Monday, April 25, 2011

Spatial Humanities - a Project of the Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship

The aim of this website from the University of Virginia seems to also follow a transdisciplinary kind of model in regards to GIS as a tool for humanities research. It includes:

  • a set of framing essays on the spatial turn across the disciplines

  • an evolving, crowdsourced catalog of research resources and featured projects and organizations

  • related feeds from Q&A sites and social media

  • a peer-reviewed, occational publication for step-by-step helpsheets and tutorials in humanities GIS.

There is research and projects in a variety of disciplines, including architecture. Although it is not exactly how we are looking at GIS and social media, I thought it was interesting to see current research on the uses of GIS in a variety of different contexts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Parametric Neighborhoods

Must neighborhoods continue to be confined by two-dimensional polygonal boundaries?
Can census data and associative modeling techniques generate a new concept of neighborhood?

This latest iteration from the novi pontrella partnership addresses these questions by mobilizing the potential of CAD modeling software and GIS based data.

The goal: to generate new neighborhoods, understood not as a generalized wholes, but instead as as blurry elastic sums of their constituent parts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hot Spots and Corridors in the process

There is a moment of spatial ambiguity in the face of homelessness and the city. Under the assumption that most cities have a network of citizens (or non-citizens) without permanent shelter or adequate means to purchase basic living resources, this community associated with homelessness can be considered largely transient and under represented. Census counting asks who, what, when, where questions about this community, but only at a precise moment in time; their act of counting the sans par makes its first big mistake by attributing ideals of permanence and spatial stability to a uniquely unstable and impermanent community.

We question not who are the homeless, where are they, and/or how can we help them?*...but rather, what are the urban resources (official and unofficial) and spatial hot spots/corridors that facilitate the mobility of this general community. Working primarily through identification of spatial and temporal aspects of food resources and shelter features, our project maps each feature in order to find places and programs for intervention. Our TINs represent the relationships between specific locations, time and frequency, and proximity over multiple scales. Stay tuned to learn more...

*how can we help them? a somewhat banal and irresponsible question. How do we know that help is actually needed beyond the resources already provided? We need to identify this community first not through the lens of homelessness = person who needs a home, but instead, homelessness = person who migrates, plugs into various resources and spaces, and/or a different kind of urban user.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Walking Syracuse with TIN shades

Video study to find the latent field conditions conceived in the TINs we made from GIS features targeting walkers across Hwy I-690.

This project aims to facilitate the interaction and awareness of the user groups of walkers and drivers in Syracuse, with respect to their relative speeds, in proximity to former or active pollutants within the city. By using I-690, a site of former industrialization, as an artery for future development, interventions (signage, sensors, frames, etc..) will counteract and increase awareness of these environmental factors.
Modeling for Latent Cities - A Guide to our Latest Experiment

modeling for latent cities

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the love bus in chicago!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Understanding The TIN

This presentation on TINs was given in the UC Santa Barbara Department of Geography. This is a good resource if you are looking for a quick and clear explanation of what Triangulated Irregular Networks are, its various components, and the basic mathematics behind the process.

Going the Distance...

New GIS tool
"Near" or "Generate Near Table"

This tool takes a feature's location and records its distance to other features. From there, the distance is either added to the data table of your original feature, or can be joined manually (which is very helpful, because once you use the Near tool, there is no way to remove the results if desired, ie wrong measurement unit, etc.) The tool is located under Analysis Tools _ Proximity

For Team Homeless, as we create TINs based on time/frequency of certain amenities in relation to spatial features, considering distance may also be useful. Consider a 2G TIN relating distance, location, and time. Check-in soon to see the results!

Friday, April 1, 2011

H&M, new techniques to make alternative neighborhoods

The project of creating alternative neighborhoods though the uses of GIS has always been what 'Crossing the Line' project has aimed to achieve. The direction of the projec tnow of 'Crossing the Line' is still rooted in the same intent of generating these new alternative neighborhoods, but through different techniques and a better understanding of the lines themselves. How do we create alternative definitions of neighborhoods different multiple techniques, scales, infrastructures to determine more provacative reformation of the city? This new form of investigation has driven much more interesting results, though techniques of looking more implicitly at neighbohood lines interesecting with streets, parks, etc, letting us ask the question, what is the machine doing for our intent to develop new 'hoods?

