Certitude and Change

Images of this 1956 Pictorial Wildlife and Game Map of the United States have been kicking around the Internet for a while now. It caught my eye when I first saw it, but I’ve been pondering just why I find it so intriguing. Sure, it’s picturesque and pretty. It harks back to a cheery era…

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Let’s Play Big Data

The other day I overheard a student next to me on a flight say, “I can remember the words to almost every song I’ve ever heard more than once or twice – if only the legal cases I need to learn were set to music, I could remember them all.” Optimistic, I know, but maybe…

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Seabed Data

The first trans-Atlantic communications cable was laid in 1858, carried across the ocean by two ships and connected to create instantaneous communication across an ocean. Unfortunately, it only worked for few days, and it was almost ten years before a replacement was successfully laid. That cable, however, remained in service for a century. I only…

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View from Above

We’re always looking for reasons, causality, connections, in life and in science. There’s an ongoing project that might be an invaluable tool in discovering unexpected interconnectivity on the planet’s surface. The ICARUS Initiative (“International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space”) is a scientific collaboration working towards placing a remote sensory system on the International Space…

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What is Missing

An ongoing project initiated by designer Maya Lin is a stunning combination of big data, environmental awareness and subtle beauty. Harvesting from a wide variety of historical documents, scientific research, citizen observations and memories, What is Missing looks at the spaces left by the decline and disappearance of species, habitats and ecosystems. The web presence…

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Southern Swirl

Over on the ever-mesmerizing UXBlog, I found these hypnotic examples of historical cartography – a backward glance at a century of hurricanes. These maps are oriented with the Antarctic at the center, and show both the trajectory and intensity of each storm for which data was available. According to John Nelson, who created the maps,…

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