Protected: Class Notes – Augmented Reality and Ubiquitous Computing

May 12th, 2010 by Matthew K. Gold No comments »

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Class Notes – May 5, 2010

May 5th, 2010 by Matthew K. Gold 1 comment »

Guest Speaker: Steven Romalewski, Director, CUNY Mapping Service

Data linked to specific points on the earth’s service — enables analysis based on

proximity, where info is in relation to other characteristics

Concept of layers – organizing data with like features together – can query across layers –

how many subway stations are located within census tracts that meet certain specifications.

Portable GIS – GIS on a stick

when you open GIS package, it’s a blank slate — you have to bring data to it

up to you to know how to symbolize data
have to know how to get data to integrate into map
need info on projection and coordinate systems — need to make sure that things line up – how to project 3d object onto 2d service – thousands of mathematical concepts –

GIS grad course at Pratt — 15 week course – lot of drudgery to get to point where you can make maps that aren’t misleading

geographic data
attribute data

BIN – building identification number — from Bloomberg effort to make data more accessible

— but you stil

gdb geo database format

arcgis

shp – shape file format

Google – bought Keyhole
— google earth — keyhole project
now trivial to access aerial info and display on maps

Web services

geo-rectified
— will line up with other data systems

vector data vs. raster data

Maker — map data easily

— rely on web services and user reports

Open Street Map — another application — http://openstreetmap.org

Haiti relief efforts – people using GIS

Vintage – will data be updated as roads change, new buildings are built?

Open Geo – business model – take open-source

Ridethecity.org

Mapping off of the grid
one power of GIS is that it is based in physical geography — can abstract that to some extent . . . problems –

Modifiable Aerial Unit Problem – MAUP

How to Lie With Maps
— all maps lie; you have to make them lie as little as possible

Steve R’s
Absolute rule – never use default color schemes, etc. – always customize

Choropleth map — using gradations of color to represent gradations in your data

Need not only to understand data but how to represent data

— Need to understand your metadata –

find out what agency has regulatory authority over your subject and they will probably have data

http://mysite.pratt.edu/~sromalew/resources/resources.html

Cynthia Brewer
Designing With Maps
http://colorbrewer2.org/

Manahatta Project
http://themannahattaproject.org/

NYPL Map Rectifier
http://maps.nypl.org/warper/

OasisNYC.net
http://oasisnyc.net/

CUNY Mapping Service
http://www.urbanresearch.org/about/cur-components/cuny-mapping-service

Census Hard to Count 2010
http://www.censushardtocountmaps.org

Socialexplorer.com

You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination
http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/1568984308/maproom-20

CUNY Mapping Service
CUNY Data Service
NYC Labor Market Information Service

Protected: Class Notes – 4/14/10

April 14th, 2010 by Matthew K. Gold No comments »

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Protected: Class Notes – March 24

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Montage, Filmmaking, Queering Macho Culture, and Mashups

March 17th, 2010 by Sarah Ruth Jacobs No comments »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smYwygReJdU&feature=related

Scorpio Rising (1964)

I suppose I just want to add to everyone’s lovely examples the idea that mashups aren’t really anything new…filmically they are the spawn of montage, meaning the juxtaposition of normally alienated sound and image or image and image…classically with the Communist/Soviet montage of Eisenstein.  Prior to that the idea of remixing is probably as old as tales themselves, as old as oral retelling/remixing.

The above clip is from a great gay filmmaker, Kenneth Anger.  He took straight iconic imagery and pop songs and queered them as well as gave them a savage, sinister angle.  He mixes in a movie version of Christ’s life, seemingly innocent comic books, various iconic images, old horror movies, and Elvis’ Devil in Disguise (taken off of the YouTube video for copyright violations).   These items are juxtaposed in a way which deliberately queers the eye of the watcher.

A Remix: Woman Hold Ya Head and Cry

March 17th, 2010 by dale 1 comment »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ibgXeOHIMY

This is a remix of songs of three musical icons in Black communities in both the USA and Jamaica. All three are deceased but continue to engage the imaginations of various publics the USA and Jamaica. No doubt the creator of this remix saw similarities among all three men: black, male, coming from oppressed classes, music that dealt with themes around violence, machismo, and also the interrelatedness of Reggae and Hiphop music, the latter being influenced by or arising out of the former. Even though Bob is from an earlier generation and Biggie and Tupac are from a later one, there is a continuity in terms of the issues addressed in their music, more so Tupac with this concern for the sufferings of black youth in American society. Bob was equally interested in liberation struggles of the poor in Third World countries. This remix creates a space with respected artists from different generations and culture meet and dialogue about issues of concern in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, especially the killing and dying of the young, black male. Even more important, I think the remix highlights the suffering of black mothers who lose their sons to violence, to the streets in untimely deaths. Tupac and Biggie too, died untimely deaths and their mothers publicly grieved and mourned. In using Bob’s song from the 70s, the remixer is able to create a new product and connections across many years and generations, highlighting that things have changed but in many ways are still the same.

