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Special places: Urban infrastructure

September 2015

ArtMapping Venice

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This is a blog about building a website to bring together his­toric artworks of Venice, maps to locate the places depicted, and tools to search and sort. It is the work of three students of Digital Hu­man­it­ies at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne​—​Tania Palmieri, Ertan Kazikli and Orhan Ocal. The text is in English, heavily laced with acronyms: API, JSON, KML, XML and suchlike.

In ArtMapping Venice the authors explain their process of se­lect­ing which methods and tools to use. It is this work-in-progress aspect that makes it interesting for me​—​as well as the delights of the city and the artworks it has inspired. »more»

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under Italy + Urban infrastructure
April 2006

The 1906 San Fransisco earthquake and fire

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This month marks the centenary of the earthquake and fire that destroyed a large part of San Francisco in April 1906. This web­site tells the story of destruction and rescue, using thousands of photographs along with text transcripts of letters, reports and other documents.»more»

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban infrastructure + Urban life
March 2006

Aerial photos of Mexico City

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Helicopter photographs of an extraordinary city.

»more»

September 2005

The interactive Nolli map

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In 1741 Giambattista Nolli published his Pianti Grande di Roma, a fabulously detailed and accurate map of Rome.

Now Jim Tice, Erik Steiner and others from the University of Oregon have created this website. Bravo!

»more»

August 2005

Texas bird’s-eye views

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This website displays a collection of late nineteenth century bird’s-eye views of Texan cities and towns. The views were originally published as colour lithographs, full of the detail of buildings and other human artefacts set in a grand landscape.

The subjects are settlements established or expanded since the coming of the railroad. With their orderly gridded streets, heroic railway viaducts, belching smokestacks and rows of neat houses the views exude the settlers’ pride in their achievements.

I am reminded of the pattern of development of parts of Queensland in the same period. The port city of Galveston seems like Rockampton, while there are inland Texan analogs for Emerald, Barcaldine and Longreach.

»more»

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Industry + Urban infrastructure
February 2005

Yin Yu Tang, a Chinese home

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This web exhibition introduces a late Quing dynasty merchants’ house from south eastern China. The house was dismantled and re-erected at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, USA.

»more»

November 2004

Guide to Springfield

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Here is a web guide to the imaginary city inhabited by The Simpsons. From the introduction:

Although we’d like our map to be as accurate as a map to any imaginary place can be, our main intent is to preserve the comic spirit of Springfield, document its unique identity, and to have some fun at the same time.
»more»

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban infrastructure
May 2004

Wellington cable car museum

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In the 1890s in Wellington, entrepreneurs built a cable tramway to connect the port city to newly subdivided building lots on the hills above. It was a great success. It operated until the 1970s, when a new cable tramway was built on the same right-of-way.

»more»

April 2004

Art Deco Napier

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The port and resort city of Napier, on the east coast of the North Island, was heavily hit by an earthquake in 1931. 162 people died in Napier, and another 93 in nearby Hastings. Most of Napier’s commercial and institutional building stock was destroyed. A few skillful local architects designed a suite of new buildings in then-fashionable styles — Art Deco, Spanish Mission, Stripped Classical. Within a few years the city had been rebuilt.

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October 2003

Les Photos de Villes

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This website offers photographs of every building in the 19 districts of Paris, and nine other French cities. Each photograph sits on your computer screen beside a street map showing exactly where you are.

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August 2003

Maps of Scotland 1560-1928

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The National Library of Scotland’s map collection is one of the ten largest in the world.

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April 2003

Manhattan transformations

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From the blurb on the front pages of this website: Manhattan transformations: mapping Manhattan’s skyscraper districts through time

This project uses computer models and interactive animations to depict the dynamic relationship between Manhattan’s skyscrapers and other layers of urban information, such as:

Geological formation, settlement patterns, landfill.
Transportation and communications infrastructure, zoning laws and real estate cycles.

»more»

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under USA + Urban infrastructure
January 2003

Historic cities

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A joint project of the Historic Cities Center of the Department of Geography, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National and University Library.

»more»

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under World + Urban infrastructure
December 2001

Fremantle Prison

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Built to house British convicts in the 1850s, and adapted for colonial prisoners in the 1880s, Fremantle Prison was closed in 1991.

This web site tells the history of the prison and the people associated with it. Conservation planning documents are included, along with a searchable database of inmates, and plans in AutoCAD format.

»more»

April 2001

Modern ruins

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Phillip Buehler’s dossier of ruined ships, railway stations, stadiums, hospitals, Worlds Fair sites, U-boat bunkers and other remarkable places. The author has a sharp eye​—​look at the other sections of his site too (linked from the home page).

»more»

February 2001

Wilkommen bei cityscope — Berlin

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Watch the old German capital being made new. See panoramic views of key neighbourhoods (Potsdamer Platz, Spreebogen, and Kurfürstendamm), updated regularly, with an archive of images since 1994. There are also links to cameras covering Stuttgart and Expo2000 in Hannover.

»more»

March 1999

Urban adventures

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This web site is maintained by the Melbourne Drain Team, a bunch of adventurers who secretly explore outlandish places above and below the ground​—​a garish but engaging web site, linked to a ring of others around the world

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On this page
ArtMapping Venice
The 1906 San Fransisco earthquake and fire
Aerial photos of Mexico City
The interactive Nolli map
Texas bird's-eye views
Yin Yu Tang, a Chinese home
Guide to Springfield
Wellington cable car museum
Art Deco Napier
Les Photos de Villes
Maps of Scotland 1560-1928
Manhattan transformations
Historic cities
Fremantle Prison
Modern ruins
Wilkommen bei cityscope -- Berlin
Urban adventures

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