Map / Atlas

Mapping Ephemeralities – Program

logo_icc2015Mapping Ephemeralities / Ephemeral Cartographies – Workshop organized by the International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commissions on Maps and Society & Art and Cartography (Rio de Janeiro, August 21-22, 2015)

The goal of this workshop is to provide an intellectual and creative space to share different ideas and methodologies about mapping evanescent elements such as memories, stories, sensations and perceptions about places, as well as a practical environment to learn how some of these methodologies and technologies can be used and adapted for designing (online) maps of ephemeral phenomenon. This workshop combines academic and artistic presentations with ephemeral data collection activities. One objective of this workshop is to use these data to design an ephemeral online collectively-made map of the ephemeralities of the Maracana neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. The workshop will take place at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) in the auditorium of the cultural department building.


Physical Map Projection Mapped

Projection mapping offers exciting opportunities to animate and alter our perceptions of a physical space through light. More often the physical space projected on to is buildings with mesmeric light sequences and often contextual narratives.

Image © 2015 Dalziel and Pow

Much like Louis Daguerre & Charles Bouton achieved a sense of movement through altering the play of light on a large transparent screen with the Diorama in 1822, projection mapping can create this immersive and moving scene onto any 3d object or screen. Through altering the play of light with large amounts of lumens generated by today’s digital projectors, artists and designers can become the theatrical painters without being limited to dark purpose built venues and opaque or translucent paints, instead projections can be achieved in other lighting situations with custom built screens & pixels.

Dalziel + Pow have moved the play of light onto a physical map where they experiment with different narratives using the terrain of Berlin to abstract and segment their sense of movement. I like the idea that with this being an indoor permanent installation the growth and development of the narratives can evolve and change from the projection mapping unlike many projection mapping spectacles that are single events. It is exciting from a data visualisation point of view to see how they could experiment with this, ‘expect to see dynamic data and live online feeds added in the near future.’ (Dalziel and Pow, 2015).

Dynamic data could be live narratives from geotextual tweets, visual iconography of weather, real time data of subway, air or live visuals with imagery of scenery, architecture that are geotagged within the framed boundaries of the physical map then abstracting into their segments in a realtime collaborative cartophoto-montage.

Primark Berlin: Projection Mapping Project from Dalziel and Pow on Vimeo.

It is exciting to see how this art form will evolve with physical cartographic representations and their inter-play with light immersing us through digital mappings.

See also for projection mapping onto moving physical objects much more aligned to the spectacle characteristics of the Diorama. Or even see this

Mapping Shakespeare’s Othello

Additional background information is shown / Collected and written by Tom Cheesman

This map is part of a research project initiated and super­vised by Tom Cheesman at Swansea University in collab­or­a­tion with Kevin Flanagan and Studio NAND. Over the course of nearly two years, Tom has collected over 50 trans­la­tions and adapt­a­tions of Othello into German driven by the idea to analyse and compare them in order to find traces and patterns that reveal cultural, histor­ical and social fluc­tu­ations.

[…] a first proto­type called Version Variation Visualisation in which we helped building a set of visu­al­isa­tion tools for an exem­plary corpus of 37 German trans­la­tions of Othello (Act 1, Scene 3) in collab­or­a­tion with Kevin Flannagan andSebastian Sadowski.

A beautiful clean design to the map reminiscent of the Stamen Maps Toner maps, it is a great blend of data visualisation, literature and cartography. Differentiating between Books & Scripts the dates on the interactive web based map highlights details of the writers and where that text might have been written, rewritten, published. The creators state this is just a beginning and will no doubt grow, reminds me of Literature Atlas.



Run an Empire Game

 A smartphone game where you compete against others to capture territory in your local environment.

Run An Empire is a game where players compete to capture and maintain control of as much of their local territory as possible. To capture somewhere you have to run (or jog, or walk) around it.

The game uses your neighbourhood as an arena for play.

I love this idea of having games in maps, using the local environment to control territory is great. User actions could move beyond just walking to own a territory, could be leaving things at places digitally like geocache’s. This really is the gaming layer on top of the real world.

Map Art by Ed Fairburn


Astonishing Map Art by Ed Fairburn

Ed Fairburn is a Welsh artist, based in Cardiff, whose ability to combine the geography of our facial features with the geography of the earth leads to a startling and compelling synthesis of the two. Fairburn has become known in Europe for his evocative portraits, which produce complex human features from the apparently random patterns found in mundane topographical and astrological maps.

