My Writings. My Thoughts.

Making History and visualizing millions of photos

// September 24th, 2009 // No Comments » // Representing Earth

This year the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Google teamed up to create “Making History“. The site is “a collective telling of the events of 9/11 through the eyes of those who experienced it, both at the attack site and around the world”. The site uses user submitted photos and videos and overlays them into street view images.

Mapping the World’s Photos

“The recently presented academic paper at the WWW 2009 Conference from a group of computer science academics from Cornell University investigates the collection of roughly 35 million geotagged photos collected from Flickr, uploaded by more than 300,000 users. Their approach used in Mapping the World’s Photos combines content analysis based on text tags and image data with structural analysis based on geospatial data. While individual users of Flickr are simply using the site to store and share photos, their collective activity reveals a striking amount of geographic and visual information about the world.”

- via infosthetics

10×10

From the site: “10×10™ (‘ten by ten’) is an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time. The result is an often moving, sometimes shocking, occasionally frivolous, but always fitting snapshot of our world. Every hour, 10×10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time. Over the course of days, months, and years, 10×10 leaves a trail of these hourly statements which, stitched together side by side, form a continuous patchwork tapestry of human life.”

related: Flickr Time

Wiring up an Arduino

// September 23rd, 2009 // No Comments » // Physical Computing

First lab for physical computing class. Wired up power to the Arduino and got it talking to the computer. First program is controlling two LEDs with a switch. Here’s a video of it in action:

Climate Control Jacket

// September 22nd, 2009 // No Comments » // Physical Computing

Climate Control Jacket

This week’s assignment for physical computing was to design a physical interface for an imaginary “fantasy” device that we’ve always wanted.  The device that I’ve mocked up here is a climate controlled jacket.  This idea has actually crossed my mind a number of times.  Practical issues aside, it would be a nice thing to have.

Imagine walking around in the middle of summer, getting strange looks as people wonder why you’re wearing a heavy jacket at this time of year.  Little do they know that you have a portable air conditioning system in there.  The idea is that there would be an option to turn on heat in the winter and cold in the summer.  The diagram above showing that you turn either one of the knobs on and continue further on to the right to increase the strength of each.

I tried to keep the controls as simple as possible, yet as I was making this decision, I decided to take a look at the interface on the air conditioning system we have in my apartment.  It was rather amusing to think of how some of these controls would port over to the jacket interface.  Most notably, how would “Energy Saver” or “Sleep” change the way the jacket functions.  Leaving me to think, how does the context of use change one’s perspective on simplicity versus complexity? I decided that I had made the right decision.

Particle Emitter

// September 21st, 2009 // No Comments » // Computational Media

This week in class I was working with Corrie on a particle emitter. Learned some fun new things from her in the process. The sketch emits particles at the mouse coordinates and toggles on and off gravity with a mouse click. You can see it in action below or check out the sketch to play around with.

Physical Computing – Week 1

// September 15th, 2009 // No Comments » // Physical Computing

As an assignment for our first week of physical computing, we were asked to take a walk around our neighbourhood taking photos of sensors that we come across. As I am still new to the neighbourhood here, I was also happy to take the time to explore some areas I have yet had the chance to.

According to Wikipedia, “a sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an instrument“. These devices serve a diverse range of purposes, from simple to complex or reactive to interactive. Many of them manage to blur these boundaries without notice as they have integrated into our daily lives in such a ubiquitous fashion.

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PacMan

// September 15th, 2009 // No Comments » // Computational Media

Have put up my assignment for the first week of Introduction to Computational Media.  Had to draw something in processing as an introduction to some of the basic drawing tools.  I chose to do a mockup of PacMan.  Here is the processing sketch to take a look.

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