for the first time a major city had built a real-time digital dashboard that would allow anyone-city workers, the public, NGOs, startups, the media-to access and mash up those maps. Garcetti described how after an earthquake a firefighter equipped with an iPad might immediately be able to find fire hydrants, sewer lines, electrical equipment, building infrastructure and the location of other emergency responders. Similarly, an NGO providing homeless services might see how encampment locations are affected by police activity or liquor store openings. GeoHub, Garcetti said, would help to "improve the quality of life" in Los Angeles. He then moved aside to make way for the man who built GeoHub: Jack Dangermond, a lanky white-haired 70-year-old billionaire who is the unlikeliest of tech moguls.To read more...
This story appears in the February 29, 2016 issue of Forbes.
Article by Miguel Helft, Forbes Staff.
National Geographic's Giant Traveling Map Comes to St. Paul School
Students at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul got a chance to practice their Spanish and geography skills Wednesday with the help of a giant map. The Giant Traveling Map is the largest map National Geographic has produced at 26 feet by 35 feet. The map, which is of South America, gave the students a chance to physically explore the continent through various lessons and games.
National Geographic is taking the map all around the country for learning opportunities. "We also really emphasize experiential learning in movement since all students learn in different ways," Erica Brewinski with Mounds Park Academy said. "The map ... is a really great way for kids to be practicing their language in a way that will be memorable."
Mounds Park Academy is a college prep, independent school serving about 500 students from around the Twin Cities. All students take either Spanish or French.
This map, made by the U.S. Coast Survey in 1861 using census data from 1860, shows the relative prevalence of slavery in Southern counties that year. The map, which shades counties based on the percentage of total inhabitants who were enslaved, shows what a range there was in levels of Southern enslavement. Some counties, the map explains, "appear comparatively light ... this arises from the preponderance of whites and free blacks in the large towns in these counties." The population of Orleans Parish, La., in one example, was 8.9 percent enslaved. Places that were rural but were located in mountainous areas devoid of plantations were similarly light-shaded: The people of Harlan County, Ky., were 2.3 percent enslaved.
Meanwhile, a dark belt of counties bordering the Mississippi River held more than 70 percent of their residents in slavery, with Tensas Parish, La., at 90.8 percent and Washington County, Miss., at 92.3 percent. To read more...