Myway or the Highway!

We aim to facilitate the interaction between different scales of movement (walkers / drivers) in proximity to causes of environmental destruction within the city. By using I 690 as a focus, interventions will counteract and increase awareness of these environmental factors.

GIS has become a way for us to identify both location and potential program for interventions along I 690. These interventions could take many forms relating to car users, walkers, or both simultaneously. By taking a series of TINs from multiple features (streets crossing I 690, vacancies, parks, and recreation within 500 feet of pollution sources), we are employing previous techniques of surface and solid analysis to apply these abstract TINs back to the city.

Surface analysis extracts high points of car users and walkers as well as mid ranges where there are more even distributions; these will be future sites of intervention which either cater to walkers, drivers, or establish points of interaction between the two scales of movement.

Solid analysis extablishes areas of difference or similarity between the two user groups by extruding a solid between TINs of different heights. This will also identify areas of either autonomy or interaction between the walkers and drivers. By also splitting this solid according to parcels and overlaying with vacancy data, we can narrow our focus back to the original source features.

Feature Verticies to Points...

Does anyone know how I could grab a singluar point from after doing the 'feature verticies to points'? This tool grabs points at the ends of lines/contour segments, but is there also anyway to add additional points to the data? If any one has run into this and knows how I could do it I would be very grateful...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In our GIS data:


in this file are excel sheets that explain all of the data field abbreviations for those corresponding shape files.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Love Route

The project provides an interesting new lens to imagine public transit routes. Riding the bus no longer assumes the task of transporting from point A to point B, but becomes a social event that correlates with the urban landscape as the bus moves through it. The bus is now a guide through excavated communities now brought to the forefront and united through transit and social networking.

Project Agenda

The Love Route project utilizes public transit within Syracuse, with the aid of social networking, as a tool to bring together the city’s divorced population, bringing excitement and anticipation to daily commutes and transportation.

How to Find Love

Through the use of GIS software the potential lovers identified along existing Centro Bus routes. Routes which intersected the most highly-concentrated areas of the divorced population are re-imagined as an aid, or next step in, on-line dating. Further examining census data with GIS for identified focal points along these routes (points of highest divorcee concentration) helps to more specifically identify the user-groups, characteristics and qualities that the love-seekers might find helpful in identifying potential dates. Tins were generated from these nodes along the routes with a 500 ft radius according to characteristics such as race, education level, income and employment. Through sectioning these tins and comparing them the character of each node is observed and used for promoting the profile of that location accordingly. As a representation/potential manifestation of data at a point in time, the nodes inherently are subject to change -shifting with the highest points of divorcee population.

The Love Route App enhances the experience as riders can log on and make their whereabouts along the route known and personally control the degree of their involvement within the program. Furthermore, the app provides an additional means of navigating through the latent community/bus route. The Love Route makes the ease of on-line dating and networking come to life as an urban experience.

Studio Themes

Cohesively, the Love Route re-presents the city and the divorced community through the vessel of the Centro Bus. In identifying this community within the city through social networking and existing transit, the Love Route merges the studio’s themes of latent communities and mobile social media devices. The love route is identifying a latent community in a dissentual manner because it is specifically catering to a fragment of the population- Syracuse's divorcees. Otherwise, the population is generalized and its demands are not specifically appropriated, but are organized according to the needs of the majority. Moreover, the design proposals may be irrelevant because they begin to generalize a whole city, neighborhood, etc. In order to obtain the greatest design potential, we utilized GIS technology to identify areas where the interventions would be the most effective. If part of the population is represented according to marital status, an indicator of potential interests or demands (i.e. on-line dating), the design proposals may begin to suggest a specific and customized approach to an identified community. The love route isolates moments in the city where social networking and spatial interactions can be completely interconnected, yielding the most compelling spatial results.

