At the risk of being ostracized by fans of the site Spacing Toronto for suggesting that the site could be better if it wasn’t just about talking about how wonderful Toronto is and questioning why the rest of the world hasn’t come to the same conclusion I’ll mention an interesting post about a redesign of the Streetcar map for Toronto. Matthew Blackett has already taken the time to talk with TTC Chair and staff and has visualized a response to the current map which does not show something that bothers him, “people have no idea which subway stations have streetcars routes passing through or which streetcar routes intersect with one another”. His map above tries to make that more understandable. I’ll be curious to see how the map may evolve through comments to his post and how he might turn the map into reality at some point. Read the post at http://spacing.ca/wire/?p=2691
I thought I could hit a couple things with this post about a new Google Map that I created. For a week or so I’ve been starting to take images of stickers that catch my eye around NYC from my iPhone and posting it to copywronged.tumblr.com. Now you can actually see the real location of each sticker HERE. I noticed once I started posting those images on the map and seeing the context it really humanized the map. I’m really looking forward to see how the dots develop over time. I’ve also inserted the map at the bottom of this post so you don’t have to leave this post if you don’t want to.
The other thing that I wanted to mention is how many lives the above ad/poster has had as I’ve walked by it in the last couple of months. The first rip below the chest opened up some crazy eyes from Tyra Banks. Then recently the original face opened up to show another strange image. It’s definitely a living thing – my only question is who is knowing when to revel the underbellies of this thing?
I spent some time Saturday afternoon in Chelsea looking at a couple shows that I’ve been meaning to see for a while. I was pleasantly impressed with the painted maps by Paula Scher and somewhat underwhelmed by the theatrics that surrounded the collection of work from Banksy. The unauthorized gallery show of Banksy’s work at the Vanina Holasek Gallery tried way too hard in its display of the images and in essence made it seem embarrassing. There was an incredible contrast between Banksy’s display with the paintings of Scher’s at the Maya Stendhal Gallery. If you suspend the idea that Banksy’s work should only be seen outside the gallery setting and allow more people to have access, that gallery wasted a great opportunity to elevate his work. Between the brutal angles of turning the work on edge to the splashes of paint on the walls to the fake police tape for Banksy’s images – I just have to wonder what were they thinking? Keep it simple and clean. Getting past the actual gallery setting I saw quite a few images of his that I’ve only seen on websites and magazines. There was also other stuff that I hadn’t seen previously. It’s definitely worth visiting if you’ve never seen his stuff before in person, but the collection seems to get lost within the attention it’s trying to draw from the contrived environment.
There were a couple things that really struck me when I saw the maps by Scher. The immense scale was the first thing that hit me. Between that and all the layers of information and colour it was really mesmerizing. It was one of the few times when I was drawn into the work and really just got sucked in. I didn’t spend hours with the work but I’ll definitely visit those maps again before the end of the show. I also managed to get a gallery catalogue of all the maps. Reflecting the scale of the show, the book is quite large as well. I’ve taken a picture of my moleskin with the book to show the difference in size.
Paula Scher Recent Paintings
November 8th, 2007 – January 26th, 2008
Maya Stendhal Gallery
545 West 20th Street
Banksy Does New York
December 2nd – 29th, 2007
Vanina Holasek Gallery
502 West 27th Street
I picked up Esopus on Sunday after I saw an article about a guy that draws a lot of maps. Some of these maps take years to make while others are a lot quicker. Whether the map is drawn on a roll of paper or a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet, there’s a lot of thinking behind them. It’s too bad that there isn’t more about Neil Greenberg online or in print. What’s fascinating about Neil is how his day job and passions intertwine – he runs a transit system and schedules buses. That knowledge becomes apparent when he describes his dream city and contrasts that with his city that has many things wrong with it. If you’re interested in maps and how stories are told by them, check out Esopus at your fav. mag. shop.
The idea of Taste of New York Subway works on a number of levels though at this point I’m not sure if I would use it as a reference. I really like how the nodes and the subways lines look visually, but the map overall seems small. I would luv to hang that image on my wall as a visual but as a functioning navigation it’s a little awkward. A filtering system that would allow me to just pick one line would help simplify things too. But lets pretend I just want to explore with no real idea of where I would end up. I just pick a random node and click to find a restaurant I would never had found otherwise. A secondary problem arises. There’s a really narrow frame that provides all the info. Even if this info a been launched on a new pop up screen, it would make things so much easier to read. Its a shame that it isn’t easier to read b/c there’s so much good information hiding in the site. I can’t imagine how much time has already been put into finding all the information.
Following the contact information for Taste of New York Subway brings me to the site Idle Words. Again here’s a site that has tons of reading hours worth of information. The latest post is about their Million Marker Map – a google maps api.
Ever since google opened their map api, there’s been a great movement that would have been inconceivable only a couple years ago. Between customizing, collecting, tracking and sharing of information over what essentially could be considered an atlas, new forms of information has been created. Over at Mashable Networking News, they’ve assembled a lot of different types of mapping sites that they consider to be Online Maps: 50+ Tools and Resources. A further breakdown of categories is as follows: Customizable and Collaborative Maps, Transit Mapping, Subject Specific Mapping, and Popular Mapping Services.