The Bin Laden Compound a sizeable terrorist-modded urban villa has every chance to become a dark tourist hotspot in Pakistan. A gallery and google map can be found of it and of course the wikipedia page. The US military apparently built a full size mock-up to practice for the raid.
Google Street View came to Finland this week, and the coverage looks really good, although there should really be a winter version as well as a summer one here.
A wonderful post and map (seen above) from Locating Helsinki about the coast at the centre of Helsinki and how it has changed, and Darren found a list of islands some of them shown on the image above which have disappeared. Another set of large changes are due to take place over the coming years also with the industrial port being moved and urban redevelopment happening in it’s place. Click on map for a larger view.
Another map and model of predicting where a person will come from in europe based on his genetics.(via) It is only based on common variations and not rare ones so the chances are that the map can be made more accurate in the future at least until the genetic pool gets more mixed up with the increasingly common sight of mixed nationality marriages (even in Finland!).
A beautiful set of very early world maps and nice article about them. From a time when a map was just as much about your world view, religious convictions and contacts, as about your map making ability.
Biologists have made a genetic map of Europe which as you can see roughly resembles Europe Geographically.
The map also identifies the existence of two genetic barriers within Europe. One is between the Finns (light blue, upper right) and other Europeans. It arose because the Finnish population was at one time very small and then expanded, bearing the atypical genetics of its few founders.
A couple of things come to my mind on seeing this map. One is the surprising genetic distance between Sweden and Finland, although Finland was part of the Swedish Empire for over 400 years, suggesting that Swedish immigration over that time really was small. Also that Poland faces Finland on the map but where do the Eastern Eurpean states figure, countries like Estonia for example, and it would be really interesting to map Russia onto this too.
ViaÂ actHeliski & NYT
Also found a periodic table of Europeans.
The image above is of a tactile map made by the Inuit of parts of the coast of Greenland. It seems the Inuit mapped their territory by songs, legends and these tactile maps. It also shows how the empirical world of space as the empty side of a binary relationship with place is badly flawed.
The Inuit like the Aboriginal songlines show in these artifacts that place can equate to person hood and space. That they are embodied in a personal and spatial relationship to a whole.
I saw these hand maps and also thought of my mobile phone which has gps built in. Now wouldn’t it be possible to make gps phones become like tactile maps buzzing and vibrating when you take a wrong turn for instance. Moving through space would become an experience of touch not just vision.
via tightgrid & middlesavagery (& the images)
Live transport on google maps, so far I know of Helsinki, Swiss Train system (via), Dublin. It’s pretty obvious this will be ubiquitous in the very near future.
A google maps upgrade called street view has just come out. First impressions are quite flash although it may not be that useful, try visiting Frank Gehrys ICA and click on the street view tab. Only a few American cities are covered at the moment but the short list of covered cities will hopefully increase soon.
But maybe more important eventually will be mapplets, which are sort of mini mashups that can go on your mymaps page. Now this is very interesting and already you can combine georss feeds here so mymaps is just starting to become a place where geopositioned information can be aggregated and reorganised almost on the fly!
I think soon some pretty good things will come out of it, although I’m really waiting for reader and google earth to read geo rss directly. I’ve been geolocating posts in this blog for sometime now but not outputting a georss feed, so it’s time I went away and sorted that out.
I have just added a new section called map which locates on a worldmap (googlemap) any post which refers to a specific location in the world. You can scroll around and see where lewsim has been, as I can include coordinates with any post automatically! It should be really useful for a blog that is mainly focused on Architecture like this one, I’m not sure why a few more architecture bloggers haven’t taken it up as yet (pingmag does this), so this may be a small first. Anyway there are a few posts there already and I will be going through my archives adding to this over the next couple of weeks. Asides from being able to graphically show and locate buildings or locations I talk about which will be useful for anyone who wants to visit these places, it is also a good way of adding to a purely date based archive system to one in which relevant posts always stay fresh and the posts of a blog can if you like unfold in a kind of journey like a tour round a new place or of the flÃ¢neur walking the city. Definitely a new way to consume a blog. Thanks to yongfook for his plug-n-play google map plugin and geo plugin by owen winkler which allow me to do this. Note I have been recently uploading kmz files for located posts but will stop doing this for the moment (It may return later in a slightly different form) as this method I like better.
Jason Mill of pivnice emailed me about his new project ZNO. He creates 3d models to plug into Google Earth. A couple I tried of the Burj al arab and world projects in Dubai are really fantastic work, so go have a look. If he wants an idea for a Finnish building to model how about Stephen Holl’s Kiasma in Helsinki? A couple of other things for thought, Sketch up was just bought by Google, and I wonder how Jason’s projects might integrate with projects like fab lab. I mean the ability to make site models for buildings and institutions to order around the world. The computer model could be fed to fablab to build a scale model in whatever material with a commission for the model visualiser. There may not be a huge need for this but certainly a specialised one.