Commuters now experience the route differently as it is activated and responsive to this latent community. The bus riders understand the community as the bus slows down, or speeds up, according to “hot” or “cold” zones. The route itself becomes the main artery of the newly identified community thus performing in a gerrymandering fashion.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Keller Easterling lecture: Disposition

check out the lecture linked below for direct references to Ranciere, dissensus, and other topics that may pertain to LATENT CITY.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Toxic Water City: Data Relationship Terrain
Mary and I are investigating what a neighborhood line encompasses in terms of how and why these neighborhood lines were initially derived. The lines that mark what constitutes as neighborhood seemingly follow the rail line, in which it seems often the case that neither neighborhood on either side wishes to claim it as part of its own identity. Our GIS mapping wishes to discover latency in forcing the TINS of like height values across the line to discover new type of neighborhoods through various means of selecting and z-value alterations, and to eventually encourage the rail line's engagement in a new type of urban strategy.

Toxic Water City

The above image depicts two distinct terrains of the relationship between Area Hydrography and Area Hydrography parcels, both infused with census economic data. Peaks and valleys are areas around Syracuse that are connected to water bodies and have high/low populations. We've noticed that the terrain produced adheres to the boundaries of the water bodies' and land parcels' shapes, but that the form and slope of the terrain is highly dependent on the order in which the features are added.
For example, the differences between the two above terrains is as follows:

1. Area Hydro Parcel feature + Area Hydro feature = TIN A (left)
2. Area Hydro feature + Area Hydro Parcel Feature = TIN B (right)

Both terrains contain the same data, yet there are differences that range from minute to undeniably apparent. Elle and I will continue to investigate...

Toxic Water City

Elle and I have been working almost exclusively on how isolated sets of census data manifest their relationship to other sets of data. The above map is an example of these sets before "creating" a terrain of their relationships; it impresses fragmentation and discontinuity, but also areas of overlap.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

While experimenting with different GIS techniques, I aimed to draw relationships between two economic data sets: unemployment, and number of families. I created a TIN of unemployment along the rail line, and a TIN of families in relation to local soup kitchens. By overlaying these TINS and splitting line graphs in Rhinoceros, I was able to create three dimensional graphs which represent the data sets across space. When these spatial graphs are overlayed, it starts to suggest which conditions are prevalent in different areas and also where the two data sets begin to coincide.

Setting aside the inherent issues with combining these specific data sets, what are some other directions or possibilities a graph like this could begin to reveal? Is this really any more effective at revealing latent relationships than the TIN or a basic line graph?

The aim of this map was to visualize the relationship between public gardens and vacant properties. Vacant properties intersecting both the railway and I81 were compared in this analysis. The TIN produced shows the vacant properties relative to public garden space around both major transportation routes. The rail data splits taken from the TINs helped produce a lofted surface that begins to compare the data between the two different TINs. How can this surface begin to inform us about the data and aid in comparing the two TIN models?

The aim of this urban analysis was to discover a relationship between natural and industrial infrastructures of the creek and the railline. The spatial mapping is produced using the parcels containing toxic chemical storage and release points, and creating a tin based upon ideas of vacancy. Through further interpretation, one could distill invisible pieces of infrastructure that are created through this means, and provide for the potential to add more layers of information into the greater scheme.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Amenities typically used by the homeless population in Syracuse are mapped as a starting point for urban analysis. The aim is to visualize the spatial community of an often uncounted population, and to think about what systems might be included in a network foreign to the map-maker. Through the creation of a TIN, we find that many soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and Syracuse city parks fall within a band of vacant properties.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

deleting a segment

general question: how do you delete a segment without having to repeat a layer selection?
i.e. you have made a layer from a selection, realized that you selected too many lines, but you already created the layer.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Images of a Zone-Team Yellow

When we began this project we chose to focused in on signage as a concept for the way one can understand this section of the city. By using GPS enabled photographs, twitter, and foursquare we were able to start to understand the way signage, and the types of signage that are found in the area. This area has a number of forces on it, there is a current move by the City of Syracuse, as well as Syracuse University, to gentrify this area. Within the last few years this area has become known as the SALT(Syracuse Art, Life and Tech) District. The aim was to start changing the area by creating artist spaces within the Near West Side that would help reinvent and breathe new life in, much like what occurred in SoHo. In addition the School of Architecture held a competition for three new houses that have since been built, moving higher income families into the area. Initially we began to map the area as a series of moments that are based on a precise location and orientation to achieve a better understanding of what people experience. From this we now begin to question the relationship between the current population and the incoming population. In addition we question how these two groups manifest themselves within the context. Based on the fact that the majority of posts and foursquare occurrences were based upon our foray into the area one can see that this is not an area typically visited by those outside the community. The way each group manifests itself is obvious by the signs they use to present themselves. The graffiti of the current population contrast the clean letters of the Lincoln. By going through and further documenting this change and starting to include information from GIS that starts to showcase the changing population.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

E. Genesee Panoramic- Team Red

The panoramic strives to capture the culture of the neighborhood that may not be realized through a virtual media.

