United Lakes of Atlantica

Over the weekend Strange Maps
posted an

inverted map of the world
. The imaginary map was designed by Vlad Gerasimov who made it as
desktop wallpaper available at

Aside from the Grand Inversion, the map symbols would suggest
that the climate, landforms, coastlines, flora, and fauna are more or less in
tact. In that case, I suppose I’d be most at home just north and east of Bermuda City. Or somewhere within a canoe ride of the Great Islands.


I have no idea where this will rank in self indulgence among my
birthday entries
Inspired by Colourlovers, I’ve
cobbled together a few of the latest hues and tints:


Not exactly the color scheme you’d want to use for sprucing up
the CSS on your site, unless you want that site to look something like me.

Happy birthday to other notable Fifthers:

, KB, Marx, Soren K., and Ann B. Davis.

Web Bearings

The "Map of Online Communities"
to XKCD (one of the few web comics I follow) is
through the

this morning. Don’t miss it. XKCD MapIt offers an impressive lot: playful
place-names, the loose association of geographic area with online activity, and
a directional orientation based on abstract magnetisms (practical/intellectual
and focuses on real life or the web). Very much the sort of
imaginary map you might expect to find in Harmon’s You Are Here.
Even though the map includes a note discouraging navigational use, I tend
to think of it as appropriate for that purpose, especially for wanderers who sit
in their cozy homes in the Icy North, gazing sullenly at/through Windows
Live and Yahoo and wondering what’s on the other side of the mountain range.

Note the TITLE text available on mouse-over of the map: I’m waiting for the day when, if you tell someone ‘I’m from the internet’, instead of laughing they just ask ‘oh, what part?’

Map, Map, Territory

What if Borges’ (or, more properly, Alfred Korzybski’s) map/territory
contrast is just an overplayed maxim, a dwindling truism due for reversal?
(Fine, so I’m not the


to consider the question.)

The aggregator turned up

a report
about laws in the Philippines and Malaysia that ban what is being called
"participatory GIS", the ad hoc mash-up efforts combining cartography
technologies with material models in an effort to define boundaries for lands
held by indigenous groups. The ban on such processes is, in itself,
fascinating (a way to keep the partitioning of the land specialized, in the
hands of experts). But
I’m also struck by the layers to this story, a coordination of compositional and
rhetorical elements–mental models of spaces, the image-assisted translation of
mental models into scaled relief maps made of various materials, the use of these
constructs for legal claim-making, the implied omnipotence of Google Earth.

From the report, the moment of reconciliation between satellite imagery and
the experiences and memories of the person and tribe (map as totemic?):

The modeling technique often starts by showing village elders satellite
images, which they use to record their mental maps of tribal territories,
hunting grounds, and sacred sites.

The material manifestation–something like a folk geodiorama or raised relief map–blends the
latest digital technologies with everyday craft supplies:

[A]ctivist groups…have been helping indigenous communities mix
computers and handheld navigation devices with paints, yarn, and cardboard
to make simple but accurate three-dimensional terrain models.

Simple but accurate? Accurate enough to warrant a ban, anyway.

Clouds, Graphs, Maps

A couple of days ago Mike posted notes on

CCCC talk
from late last month, and I was reminded that I’m at least ten days
past due on the video
I said I would
following the conference.

I recorded the talk to an mp3 yesterday afternoon and went to
campus last night where I planned to use iMovie to sync the audio with jpegs of
the slides. Because the slideshow includes text, I needed to get the
resolution right, but, well, it started to get late. I started to get impatient.
I was able to output a reasonably readable mp4 file, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t get
Google Video or
Daily Motion to encode it.
Finally Jumpcut accepted the file, so it’s
available below the fold (even if much of it suffers from jaggies). The original mp4 is available for download

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And Returns

Ph. and I whistled into the Syracuse train depot yesterday afternoon; we’re
home from the excursion to the conference. Everything is unpacked,
laundered, put away.

I have plans to put the paper to an mp3 and sync it with the slides. I
can do this, of course, because my talk was scripted. It’s endlessly
reproducible as a result. But recording will have to wait until I shake off the
cough-inducing tickle that has been getting the best of me all day today.
Sure, I could delete out any of the hacking and rattling that makes its way into
the mix, but why? I’ll just wait it out.

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Net Morticians

It wouldn’t surprise me much at all if, in the year ahead,
The Lives and Deaths of Networkswe hear more about
network blight or the dissolution, abandonment, and decay of once-thriving
clusters of interconnected activity. Danah Boyd’s

entry from Wednesday
started me thinking again about the nascent network
cycles that have yet to show significant, extended desultory patterns and
down-trends. Boyd responds to Steve O’Hear’s notion of
social network fatigue (via)
or, basically, the idea that actors in a given system will tire, grow weary, and
as such, the system on a broader scale will slow to a creep or halt altogether.
at first expresses skepticism–"Users aren’t going to tire of their friends but
they will tire of problematic social spaces that make hanging out with friends
difficult"–before working through other considerations
related to the fading of social networks and speculation about YouTube, MySpace,
and teens.

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