It had to happen eventually but Domus should be applauded for being the first major architecture magazine to put their building profiles from their latest edition into Google Earth. I would agree with Dan that while its a bit of a gimmick at the moment there is lots of potential here for the future for good access to design information, also coverage of Google earth is not the same everywhere, Aurland Norway being a case in point. Projects listed are, Mikimoto Ginza 2 by Toyo Ito, Tokyo, Japan, Aurland Lookout by T. Saunders, & T. Wilhelmsen , Norway, PalaFuksas by Fuksas, Torino, italy, Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea, and Domus Magazine, Milano, Italy. I’ve added a photo from Saunders website showing the Aurland lookout as the data from Google earth in this project is so bad it doesn’t even begin to do it justice. The practise is further profiled in land + living . Go here for hyperdomus also see my post about finding architecture.
Ever wanted an easy way to find good architecture and how to get there from where you are? galinsky is really clear and concentrates on the basics with a few well chosen modern buildings from around the globe,where they are, how to visit etc,and clear website design. You can contribute also so is in principal open although the site is someones personal webpage. Architourist created by archidose is a collaboratorive wi-ki effort so it might just become really good, however neither these two sites have any finnish or Helsinki entries to date though!
But as I was looking at these two I came across pointingit which is really good as it uses google earth to reference buildings. Google earth as a piece of software is really great for this purpose. So after reading a post on anti-mega I thought I’d see if I could quickly make some sort of contribution ala pointingit! See below for the google earth file for every Alvar Aalto building in Helsinki area.
Note. There are a couple of locations I’m not 100% sure of. They may be in a street block so I may be a building off or so, but I’ve noted these and please comment if you have any corrections!
Note 2. A very interesting aside is that the Aalto foundation appears to miss out two Aalto buildings in the Helsinki area from its list, the Erottaja pavillion (because drunks buy kebabs there?) and the Riihtie block of flats. I will follow up and confirm I really have all the buildings. So my list comes primarily from two shared sources, the Aalto foundation & helsinki.fi page of architecture. It seems strange that the Aalto foundations list does not appear complete.
I missed out the biggest of them all archinform is a great resource for Architects being the largest online database for Architects and Architectural projects and has added google map & earth locations for some of their buildings see comment below from Sascha archinforms editor for the shortcut to the google earth files.
There are Six world heritage sites in Finland at the moment, heres the list, Suomenlinna, Old Rauma, Bronze Age Burial Site of SammallahdenmÃ¤ki,PetÃ¤jÃ¤vesi Old Church,Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, and Struve Geodetic Arc.
I found out by accident that I’d visited two already, Rauma and Suomenlinna, & they don’t differ from most of the others on the list worldwide, they are worthy buildings or places of natural beauty. But one howevever is a little different. The Struve Geodetic arc which I didn’t know anything about before I found it on this list. It is maybe the biggest thing on the world heritage list but contains no area of outstanding beauty or special built monument. It is a collection of coordinates for mapping the Earth before GPS. What is so remarkable is that so many countries have participated in it, it runs from Norway to the Black sea (I think it added to down to South Africa but I’m not sure) and at a time before these international efforts are thought of as having happened. Its the remains of an outdated method for calculating the earths circumference and has become mapping history but is important because of the idea and ideals it imbodies which allow us today through GPS and Google maps to use this information in more and more useful ways & Struve was the originator of this collective effort.
040406 update: I found this page from the Finnish National Board of Antiquaties which gives a good rundown of the six sites should you want more info.
Arcam has a new (to me anyway) architectural map of Amsterdam online that you can browse and zoom. All part of the architectural guide which you can view as a timeline or search google style for architect, address or keyword in Amsterdam. Not bad, and perhaps a contributing factor to dutch architectures current strength. They really work all the media, news via the internet (see archined), books with nai & Architecture & Natura (one of my favourite bookshops, nay! shops anywhere), publishing architects of which rem is the best known of course & maybe with a cheerleader or two!
Chris Heathcote in his anti-mega blog has a really interesting application combining google maps & Flickr. He’s mapped it to New York, San Fransisco, London, Copenhagen, and Helsinki so far. I love this idea and it extends the useability of both really well. Its great fun but also I can imagine some very serious uses and although this is the first step in combining internet applications with the online community this could become a great tool for architects also. Imagine instantly looking at a map of a site, moving to satellite image zooming in, assessing the site and prototyping the design against any sort of customiseable settings, like time of day or season etc. Then keep track day to day of progress onsite. There are probably many more things as well that I just haven’t thought of yet….