Wireless map- Team Red

The map lays out wireless signals that are present in the area that we analyzed. The strength of the signal is represented by a color (key in the upper right hand corner). In addition, accessibility is noted by either "locked" or "unlocked."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mapping Preference - Team Blue

This image is how Team Blue looked to combine the many different kinds of data collected, including Tweets, FourSquare checkins, Yelp reviews, GPS locations, streetscapes, and zoning information. At first when looking at all of the data it seemed overwhelmingly different; however, when laid out in comparison to each other, we were able to see some interesting trends.

The thing that stood out to me the most was that one side of our zone was much denser with social media activity than the other. Restaurants receive more attention than shops or other businesses - but the main factor missing from our data is time. Because we collected all of our data between Friday and Monday, we did not see if the trends differed from weekend to weekdays.

Another thing which stood out to me from the Antoine Picon lecture was the idea of mapping as a new form of personal expression. By focusing on these forms of data, our mapping becomes a new lens into the apparent inequalities of internet presence in downtown Syracuse. The map is now much more subjective because it is based on feelings towards particular places. Can this subjective knowledge affect how we objectively view the city?

Mayor of the Private

We've discussed social media and digital mapping in terms of the alternate realities they present. Networking and informational sites such as Facebook, FourSquare, twitter, and yelp, with the new alliances and networks they create, also have the potential to alter the perception and experience of space. For example, frequent check-ins to or reviews of a particular restaurant or business may increase/decrease the number of people visiting the service. The site for Team Orange of the TdMS spring 2011 studio encloses a predominantly residential community, making most of the discernible character inaccessible. However inward this information may be, the semi-private character of personal apartments is now broadcast through the various social media and digital mapping networks we are currently studying.

The adjacent map illustrates the network of Facebook and Four Square users that reside within the site. Their addresses are not provided directly, as would a white pages or Syracuse University directory. Each node categorizes the sex of the Four Square mayor, the street address, and the "place" of this data retrieval.

Does the exercise of creating this map reveal anything about the space of the site or the socio-spatial network of Facebook or Four Square?
  • More females check-in to their respective place of residence, perhaps providing the illusion that there are more women living in certain areas.
  • The perception of personal residence, a notably private space, may become clouded with the publicity of the location through social media networks. This seems even more likely with the naming of personal residence or addition of comments to Four Square locations. Checking-in to a restaurant and an apartment are treated with equality in the digital realm, but how will the prevalence and increasing popularity of social media sites alter the separation of public and private in the physical world?
  • Lastly...mayor of the private? When Four Square attributes political nomenclature to users frequently checking-in to a given location, even a residential apartment, are they also relating characteristics of power to the mayor and the space? For an apartment building, the mayor may represent a larger body of residents, but this power shifts in real-time with the number of residents that check-in. Again, I wonder how this socio-spatial community and its associated characteristics could shift the perception of the physical space...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weapons of Mass Consumption: Navigating the City through Social Networking/Media Devices

Emerging is a parallel map for a navigation of economy. This is the preferred image of representation of the Armory Square neighborhood in downtown Syracuse: Live, Work, Play. The Armory Square web site illustrates these 3 tangents through a rotation of a few generic/placeless images. How then does one measure character of place?

Friday, February 4, 2011


JOIN the virtual lecture right now with Antoine Picon, Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology, Harvard Graduate School of Design live from Cambridge.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

MONDRIAN, Gerrymander by Packing

Map analysis exercising Ranciere theories on policing


theoretical dissensus performed on klee's painting flora in sand based on ranciere's 10 theses of dissensus.