My first kickstarter project

GPS traces of Manhattan and surroundings

GPS traces of Manhattan and surroundings

Yay, my first kickstarter project.

For a long time I’ve wanted to expand on a project I did with Tom Carden in 2005. We took GPS traces of London and plotted them in a simple black-on-white scheme on A0 paper (about 3 feet by 2 feet). Bit rot has not destroyed all of the old wiki page or boing boing post about it.

Back then GPS was a rarity. Today it’s everywhere. We were able only to do London and for various logistical reasons limited to 100 prints which were posted to all corners of the Earth. What I’m able to do here is much more expansive – the United States plus a large chunk of Europe.

Large format prints of SF, Chicago and NYC

Large format prints of SF, Chicago and NYC

Each black line represents one GPS trace and I layer many on to a sheet of paper which highlights where people actually go as contrasted with a traditional maps which show every possible place where you can go. Because of the small inherent GPS inaccuracy of each individual trace, roads with a lot of traffic become thicker and bolder. Personally, I find these to be beautiful artifacts somewhere in between art, technology and social science.

Another wonderful thing is that they work fractally (across scales). From across a room there is a recognizable depth to them which speaks to the city they represent. Up close, you can see individual GPS trails and appreciate the detail. Either far or near you get sucked in to something which crystalizes the movement of a city in to something finite and appreciable.

A slightly blurry close up of SF

A slightly blurry close up of SF

A lot of work has gone in to these, to be expanded upon in a future post. Writing the software to produce them was, as ever, interesting but the smallest part. The final product contains many elements: printing, printers, inks, papers, rasterization, shipping, poster tubes, packaging, marketing, customer acquisition. In some ways this project has taken 7 years to put together, in some maybe 6 months.

I don’t expect to break the bank selling posters. I’m doing this because it just feels like someone needs to make this kind of art much more available. I don’t think Tom & I were the first to do this (projects date from at least 2003) and this won’t be the last.

It definitely will be fun, so join in over at kickstarter.

4 Responses to My first kickstarter project

  1. Rasmus March 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi there Steve, Rasmus here. I was wondering if you have data on Zürich in Switzerland?
    Did not know how to write you so i did it here, good luck with your amazing project.

    Best Regards
    Rasmus A. Moe

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. OpenGeoData | SudTv Network - March 2, 2013

    [...] – La prossima conferenza State Of The Map 2013 si terrà a Birmingham (UK), tra il 6 e l’8 Settembre. Se vorreste partecipare, vi potete già registrare con Lanyrd. – E’ stata pubblicata l’edizione del 2013 del poster di “Best Of OSM“. Potete trovare qui il poster e qui la nuova pagina web. – Stiamo cercando nuove idee per progetti per il Google Summer Of Code 2013. – Sono stati aggiunti due tile server. – L’HOT ha bisogno del tuo aiuto per mappare Kunduz! Un nuovo strumento online invece aiuta nella mappatura del Mali. Alcune informazioni generali: un post su EUROSHA di Stephane Henriod può essere trovato qui. Un link all’articolo può essere trovato nella pagina delle notizie nel blog UN-Spider – Martin Elmar ha creato una infografica che mostra i momenti magici nella storia di OSM. – Nel 2012 la OSM Foundation ha ricevuto una donazione di 5000 dollari da duckduckgo, grazie! – Un bel paragone fra le mappe di OSM, Google Maps, Nokia e Yandex, questa volta per la città di Chelyabinsk (dove è esploso il meteorite). – Volete notizie su Potlach2? Qui c’è una dichiarazione di Richard Fairhurst. – Mikel Maron ha scritto un post su (Non) trovare comunità locali di OSM. - Un video di Simon Rogers mostra come si possa creare una mappa dei meteoriti con CartoDB e i dati OSM. – Michael Migurski ha scritto di come si processano i dati OSM in Hadoop. – All’Hack Weekend di Karlsruhe (Germany) Andi e Jochen hanno creato un primo prototipo di una nuova tabella delle Map Features. – Keypadmapper3 è un nuovo tool per mappare i numeri civici per OSM. É stato sviluppato per Android e i tuoi contributi aiuteranno anche il progetto OpenCellIDs. – Qui può essere trovato il nuovo tutorial per Maperitive: 10 passi per creare una mappa online per l’escursionismo. – Steve Coast ha creato un progetto di crowdfunding chiamato GPS-Art-Posters. [...]

  2. OpenStreetMap Chile » Blog Archive » Resumen Semanal OSM #63 - March 4, 2013

    [...] Steve Coast inicio un proyecto de financiamiento comunitario (“Crowdfunding”) para crear “posters-de-arte-GPS“. [...]

  3. Weekly OSM Summary #63 | OpenStreetMap Blog - May 7, 2013

    [...] Steve Coast started a Crowdfunding-project to create GPS-Art-Posters. [...]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes