Posts Tagged ‘washington’

Map: Top Secret America, A Washington Post Investigation (Kelso via WaPo)

Monday, July 19th, 2010

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[Editor’s note: The government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex, and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping citizens safe. Discover the top-secret work being done in your community via our map and search relationships within this complex world on our network diagram. Monday’s story focuses on the growth in Top Secret America since 9/11. Next up we cover the government’s increasing dependence on contractors and delve into the Top Secret America neighborhood around Ft. Meade, Maryland. The map is constructed in Flash using the Google Maps API with custom map tiles for zooms 0 to 5. The government and company locations and work relationships are gathered from publicly available records. This project has been in the works for over a year, I hope you enjoy!]

Republished from The Washington Post.

A hidden world, growing beyond control

By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

Watch the intro video at The Washington Post . . .

Read the article . . .

Interact with the map . . .

One mulberry, and they’re carried home (Wash Post)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

mulberries

[Editor’s note: Food geography mixed with migration and sense of place = psychogeography!]

Republished from The Washington Post.

In Washington, mulberry trees offer many immigrants a taste of home
By Tara Bahrampour

The rush-hour rainstorm didn’t faze Sara Shokravi as she parked in Rosslyn, ducked into a Starbucks restroom to change out of her work clothes and marched down to a narrow offramp that feeds motorists onto the Key Bridge. Ignoring the cars that splashed water onto the grass, Shokravi, a 27-year-old consultant, pulled out a plastic bag, stopped at a tree laden with red and black berries, and started picking.

It would not have been a strange sight in her native Iran, where at this time of year entire families can be seen at laying out bedsheets and shaking trees to collect the berries, which they eat fresh, dried or blended into juice. Here, she acknowledged, her foraging prompts “funny looks. This is D.C. — people aren’t going to go out of their way to get something if it’s not in a store.”

They don’t know what they’re missing, say mulberry fans, most of whom are immigrants. Just the sight of fruit-laden trees can conjure up sweet memories for people who grew up in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Far East.

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Helios Exhibit: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change (Corcoran in DC)

Monday, April 12th, 2010

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[Editor's note: Famous for his "groundbreaking studies of animal and human locomotion, 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge was also an innovative landscape artist and pioneer of documentary subjects." The exhibit looks at all aspects of the artist's work and is open at the Corcoran art gallery in Washington DC now thru July 18th. Cost is $10 per adult, open Weds - Sunday.]

Republished from the Corcoran.

Best known for his groundbreaking studies of animal and human locomotion, 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge was also an innovative landscape artist and pioneer of documentary subjects. Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change is the first retrospective exhibition to examine all aspects of Muybridge’s art.

Structured in a series of thematic sections, the exhibition includes numerous vintage photographs, albums, stereographs, lantern slides, glass negatives and positives, camera equipment, patent models, Zoopraxiscope discs, proof prints, notes, books, and other ephemera. Over 300 objects created between 1858 and 1893 are brought together for the first time from numerous international collections. Muybridge’s only surviving Zoopraxiscope—an apparatus he designed in 1879 to project motion pictures—will also be on view.

Organized by Corcoran chief curator and head of research Philip Brookman, the exhibition will also travel to Tate Britain in London from September 8, 2010 through January 16, 2011, and to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from February 26 through June 7, 2011. A catalogue of the exhibition, with new essays by Brookman, Marta Braun, Andy Grundberg, Corey Keller, and Rebecca Solnit, will be published Steidl.

Plan your visit . . .

Climate change’s impact on forests being measured via expanding tree trunks (Wash Post)

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

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[Editor's note: Humorous but scientific take on "tree huggers" in the U.S. mid-Atlantic. Catching up on some old clippings as I roll back into DC.]

Republished from The Washington Post.

By David A. Fahrenthold. Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jess Parker hugs trees.

In the woods of Anne Arundel County, he throws his arms around tulip poplars, oaks and American beeches, and holds them so tightly that his cheek presses into their bark. This is not some hiker on a lark: anybody, hopped up on campfire coffee and exercise endorphins, might hug a tree once.

This is science. Parker has done it about 50,000 times.

Parker, a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Institution, has spent the past 22 years on a research project so repetitive, so time-consuming, that it impresses even researchers with the patience to count tree rings. Since 1987, he and a group of volunteers have embraced thousands of trees, slipped a tape measure behind them, and wrapped it around to measure the trees’ girth.

This year, after about 250,000 hugs between them, the work paid off.

Parker’s data, which showed the trunks gradually fattening over time, indicated that many of the trees were growing two to four times faster than expected. That raised questions about climate change’s impact on the age-old rhythms of U.S. forests.

It might also raise questions about Parker and members of his team, who say they enjoyed almost every minute of it.

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Geocaching GPS Adventure at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore

Friday, February 19th, 2010

[Editor’s note: If your on the East Coast the next couple months and looking to entertain kids (or your inner kid), check out the GPS Adventures geocaching experience at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, just an hour’s drive from Washington, DC. Requires modest entrance fee. After Baltimore, the exhibit heads to Redding, California, and then Dayton Ohio.  Thanks Dan!]

Republished from Maryland Science Center.
Video above is “The Thrill is in the Hunt” from the Pacific Science Center.

Opens this Saturday, thru April 18th.
Directions, hours and price »

Get Lost!

GPS Adventures is a life-sized maze exhibition introducing visitors to cutting-edge Global Positioning Systems (GPS) through Geocaching–a family friendly treasure hunting game.  More than three million people around the world are on the hunt for nearly a half million hidden treasures. In addition to hidden booty, these geocachers are finding the real treasure: reconnecting with family, community and nature in a meaningful way.