Everything sounds better autotuned

March 17th, 2010 by Ben Allen No comments »

The Gregory Brothers’ “Autotune the News” was a minor sensation last summer (the one linked above got some airplay on broadcast media; I found out about them when they were featured on Rachel Maddow’s show). Their stuff works through a sort of arbitrary juxtaposition and decontextualization; they take segments of video and audio that were originally created in purportedly serious contexts — news reports, debate shows, c-span — and craft them into a catchy, funny song, without much regard for the original political content of their material (or rather, through a deliberate and carefully maintained disregard of the political content).

In interviews the Gregory Brothers have noted that the decision of who is or is not frequently featured on Autotune the News is almost entirely driven by whether the figures’ voice can be autotuned into something catchy sounding, so for example Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, who apparently have voices that are easy to make soulful, show up much more often than croaky-voiced Dick Cheney, Keith Olberman gets about ten appearances for each one by Rachel Maddow, and, if one were to judge by Autotune the News, Katie Couric is the only network newscaster in America. Although occasionally political commentary / content from the AtN creators will slip through (for example, the line “I thought this bill was about the climate” in the above video), this is always brief; the political point of AtN is that it’s possible to read news broadcasts as being a series of manipulatable sounds rather than as “serious” political discourse. Frequently AtN episodes will start with the AtN creators green-screened into a Sunday debate show set, shouting “BORING!” over the original, pre-autotuned audio; the twin messages I see here are that:

  • The political discourse on television is so debased (or whatever) that turning it into a song is actually more useful than listening to it, or, alternately,
  • The content doesn’t matter, or at least the raw lulzy fun of repurposing something serious is valid no matter how important the content is

Although the Gregorys are most known for the AtN series, one way they thwart readings of their work that focus solely on the “American political discourse is lame” message is through some of the other videos they have on Youtube, featuring autotunings of acknowledged “great speeches” (for example, they’ve done autotunings of JFK and MLK Jr. speeches).

Mommy Dearest, Hillary Clinton (Music Video – ABBA)

March 16th, 2010 by Jeremy Rafal No comments »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhXAbQjzYxE

This video takes us back to the Democratic primaries of 2008, reminding us of the plethora of political statements on YouTube available at that time (thanks John).  It is a typical remix, I think, using clips from political speeches, movie scenes, and a soundtrack that goes along with it.  In this case, the author obviously paints a negative view of Hillary Clinton, equating her to the crazy character Joan Crawford from the movie Mommie Dearest.  The author also uses ABBA’s Mamma Mia as the soundtrack.

The author has given a lot of thought to the different “cultural references” that goes into this remix.  Mommie Dearest is an early 80s film that is relatively well-known, famous for the crazy self-absorbed mother who abuses her child.  Mamma Mia is also well-known in American culture.  In this video, the opening lyrics “I’ve been cheated by you since I don’t know when” is blatant statement against Hillary, although the original did not have this intention.    All of these are mixed with several clips of Hillary’s interviews, speeches, and appearances (note also the repetition of certain excerpts for emphasis)…a perfect example of “something new that didn’t exist before” from “mixing symbolic things together” (p. 75).

Remixing, I think, takes the expression ‘taking things out of context’ and exploits it to create something new, in this case, to make a political statement.  In other words, the original intended meaning of the sources has been explicitly taken out to say something new … and this is where I agree with Lessig, namely, this kind of expression should not be a legal issue and should be encouraged…

Marley, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac remix: Woman Hold Ya Head

March 16th, 2010 by dale No comments »

Bob, Tupac & BiggieThis is a remix of songs of three musical icons in Black communities in both the USA and Jamaica. All three are deceased but continue to engage the imaginations of various publics the USA and Jamaica. No doubt the creator of this remix saw similarities among all three men: black, male, coming from oppressed classes, music that dealt with themes around violence, machismo, and also the interrelatedness of Reggae and Hiphop music, the latter being influenced by or arising out of the former. Even though Bob is from an earlier generation and Biggie and Tupac are from a later one, there is a continuity in terms of the issues addressed in their music, more so Tupac with this concern for the sufferings of black youth in American society. Bob was equally interested in liberation struggles of the poor in Third World countries. This remix creates a space with respected artists from different generations and culture meet and dialogue about issues of concern in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, especially the killing and dying of the young, black male. Even more important, I think the remix highlights the suffering of black mothers who lose their sons to violence, to the streets in untimely deaths. Tupac and Biggie too, died untimely deaths and their mothers publicly grieved and mourned. In using Bob’s song from the 70s, the remixer is able to create a new product and connections across many years and generations, highlighting that things have changed but in many ways are still the same.

debate deja vu

March 15th, 2010 by John Wigglesworth 1 comment »

This video comes from Comedy 23/6, which is a part of the Huffington Post.  Watching the Presidential debates in 2008, you may have gotten the sense that you were hearing the same lines over and over again.  This is to be expected to some degree: each candidate has talking points, perfectly pitched to be the most effective.  But heard over and over again, these lines lose their sincerity.

This video shows that your feelings of deja vu were justified.  While each debate is supposed to focus on different issues, the candidates made the same points, over and over, in exactly the same way.  This video certainly drives home the point that each debate was no different from the others, a point that could not be made (at least not so well) by watching each debate separately.

The feeling of deja vu is not the only feeling this video evokes.  You get the sense that the candidates are simply feeding you lines to convince you of their points.  But once you see (as the video shows) that they are just lines, repeated over and over, you cannot help but to question the integrity of the candidates.

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