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Alexander von Humboldt
GEOGRAPHIE DES PLANTES EQUINOXIALES (GEOGRAPHY OF EQUATORIAL PLANTS)
CARTE DES LIGNES ISOTHERMS (CHART OF EQUAL TEMPERATURES)
Alexander von Humboldt
ATLAS GEOGRAPHIQUE, STATISTIQUE, HISTORIQUE, ET CHRONOLOGIQUE DES DEUX AMERIQUES
Adam and Charles Black
HYETAL OR RAIN CHART (MEAN DISTRIBUTION OF PRECIPITATION FOR THE YEAR)
US Army Surgeon General
GEOLOGICAL MAP OF THE UNITED STATES
Charles Hitchcock and William Blake
THE HORSE IN MOTION
ADVANCE OF A GECKO
PRAIRIE PLANT STUDIES
John Ernest Weaver
THE ALLUVIAL VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI
STATEN ISLAND RICHMOND PARKWAY STUDIES
TROPICAL TREES AND FORESTS
Francis Hallé, Roelof Oldeman, Philip Tomlinson
NORTH AMERICAN BIRD MIGRATION MAP
TRANSECT DIAGRAM OF THE ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY
eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
EBIRD PROJECT - OCCURRENCE MAP OF SWAINSON'S HAWK
ASPLUND LIBRARY - SEASONAL THERMAL CONFIGURATION
Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg
REAL-TIME ANIMATED WIND MAP
"Physical Portrait of the Andes and Adjacent Lands" around the Chimborazo and Cotopaxi volcanoes in Ecuador. With local vegetation illustrated pictorially on the left side, names of botanical species given on the right part. On both sides of the drawing, a table gives scientific information about physical phenomena and altitudinal data.
"Weather maps are among the most mundane elements of the news today, but they represented a crucial breakthrough in the early 19th century. Alexander von Humboldt introduced the concept of charting average temperatures in 1819, which enabled natural scientists to think about the weather in terms of patterns. The need to map weather was especially urgent given the assumption that many deadly epidemics, including cholera and yellow fever, were caused by climate, humidity, and other elements of the environment. Here, Alexander von Humboldt’s introduction of “isolines” to represent lines of average temperature opened a world of inquiry. The chart does not just represent data, it is the data. Without this ability to collapse information into the form of patterns, the vast recorded temperature data was of limited use. It paved the way for the modern weather map."
This diagram of the major rivers of the world stretches out the geography of each river into more or less linear form and arrays them from delta (left) to headwaters (right) in order to compare length and width. While information on the flow rate, temperature and elevation of the rivers would have been useful as additional comparative metrics, the diagram nonetheless manages to abstract the physical coordinates of the map while maintaining the fundamental coastline geographies in service of comparative analysis.
Tinted drawing showing the comparative lengths of rivers and heights of mountains worldwide.
"The drive to map weather yielded the first map of rainfall in the United States in 1855. It captivated the attention of a nation that was just beginning to turn its attention to a West whose climate and arability remained largely unknown."
“The work of the chromolithographer Julius Bien is nowhere more appreciated than in his execution of the geology of the United States. Not the first geological map, it persists to this day in glorious color, mapping the unseen strata below our feet.”
In 1872 under the sponsorship of Governor Leland Stanford of California, Muybridge began in Sacramento a series of photographic studies of animal locomotion. These studies, inspired by the animal-motion research of Étienne-Jules Marey of France, were an essential step towards the development of motion pictures as we know them today. Muybridge arranged 24 still cameras in a row along a track. By attaching the shutter mechanism of each camera to a long trip wire and stretching the wires across the track so that a galloping horse would trigger each shutter as he went past the cameras, the inventor was able to obtain a photographic record of successive phases in the horse's motion.
A series of etchings produced from rapid-fire photographs show the movement of a gecko across a vertical plane.
The Valley Section is an attempt to simply illustrate the intimate relationships between topography, ecology, and human systems of production. To frame an approach to conservation-focused regional planning, Geddes presented a transect of "natural occupations" such as hunting and mining juxtaposed against a topographic cross-section in order to demonstrate how intertwined human settlement patterns are with the land.
