Stadtbilder (“city images”) is a new little side project of mine — an attempt to map the digital shape of cities. I am increasingly fascinated by the idea of mapping the “real world” — life and culture as opposed to just physical infrastructure — and when I learned about the really deep datasets Georgi from Uberblic had been collecting, I just had to work with the data.
The maps show an overlay of all the digitally marked “hotspots” in a city, such as restaurant, hotels, clubs, etc. collected from different service like yelp, or foursquare. What they don’t show are the streets, the railroads, the buildings. I wanted to to portray the living parts of the cities as opposed to the technical/physical infrastructure you usually see on maps.The only exception are the rivers and lakes, because I felt they help a lot in orienting on these fairly abstract maps.
While the designs are meant to be printed, as a digital companion, the website helps you decipher the posters by providing a little map overlay on click. If you are interested in a print, please sign up to be notified when prints are available — I still need to figure out the precise logistics. (Let me know if you know of a high-quality poster printing and shipping service a la imagekind which can also ship from EU/worldwide..)
For now I settled on the three main German cities, because they have very different characteristics, and I know them very well. But I might be convinced to do other city editions as well
Here are some process shots!
It took me a while to figure out how to overlay these four different heatmaps on top of each other. I experimented with 3D manifolds, different dot patterns, small multiples, etc. etc. In the end, I am really happy with the solution I came up with, as combining always two of them in one stroke direction allows to decipher all of the dimensions, and just by looking at stroke width and brightness (if the two overlap), no need to do “color mixing reverse engineering” in your head, which is pretty much impossible anyways. The downside of this approach is obviously a low spatial resolution.
How does it work technically?
I first query the Uberblic API (not public yet, sorry for the scores in the different categories by marching through a hexagonal grid.
From the values, I first draw fairly blurry heatmaps in processing:
I then walk over these heatmaps pixel by pixel in diagonal lines, and draw on a new canvas a line whose stroke corresponds to the brightness of the pixel on each step:
and then I merge and simplify these images in Illustrator. That’s it!
In other news, the Berlin version made it to the cover of WEAVE magazine already (but it should be noted that for this use case, the background was tweaked more into a blueberry tone, the original is way more violet):
If you find this project interesting, Flowingcity hosts a collection many more projects in this direction.
Anyways, let me know what you think of it and if you would be interested in buying a print!
via Well-formed data
Yesterday UCLA Health System in Los Angeles used Twitter, Vine, and Instagram to live broadcast a brain pacemaker implantation surgery. During the six-hour procedure, regular updates were posted to Twitter, along with short Vine videos and Instagram photos. The patient, a Los Angeles actor and musician, was awakened during the surgery and asked to play guitar in order to help fine tune the placement of the implant. UCLA Health broadcast the surgery to raise awareness and reduces fears about the procedure, which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.
— UCLA Health(@UCLAHealth) May 23, 2013
via Laughing Squid
Should I Drink This Fucking Beer? is a website created by “a fan of good beer” that encourages users to support craft breweries. Users can enter a beer they like and the site will either congratulate them on having good taste or insult them — it called me a “douche canoe” for liking Blue Moon — and suggest a beer for them to try instead.
images via Should I Drink This Fucking Beer?
via Laughing Squid
Soylent is a science fiction-like powder food replacement created by 24-year-old software engineer Rob Rhinehart that’s made entirely of nutrients and vitamins. As an experiment, Rhinehart ate nothing but Soylent for 30 days and said his physique improved, his skin was clearer, his teeth whiter, his hair thicker, his resting heart rate lower, that he had more energy overall, and felt “like the six million dollar man.” He revealed the proportions of nutrients in his Soylent powder — which are based on FDA recommendations — in a follow-up blog post. Rhinehart created Soylent in an attempt to revolutionize food with a product that is less expensive, requires less time spent shopping, cooking, and cleaning, takes years to spoil, and is easy to transport and store globally.
After his 30-day experiment garnered widespread interest, Rhinehart launched a Crowdhoster campaign to begin mass producing Soylent — an obvious reference to the film Soylent Green, in which “Soylent Green is people!” The Crowdhoster campaign expects to ship two different versions of Soylent — one tailored to men, another to women — by August 2013, but it will only be available in the United States initially.
image via Soylent
via Laughing Squid