Letters From Here

Jul 24


The animated map above is only a snapshot of the millions of lives that the lines and shapes represent. The animation likely shows something interesting. Sometimes a state turns orange, others turn black, and the rest turn white. What will happen in the next frame? It is hard to say. Just like tomorrow.

From an amusing critique of map-mania: 19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

The animated map above is only a snapshot of the millions of lives that the lines and shapes represent. The animation likely shows something interesting. Sometimes a state turns orange, others turn black, and the rest turn white. What will happen in the next frame? It is hard to say. Just like tomorrow.

From an amusing critique of map-mania: 19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Jul 23

Funny: A Brief History of Houses Built Out of Spite - CityLab

Funny: A Brief History of Houses Built Out of Spite - CityLab

This book sounds fantastic. Unfortunately for me, it’s $60. But maybe you can afford it!

It was the winter of 1985, when Brian Rose decided to explore the Meatpacking District with his 4x5 view camera. Early in the morning before dawn, it was a scene of carnage as men grappled with meat carcasses hanging from hooks under metal awnings along the streets. At night, a different sort of meat market took place as prostitutes prowled the same streets, and leather clad men sought the anonymous doors of sex clubs.

But during the daytime when Rose wandered the streets, the area was utterly abandoned — a stage set New York — as if the actors had all gone on break. The desolation is astonishing in light of what has happened in the years since to the Meatpacking District and New York in general.
Rose never printed his Meatpacking images. He went on to other projects, other parts of the world. In 2012 he pulled out the box of negatives and began scanning. The recovered images, made with little artifice, were stunning to see. At the urging of many, he decided to re-photograph the Meatpacking District, repeating many of the 1985 views and making a number of new ones. 

More: Metamorphosis: Meatpacking District 1985 2013

This book sounds fantastic. Unfortunately for me, it’s $60. But maybe you can afford it!

It was the winter of 1985, when Brian Rose decided to explore the Meatpacking District with his 4x5 view camera. Early in the morning before dawn, it was a scene of carnage as men grappled with meat carcasses hanging from hooks under metal awnings along the streets. At night, a different sort of meat market took place as prostitutes prowled the same streets, and leather clad men sought the anonymous doors of sex clubs.

But during the daytime when Rose wandered the streets, the area was utterly abandoned — a stage set New York — as if the actors had all gone on break. The desolation is astonishing in light of what has happened in the years since to the Meatpacking District and New York in general.

Rose never printed his Meatpacking images. He went on to other projects, other parts of the world. In 2012 he pulled out the box of negatives and began scanning. The recovered images, made with little artifice, were stunning to see. At the urging of many, he decided to re-photograph the Meatpacking District, repeating many of the 1985 views and making a number of new ones.

More: Metamorphosis: Meatpacking District 1985 2013

Jul 22


It surely wouldn’t work, but this plan to address Brazil’s housing crisis is a good example of dreaming big.

(via Brazil’s World Cup Stadiums, Reimagined as Wild-Looking Housing - CityLab)

It surely wouldn’t work, but this plan to address Brazil’s housing crisis is a good example of dreaming big.

(via Brazil’s World Cup Stadiums, Reimagined as Wild-Looking Housing - CityLab)

Jul 18


The DFW area is now at that transition point. They realize that as a city they need to be about more than just growth and money making. They need to have quality and they need to address issues in the system. Much like Burnham Plan era Chicago, this perhaps makes DFW a potentially very exciting place to be. It’s not everyday when you can be part of building a new aspirational future for a city that’s already been a successful boomtown. The locals I talked to were pretty pumped about their city and where it’s going. 

More: The Urbanophile » Blog Archive » Dallas: A City in Transition

The DFW area is now at that transition point. They realize that as a city they need to be about more than just growth and money making. They need to have quality and they need to address issues in the system. Much like Burnham Plan era Chicago, this perhaps makes DFW a potentially very exciting place to be. It’s not everyday when you can be part of building a new aspirational future for a city that’s already been a successful boomtown. The locals I talked to were pretty pumped about their city and where it’s going. 

More: The Urbanophile » Blog Archive » Dallas: A City in Transition

Top 10 Worst Rat Cities in the World: Animal Planet -

Rats have been enjoying a close relationship with humans for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Humans derive no benefits from having rats around, but rats get all sorts of perks. Most notably: food, shelter and water. Often this has little effect, but in some cases, rats go too far, and their impact on human populations becomes unbearable. These 10 cities are among the most rat-plagued places on the planet, although rodent control efforts are (in most cases) always ongoing to try to keep the tally in check. But first up, let’s visit one place where that’s definitely not the case.

Jul 17

[video]


Dmitry Morozov … [influenced by] the book Cities and Complexity by Michael Batty …. [has creted] an autonomous, algorithmic city plan generator made through a modified Etch A Sketch.
The device makes generative (and abstract) city maps through Arduino Uno, a stepper motor, and a speed/delay/step length controller. It’s fairly simple, but is an interesting interpretation of Batty’s work, and also makes a favorite childhood toy look like a possessed prop from The Poltergeist.

More: Hacked Etch A Sketch Becomes Generative Map Maker | The Creators Project

Dmitry Morozov … [influenced by] the book Cities and Complexity by Michael Batty …. [has creted] an autonomous, algorithmic city plan generator made through a modified Etch A Sketch.

The device makes generative (and abstract) city maps through Arduino Uno, a stepper motor, and a speed/delay/step length controller. It’s fairly simple, but is an interesting interpretation of Batty’s work, and also makes a favorite childhood toy look like a possessed prop from The Poltergeist.

More: Hacked Etch A Sketch Becomes Generative Map Maker | The Creators Project

Jul 16


A new design concept from Aprilli Design Studio takes a different approach, using lightweight decks to provide growing space outdoors on the sides of a giant skyscraper. 

This Tree-Shaped Farm-On-A-Skyscraper Could Bring Acres Of Crops Into The City | Co.Exist | ideas impact

A new design concept from Aprilli Design Studio takes a different approach, using lightweight decks to provide growing space outdoors on the sides of a giant skyscraper. 

This Tree-Shaped Farm-On-A-Skyscraper Could Bring Acres Of Crops Into The City | Co.Exist | ideas impact


Chris Whong … gathered from a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request… for all taxi movements from 2013—a 50 gigabyte treasure trove of never-been-analyzed information. 
[His] new map, called A Day In The Life, follows drivers [ACTUALLY: cabs] one at a time, listing their starting and ending points for each trip, the number of passangers, the fares earned, and other data.
One of 30 randomly selected taxis is temporarily under magnifying glass of your web browser, letting viewers trace the path the taxis might have taken from their logged drop off and pick up points.

It’s actually really interesting to watch the resulting animations — to see where the cabs idled, drove around looking for fares, re-traveled the same geography when they got fares, etc.
More here: Addictive Map Let’s You Spend A Day In The Life Of An NYC Taxi | The Creators Project

Chris Whong … gathered from a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request… for all taxi movements from 2013—a 50 gigabyte treasure trove of never-been-analyzed information.

[His] new map, called A Day In The Life, follows drivers [ACTUALLY: cabs] one at a time, listing their starting and ending points for each trip, the number of passangers, the fares earned, and other data.

One of 30 randomly selected taxis is temporarily under magnifying glass of your web browser, letting viewers trace the path the taxis might have taken from their logged drop off and pick up points.

It’s actually really interesting to watch the resulting animations — to see where the cabs idled, drove around looking for fares, re-traveled the same geography when they got fares, etc.

More here: Addictive Map Let’s You Spend A Day In The Life Of An NYC Taxi | The Creators Project