Weaver, a botanist at University of Nebraska, published several works on vegetation and the ecology of prairies. In 1929 he and Henry Chandler Cowles published the first ecology textbook. Weaver's work focused on the roots of plants native to the Great Plains, and he drew over 140 species of grasses, shrubs, and forbs in great detail. A companion work, "Root Development in the Grassland Formation “ includes the results of investigations at more than 25 stations in Kansas, Colorado, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
Harold Fisk, a professor of geology at Louisiana State University, produced these maps of the Mississippi River for a US Army Corps of Engineers report, "Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River." The maps trace some 20 stages of the river course spanning roughly 2000 years, and were created by examining high-resolution aerial photography (which had recently been made available for the first time) as well a series of core samples taken along the banks of the river from St. Louis to New Orleans.
According to Ian McHarg in Design with Nature, "[The engineer's] competence is not the design of highways, merely of the structures that compose them—but only after they have been designed by persons more knowing of man and the land." To combat this issue, McHarg developed a method of maps that used transparency overlays. In the case of the Richmond Parkway on Staten Island, "there were many factors that went into the broad field of social values, including historic, water, forest, wildlife, scenic, recreation, residential, institutional, and land values. A map transparency was created for each factor, with the darkest gradations of tones representing areas with the greatest value, and the lightest tones associated with the least significant value. All of the transparencies were then superimposed upon one another over the original map. The darkest areas showed the areas with the greatest overall social values, and the lightest with the least, following the format of each individual layer. The social value composite map was then compared with similar maps constructed for geologic and hazard considerations, and the result was a clear picture of where to situate the controversial stretch of road.”
Tropical Trees and Forests: An Architectural Analysis presents tropical and temperate trees and woody plants as architectural structures complete with mathematical proportions and algorithmic branching patterns. The transects of different plant commuities examine succession in both plan and section, showing "trees of the past" (that may be felled naturally or cut down) with dashed lines, "trees of the present" with solid outlines, and "trees of the future," which grow in areas of greater sunlight, with dense stippling.
"This National Geographic classic shows the incredible journeys that birds undertake in the Americas each year. Migration routes from nesting grounds to wintering areas are shown for 67 types of birds. Full-color bird paintings by noted illustrator Arthur Singer show each of the 67 species."
This transect of the Great Lakes region and the St. Lawrence Seaway in the United States and Canada compresses the horizontal scale in order to emphasize the varying depths and elevations of the lakes and canals along the seaway. In addition, locks are bolded in order to call attention to the hydrological infrastructure necessary to move between the different elevations.
eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A simple and intuitive web-interface engages tens of thousands of participants to submit their observations or view results via interactive queries into the eBird database. eBird encourages users to participate by providing Internet tools that maintain their personal bird records and enable them to visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. All these features are available in English, Spanish, and French.
Site plan showing seasonal hotspots using an isotherm gradient. According to Lally, "Exterior conditions can be controlled and organized as systematically as interior spaces. . . .The formal geometries of the interior remain constant yet the exterior spatial arrangements expand and shift through out the course of the year and season."
A real-time animated map showing the direction and velocity of winds across the United States. Stronger winds are shown with longer vectors and are lighter in color. The image shown was taken during Hurricane Sandy's pummeling of the East Coast in October 2012.
EXPRESSWAYS ARE LIKE RIVERS (DOWNTOWN PHILADELPHIA PLAN)
THE VIEW FROM THE ROAD
Donald Appleyard,Kevin Lynch and John Myer
LAND MOSAIC MEXICO CITY
TAKING MEASURES: ACROSS THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE
James Corner and Alex MacLean
THE BROOKLYN PIGEON PROJECT
Columbia Urban Landscape Lab and MTWTF
LOCALS AND TOURISTS
Mapping Transect Timeline Notation Infographic Data Visualization
Interactive Animation Film/Television Publication Exhibition Competition
"One model for such a cnnflation that comes to mind in this context is Louis Kahn's 1953 diagram for vehicular circulation in Philadelphia. With regards to this project, Kahn wrote: "Expressways are like rivers. These rivers frame the area to be served. Rivers have Harbors. Harbors are the municipal parking towers; from the Harbors branch a system of Canals that serve the interior;...from the Canals branch cul-de-sac Docks; the Docks serve as entrance halls to the buildings." Kahn's diagrams suggest the need for contemporary techniques of representing the fluid, process-driven characteristics of the city, wherein the full range of agents, actors, and forces that work across a given territory might be brought into consideration. mobilized, and redirected."