In many ways, we are living a golden age of map making, with interactive, richly textured electronic mapping technologies giving us unprecedented, real time detail. But it is also good to be reminded that, despite the benefits of this Google-era hyperliterality, there is a broader beauty to be found in the ways we visualize our common spaces. Maps can speak to much more than how to get from one place to another.

(James McBride about Ed Fairburns work)

Other Places

This is an interesting project which is ‘A series celebrating beautiful video game worlds’.

Considering the advent of interactive technologies such as Augmented Reality and explorations of the interaction between maps and games (see previous post and look up the Dresden ICC worskhops), these realities might not be too far away from merging into our own.

Here is one of those worlds in the collection.



The Sound of the earth

A very impressive ‘Sound Globus’ was developed by Yuri Suzuki, sound artist. He is mapping sound – pieces of typical music found on those places – on a ‘3D globus disk’: Sound of the Earth Project

The Sound of the Earth is a content of Yuri Suzuki`s spherical record project, the grooves representing
the outlines of the geographic land mass. Each country on the disc is engraved with a different sound, as the needle passes over it plays field recordings collected by Yuri Suzuki from around the world over the course of four years; traditional folk music, national anthems, popular music and spoken word broadcasts.
An aural journey around the world in 30 minutes.

Film Narratives Maps

Film Story is an interactive online website that charts the history of film geographically.

‘we simply cannot ignore the fact that the public interacts with and learns about history primarily through film. What we can do instead is talk about the events of the past represented in film and use that dialogue as a place of learning.’

This site is a wonderful reference with every entry having a visual poster for each film, along with a short synopsis, year, director of course country. I agree and love their idea of  initiating a dialogue with people learning through the films, just feel there needs to be an online method through their site to offer it.


I would love if they could combine their resources with the the Cornerhouse (Manchester, UK) Film Map as their’s has some films linked to footage/trailers as opposed to posters, and in addition to Film Story, has linked cast data, running time & importantly, a tool to instigate a dialogue with a comments section.


I’m sure that interaction can be much more than just comments, polls, video, auditory…. and the relationships could be visualised more such as genres, this site (like it also does with literature mapping really well) could be a good feature for genre & I would love to know the correlation of where films were set to where they were depicting. For instance if it was trying to represent historic periods in film, where was the location in the modern day to achieve the old, or was it just in a studio fictionally?

I’m sure they could be informed by the work of to help realise innovative visual relationships of history, fiction & geography.

Maybe a timeline control linked to the map, could be a useful feature.

Great resources



Film Map

Film Map - Now Available

Greetings all, for my first post here I thought an interesting hybridisation of Cinema & Cartography would be a great place to start.  Interesting juxtapositions of films that are made in different times and no doubt different geographies have almost fused together into a metanarrative, a literature mashup.

Here’s how Phil, Ali & Jim,  the creators of the map at their studio called Dorothy, describe it:

‘Based on the style of a vintage LA street map, our brand spanking new Film Map is made up entirely from film titles.

The Map, which features over 900 films is the second in our series of ‘Map’ prints and is available to buy as a signed and stamped Limited Edition print and an Open Edition print.’

They have also made a Song Map which is a print of the artwork they did for the band Saint Etienne’s album ‘Words and Music’.

I hope this map ‘can work as a very effective eyeopener.’  See: Special Issue about “Cartographies of Fictional Worlds”

I wish to extend my thanks to Sebastien and Anneka for the invite to post here.

If you like the idea of fusing stories together from loose parts, you might also like this film making project (pronounced ‘KOR-SA-KOV’).

Back soon.

Stamen Design reinvents cartographic design

If you love the functionalities of online mapping services such as OpenStreetMap and Google Map, but you are fed up with their graphic design, the company Stamen Design has developed something for you: three background maps that you can use to render your own OpenStreetMap mashup. These three maps are: (1) Toner, a sharp high-contrast black and white that reminds me futuristic urban planning maps; (2) the more conventional Terrain which looks more like a shaded relief; (3) and the beautiful watercolor (my favorite) which is described as follows: “Reminiscent of hand drawn maps, our watercolor maps apply raster effect area washes and organic edges over a paper texture to add warm pop to any map.” Since these maps use Open Source data (from OpenStreetMap) and are licenced under a creative commons licence, it would not be surprising to see them (and others) more and more frequently on the web, which would be great!