Exhibit highlights

  • Discover how GPS Technology is changing the way we live
  • Join the global treasure hunt movement known as geocaching
  • Use navigation, memory, and critical thinking to get through the maze

New navigation for a new kind of treasure hunt

GPS technology is changing the way we live.  It can be found in surprising places from cars to cell phones and is the backbone of the global treasure hunting game geocaching.  Get lost in the maze and learn how to find your way using GPS.  Visitors simulate a GPS adventure using a unique stamp card that leads you to your own Treasure City.  By collecting all 4 stamps you can better understand how satellite technology uses plotting to determine your exact location on the planet.

Understand how satellites pinpoint your position on the globe

Once visitors collect all 4 stamps visitors navigate the maze.  Navigate around impossible obstacles including waterfalls, cliffs and ravines to solve cache puzzles in four environments: city, local park, backcountry and an historic site to find secret codes and gain access to each of the satellite rooms.  Learn about maps, compasses and geography along the way.

Join the community of modern day treasure hunters–geocachers!

Meet Signal Frog—your helpful guide along the way.  Try on the latest outdoor gear and insert yourself into an outdoors-themed magazine cover.  Short, funny videos give an insider peak at the outdoor adventure of geocaching.  Interactive displays throughout the maze help visitors understand exactly how GPS works and how an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS navigation and deciphering clues has become a worldwide phenomenon with families and groups who embark on these 21st century treasure hunts.

Animated map: The evolution of Metrorail, 1976-2010 (GGDC)

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

[Editor’s note: When the mode of thinking is interactivity, its nice to see animation used to it’s potential. Thanks Jaime!]

During December’s snowstorm, we wrote that the worst December storm since 1982 would (and did) create a Metro system with about the same number of stations as in 1982, as did this weekend’s storm.

This raises the question, what exactly did the rail system look like in 1982? Or other years? To answer that, I created a little slideshow:

Continue reading and see the animation at Greater Greater Washington . . .

Screenshot below:

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My street has been plowed! (MyMaps and Wash Post)

Monday, February 8th, 2010

My colleage Wilson setup a open-to-everyone Google MyMaps project for folks to note which streets in DC have been plowed. Had to hack the embed with a network link via Google Maps to get all the locations to plot on one map (MyMap usually wants to separate blocks of markers into separate pages and maps).

Check it out at The Washington Post . . .

Map of big snow storm in DC (Kelso via Wash Post)

Monday, February 8th, 2010

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I’m still digging out from the big storm this weekend in Washington, DC. I received 24″ at my house, ranged from 14″ to over 30″ in the metro area with heaviest around Columbia, Maryland. I worked during the storm and Laris and I tallied the NWS weather spotter reports of snowfall and used the GIS to krig the a map of average depth from about 50 points (which had to be filtered to remove expired values). Then used Illustrator’s Live Trace functionality to vectorize. Preview above (for the local home page promo which didn’t have room for legend, so directly labeled the contours), full graphic below with explainer of how the storm happened (with Laura and Larry).

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OpenStreetMap leveraged for bikes: Ride the City – DC Metro

Monday, February 8th, 2010

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[Editor’s note: This routing tool considers bike paths and trails and supports drag and drop start and stop icons (rather than just address entree). It’s available for several major metro areas across the US and just came to Washington, DC. How can you get it in your town? Yet another reason to contribute to OpenStreetMap.org, the backend behind the tool. Thanks Jaime!]

Republished from Ride the City.

Washington D.C. is a great city for bicycling: its greenway network is extensive and it’s relatively flat. D.C. is also home to Smartbike DC, a public bike rental program.

We’re happy to announce that today bicycling in the nation’s capital just got easier: Welcome Ride the City – DC Metro! This newest addition includes Washington D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, all of Fairfax, and the Maryland suburbs within the Capital Beltway. We’re hopeful that by making it easier to ride bikes around the epicenter of U.S. political power that we may inspire more action to bring about improved bicycle facilities everywhere, especially in cities where biking is a sensible alternative to driving.

Ride the City – DC Metro was probably our biggest challenge to date. It was tricky because of the many jurisdictions (six counties) and various data sources that had to be organized, not to mention the 1,148 square miles of area and over 450 miles of separated (i.e. Class 1) bike ways that had to be manually edited. We’re happy to have had help from many good people in the bicycling world. Among those who helped, we’d like to thank Chantal Buchser (Washington Area Bicyclist Association), Bruce Wright (Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling), and Jeff Hermann (Fairfax County DOT) for helping us with data, troubleshooting, and leveraging volunteers to test routes early on.

(For those of you who are new to Ride the City, keep in mind that the Cloudmade basemap that we use is based on Open Street Map, the volunteer effort to map the world. If you notice discrepancies on the map, you can edit Open Street Map yourself or tell us about it and we’ll edit Open Street Map for you. To learn more about Open Street Map, click here.)

Try it out at Ride the City . . .

Mountain Cart and OpenGeo Conferences in 2010

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

In addition to the Association of American Geographers conference here in DC this April, there are two conferences of note over in Europe in late summer (thanks Martin):

September 1 – Sept. 5:
ICA Commission Mountain Cartography
will meet in Romania. Abstracts due by March 1. More info »

September 6 -  Sept. 9: 
FOSS4G in Barcelona.
Abstracts need to be in by April 1. More info »

I’ve attended the mountain cartography conference before and highly recommend it. It’ll be a much smaller affair then the Barcelona conference and include many mountain outings.

The “Free and Open Source Software for GeoSpatial” conference is an:

international ‘gathering of tribes’ of open source geospatial communities, where developers and users show off their latest software and projects.

The spatial industry is undergoing rapid innovations and the open source spatial community is one of the forces driving the change. The FOSS4G conference is more than a melting pot of great ideas it is a catalyst and opportunity to unite behind the many successful geospatial products, standards and protocols.

See you there!