This book by Donald Appleyard and Kevin Lynch, author of The Image of the City, a seminal work on the reading of cities, set forth an innovative notational system to describe the scenographic effects of the landscape as seen from a moving vehicle, using modulation of width, viewshed indicators, and symbols to indicate important landmarks.
These land mosaic diagrams use bright false color in order to identify patterns of land use and ecological fabric such as forests and waterways, in an effort to more easily compare the typological mosaic patterns of certain cities and global regions. Immediately apparent, for instance, are degrees of homoand heterogeneity, e.g. Iquitos, Peru, which is completely surrounded by forest (green), or numerous western cities surrounded by cropland (yellow).
"A Turing Circle for Trains: The railroads enabled the rapid colonization of America during the nineteenth century. Today, the careful routingof rail lines provides an extensive network of communication and transportation across the land, strategically choreographed through schedules, engine allocation, signals, turning circles, sheds, stations, road crossings, and other such measures of coordination."
"An experiment in developing a satellite that records the city as seen by a flock of birds. Using trained pigeons and working with seasoned bird flyers, the project team equips pigeons that fly in regular spiral patterns over swatches of Brooklyn with wireless video cameras and microphones. . . .Their flight paths capture unconventional portraits both of the city below and of flock motions. This unique way to see Brooklyn contrasts directly with the way the city is increasingly recorded and represented today.”
Safari 7 is a self-guided tour of urban wildlife along the 7 subway line. The 7 Line is a physical, urban transect through New York City’s most diverse range of ecosystems. The drawings produced for the project recall the grographic transect, with the addition of rich photographic and illustrative graphics to relate the individual characters of the line's habitats and the animals who occupy them. Through the use of restrained palette limited to grayscale imagery and bright purple as an indexical color, the diverse set of drawings are united into a cohesive set.
"Locals and Tourists" builds upon the work in Fischer's previous Flickr-mining project, "The Geotagger's World Atlas," to discover tourist traps and local hangouts. Fischer notes: "Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in places that tourists don't visit." Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month). Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month).
Global Continental Countrywide Regional Urban Site Body
PICTURE OF NATIONS
DISTRIBUTION OF THE SLAVE POPULATION OF THE U.S.
United States Coast Survey
CARTE FIGURATIVE DES PERTES SUCCESSIVES EN HOMMES DE L'ARMÉE FRANÇAISE DANS LA CAMPAGNE DE RUSSIE
Charles Joseph Minard
RATIO OF THE FOREIGN TO THE AGGREGATE POPULATION
Francis Amasa Walker
CONSPECTUS OF THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES
CHARGE OF THE 54TH MASS. ON FORT WAGNER, JULY 18, 1863
James B. Gardner, 44th Mass.
WORLD WAR I TRENCH MAP , BATTLE OF ARRAS
British Ordnance Survey
Lawrence and Anna Halprin
THE RSVP CYCLES SEA RANCH ECOSCORE
THE GENEALOGY OF POP/ROCK MUSIC
MAP OF THE INTERNET
Paul Butler / Facebook
GLOBAL MAP OF FACEBOOK FRIENDSHIPS
"Among the most prolific and influential educators of her time, Emma Willard spent decades experimenting with the visualization of information. Here is one of her most ambitious efforts, a chart that traces the advent of civilization across time and space."
"Early in the 19th century, European social scientists began to experiment with mapping data about crime and literacy in order to make sense of the growing complexity of urban life. The American census offered a gold mine of information to be mapped, once the techniques to do so had been mastered. The ability to translate population and other quantitative data into cartographic form opened up a world of new questions about the spatial distribution that exploded in the decades after the Civil War."
