tecznotes

Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Dec 2, 2010 3:55am

winter 2010 sabbatical: days two and three

Two days have elapsed, all is well.

Yesterday I spent most of my morning dragging the six month-old “Atlas” feature of Walking Papers into a releasable state. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s significantly closer than the one I bashed together in a few days at a Camp Roberts exercise back in April. The general idea behind this feature is that the single-sheet bias of Walking Papers is a hindrance to people covering large areas, and more significantly it doesn’t help people who are delegating work. I continue to be surprised at the outcomes of this project - Eric is more focused on the tactile and aesthetic qualities of the prints themselves, while I’m interested in some of the social and organizational implications. It was always designed to be personal and utilitarian, but we’re finding that in a lot of ways it’s not quite those two things, not necessarily at the same time. Socially, the idea of multiple-page outputs opens the dynamic of tasking or assignment, which turns the sheet of paper into a communicating object. Why should it necessarily be the same person choosing the area, printing everything, handing out maps, noting down features, running them back and doing the scanning? Properly organized, all those activities can be parceled out and done more effectively for large areas.

An important thing that happened was the release of Bing imagery for tracing into OpenStreetMap, one of the most visible outcomes of Steve Coast’s new job over there. Also, the OSM Flash-based editor Potlatch 2 was finally released into the wild. Something really significant is happening with OpenStreetMap right now - it’s hitting all these critical communities and corporations and sparks and ripples are shooting out.

Today I spent most of the day catching up with Stamen alumni Ben Cerveny and Tom Carden, and working on a little thing we’re developing with Adam Greenfield and Nurri Kim over at Do Projects. It’s hiding in plain sight, I’ll talk more about it later when I’m more comfortable that we’re close to release.

Also, mostly thanks to Aaron, I pinned a bunch of new cartography porn:

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