One of the most famous infographics ever created, this diagram plots five variables along a single two-dimensional axis: the diminishing size of Napoleon's army, the geographical coordinates of the army as it moved, the direction in which the army was traveling (advance and retreat), the location of the army with respect to certain dates and battles, and the excruciatingly cold temperatures along the retreat.
"After the war these maps of data were advanced by Francis Amasa Walker, the superintendent of the census, who convinced Congress to fund his effort to map the Ninth Census of 1870. Look closely: This map uses shading to represent the ratio of the foreign born to the general population but also the density of the general population. Here lies the origin of GIS thinking."
With the United States’ centennial in 1876, many were inspired to look back on the nation’s first century. A Midwestern educator constructed this elaborate history of political parties in 1880. The width of the line represents the power of the party at that moment in time. Notice the flurry of activity in the 1850s.
"This map portrays a country driven by two fundamentally different ideals: the avaricious slaveholding South and the God-fearing, righteous North."
This map indicates the advance of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment’s phalanx formation onto Fort Wagner during the Civil War. The map uses a single arrow to indicate each attacking column, and by giving the arrows a scaled value, it is easy to see how the orderly formation tightens when turning a corner in order to avoid marching in the water, and then dissolves urther aupon reaching the angular façade of the fort.
A color-coded map of trench locations at the site of the Battle of Arras, France.
Lawrence Halprin based the RSVP Cycles (Resource, Score, Valuaction, Performance) upon the dance notation used by his wife Anna, a professional dancer. The Ecoscore uses these principles and techniques to illustrate the impact of man on the land at Sea Ranch in a geological perspective, using a logarithmic spiral to measure geological time and thus giving much stronger weight to the period of human impact (which on a normal timescale would be negligible). Under the Ecoscore, man’s impact is not evaluated, simply noted as an existential fact of the score.
"The Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music has been praised by many scholars and fans alike as an important history lesson, a valuable research tool, and just plain fun to look at. This engaging graphic has had a long and venerable history of popping up in some very interesting places. I created the chart back in 1977 as part of the research I was doing for Rock ‘N’ Roll is Here to Pay: The History and Politics of the Music Industry by Steve Chapple and Reebee Garofalo. The original version was called “Marketing Trends and Stylistic Patterns in Pop/Rock Music” and went from 1955-1974. It was included as a three-page fold-out in early printings of Rock ‘N’ Roll is Here to Pay."
Lyon set himself the goal of mapping the entire Internet in a single day using a single computer and a single Internet connection. The Opte Project's first full Internet map was created using the LGL graph engine, and color-coded according to class A allocation of Internet Protocol (IP) space to registrars around the world (red = Asia Pacific; green = Europe/Middle East/Central Asia/Africa; blue = North America; yellow = Latin America and Canbbean; cyan = RFC1918 IP addresses; white = unknown).
This map uses profile data from 10 million people -- or about 2% of Facebook's users. Butler first tabulated the number of friends between each city, and what latitude and longitude each friend was at. Then, he created a color code: The more connections between two places, the lighter the line is; the fewer, the darker. What emerged, of course, is a map of the world unlike any other. That is, it's not a map of roads or internet connections or airplane routes -- but a map of human relationships. Our physical geography is simply an emergent quality.
VISUALIZING SYSTEMS: THE BOOK AND THE BLOG
Visualizing Systems presents a selection of the most important visualizations and mappings of the human environment from 1800 - present. The collection considers the three-dimensional world—and the spatial, material, and temporal complexities that come with it—in order to document visual language that balances quantitative rigor and scientific methodology with tangible experiential descriptions of the groundplane as seen at eye level. The website above (visualizingsystems.com) is intended as a companion piece to an eponymous book by Andrea Hansen to be published by Princeton Architectural Press in late 2014. In addition to serving as an extended, catalogued repository for the examples featured in the book, the site encourages community uploads in order to foster discussion and serve as a testing ground for visual case studies that exemplify the spatial potential of data and visualization in the design fields. How does the display of data and information differ for the design professions? What are the relationships between cities and their ecological contexts? How do water, weather, plants, animals, geology, climate, etc. affect the built environment, and vice versa? How can we harness the increasing power and availability of big data to map and track the relationships between urban and ecological systems, nature and culture, and landscape and infrastructure, in a way that is not only BEAUTIFUL, but also PRECISE and CONCISE? And most importantly, how can the creation of clear and concise visualizations that explain a complex and changing world help to confer a new legitimacy to architects, landscape architects, and planners as they aim to carve out more prominent roles as policy makers? Curatorially, the site differs from other data visualization hubs in its focus on the spatial environment as well as its cultivation of a rich collection of historic imagery. While infographics and data visualizations are trending now, the techniques they employ are founded upon several milestones in visualization and analysis—from design, art, and the sciences—that are called out in this exhibit. By retracing the development of representational techniques that are commonplace today, we can encode new layers of meaning, thereby increasing the operativity of the drawing.
VISUALIZING SYSTEMS: THE EXPERIMENTS
The vignettes shown above offer a series of experimental techniques for representing spatial data. Drawing from the examples seen at right, the techniques are the beginning of a catalogue of system-specific modes of representation that characterize the material, temporal, scalar, and modal qualities of systems as diverse as storms, rivers, highways, and cellular networks. The parametric techniques, developed with Grasshopper and GH components, are largely founded upon GIS spatial analysis, but unlike GIS, utilize rendering modes such as point clouds, gradients, grids, and vector fields to relate more closely to the systems they measure.
WORLD WAR II BEGINS (U.S.)
VIETNAM WAR BEGINS
U.S. CIVIL WAR ENDS
WORLD WAR II ENDS
VIETNAM WAR ENDS
(CLOSES WESTERN HEMISPHERE TO COLONIZATION)
FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL
WRIGHT BROTHERS TAKE FIRST FLIGHT AT KITTY HAWK
(DOUBLES THE LAND AREA OF THE UNITED STATES)
1929 STOCK MARKET CRASH
FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY ACT (INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM IS BORN)
WORLD’S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION (CHICAGO WORLD’S FAIR)
(ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARKS)
HENRY FORD INTRODUCES THE ASSEMBLY LINE
LEVITTOWN IN NEW YORK IS THE UNITED STATES’ FIRST SUBURB
THE UNITED STATES FORMALLY RECOGNIZES CHINA
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON THE FIRST SKYSCRAPER (WILLIAM JENNEY’S HOME INSURANCE COMPANY IN CHICAGO)
THEODORE ROOSEVELT SIGNS ANTIQUITIES ACT
CHARLES DARWIN PUBLISHES ‘ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES’
WORLD WAR II BEGINS (EUROPE)
KARL BENZ PRODUCES THE FIRST AUTOMOBILE (POWERED BY AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE)
IBM RELEASES ITS FIRST PERSONAL COMPUTER
Andrea Hansen, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture (2011-2012 Kiley Fellow)
Charles Waldheim, Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture Dan Borelli, Director of Exhibitions David Zimmerman-Stuart, , Exhibitions Coordinator Additional image collection by GSD2241: Landscape Representation III and Kate Smaby
FOLLOW VISUALIZING SYSTEMS:
visualizingsystems.com facebook.com/visualizingsystems @vis_sys Visualizing Systems to be published by Princeton Architectural Press in late 2014
TIM BERNERS-LEE INTRODUCES THE WORLD WIDE WEB
FRIEDRICH ENGELS PUBLISHES ‘ON THE CONDITIONS OF THE WORKING CLASS IN ENGLAND’
SEPTEMBER 11TH ATTACKS
WORLD WAR I ENDS
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY IS CREATED
FIRST EARTH DAY
WAR OF 1812
U.S. CIVIL WAR BEGINS
ELLIS ISLAND OPENS TO IMMIGRANTS
WORLD WAR I BEGINS
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON THE ERIE CANAL
UPTON SINCLAIR PUBLISHES ‘THE JUNGLE'
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON HOOVER DAM
SILENT SPRING IS PUBLISHED
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