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— urbantick

August 2009 Monthly archive

The book Ortszeit – Local time featured on the blog earlier as a method to investigate the passing of time. Time over a long period is really difficult to document and photography is just one of them, but probably the most widely used.
A similar effect achieves Danny Wills with his photographs. In this case it is not a direct comparison between two photographs taken at the same place at different times as in Ortszeit. Rather it is relying on the individual memory people have of something.

Image by Fantom – Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley

The photographs are about Mike Tyson, more exactly about one of his abandoned house. A lot of people know Mike Tyson as the boxer shown above. A public celebrity with its ups and downs in his career. He has finally retired in 2005 after his comeback in 1995. He spent some time in prison and once bit an opponent’s ear of during a fight. Those are the events you might remember.
There is more to his live of course and there is a lot more time to it than just these highlights. From time to time Tyson is again in the news. Earlier this year he promoted the movie about his life, at one point there was the sad death of one of his young children in the newspaper.
Danny Wills does not show any images of Tyson but rather pictures of one of his houses. It appears do be empty now but still has some of its glory. It speaks of a different time, a time Tyson was on top of his career maybe. It also speaks of the time Tyson was not in front of cameras, the time we don’t really know what he was doing. Maybe there was some “real life” time in between the events?




Images by Danny Wils – Mike Tyson

Head over to Danny’s really nice page to see a lot more photographs of Mike Tyson’s villa.

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London Small World was posted last week here on the blg. The 360 VR timelapse processing has been very tricky. Some result was on the blog earlier this month, but it was a complicated workflow and the result has raised some questions and eyebrows.
The main problem arises from shooting scenes with different zoom settings. At first the idea was to zoom right in to the mirror to allow for as much resolution of the focused 360 area as possible. This has become less and less important because of the fact that there is enough pixels anyway for HD use with 5mp capture settings and I also realized that the frame and the background, usually the sky around the mirror make for a good backdrop. The first trial was run on the bases of a cutout version of the mirror set in a white space. The HD dimensions did not really matter, later with the requirements of the background the dimensions and the proportions became important or rather defining.

Image by UrbanTick

Having this variety of zooms it makes it virtually impossible to get an insinc version out, using the current scenes. Solution, going out a shoot some more. It has to be seen as a go experiment and some conclusions have to be drawn from it. So, for me this means, think about the workflow and requirements of each step of the work flow first! And then go out and take pictures. Well it wouldn’t be fun anymore if we’d known everything beforehand, would it. The experiment is the exiting bit, isn’t it.
Anyway some more tests with a more elaborated workflow using FinaCut or AfterEffects to adjust and aline the image content.

2min15 London Small World from urbanTick on Vimeo.

The conclusion is basically that I will go out again and capture some more material. I will be using a more strict set of camera settings to make sure the raw material is easier to compile.

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Bangkok train track market. How the railway line is used for a marked and adapts to the change as a train passes through. Brilliant use of space.

from cluster.eu

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A pretty timeLapse of a storm over Toronto on the 8 of August this year. With an exposure of 15 seconds these cntitions whre captures on a Canon 5D Mark II.

Toronto Lightning Storm from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.

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The mental map pool on fllickr is very slowly collecting content. It is not like everyone is dying to add a map, but still there are some really good sketches uploaded. On the map it has dots on Europe and North America.
A text map of Dallas by Austrini. It was created for a tourist visiting Dallas and uses words to describe the lines and features literally. Combining the thought and spoken about with the shape and physical form of features.

Dallas Type Map
Image by Austrini

There are some sketches of London commuters traveling in central London using mainly public transport, where the main arteries of transport lines clearly start showing up. On the overall city sketches it is very interesting how the personal focus and experience shows through an information about individual memory is revealed.

Mental Map London
Image by Sung-Hyun Jang from GISplusAR

A cool clip of a map being drawn is put to the pool by Matthew Dance. It is the view of his journey from home to school in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, captures with a tablet as he was sketching it. It obviously gives a nice sequence that would speak about how he is remembering the space.

Clip by Matthew Dance from Wiser Path

Just to showcase a few. Hopefully the pool will be growing a lot more and new examples from a lot of different places will be added. Why don’t you add your city sketch and journey sketch NOW?


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TomTom announced its navigation software for the iPhone earlier this year at the WWDC. It was a blog post and it also was somehow exciting. It is only two and a half month later and the software is published but it is all not that exciting anymore. It might be a great software and with no doubt it works fine, but since the introduction of the 3GS at the same WWDC, so much has changed on the mobile gadget market. Only this month the introduction of the crowd sourced traffic platform WAZE was introduced in the United States and layar opened up AR layers for a broad range of uses. In fact AR has been the big topic for mobile phone platforms and Android is leading as an AR platform at the moment. TomTom has not yet announced anything for the Android platform.
Anyway, one software can not do everything we are well aware of this, but this now pushed the iPhone with its “can not run anything in the background” policy to its limit. If I ever will use the TomTom on my iPhone I want to have the WAZE live traffic update on top of it to give me up to date information and why not having some user generated stuff as AR blobs on the screen as well. For me all this fits together and will hopefully eventually merge into something I would more likely call a “navigation” software.

Augmented Reality Navigation from Robert Winters on Vimeo.

So navigation in the style of AR would be exciting, but the ever so normal (we now definitely got used to it) “after 200m turn right” TomTom is not exciting anymore, Nevertheless here is the latest TomTom clip to sweeten the waiting for the actual iPhone car kit.

The company has not yet announced the release date for this important element of in car navigation. In fact this is really funny but theoretically the software is somehow useless without the car kit. Of course some clever guys came up with a solution.

Found through GPSobsessed

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Animals have featured on the blog before, in the area of tracking. It was about Frogs / Frogs, Birds, Ants / Ants, Dogs and Cats. This time it is about dogs again. Purely in a technological sense of tracking of course. About the breed of GPS dog tracking devices.
The new model developed by RomaEO has featured on several news sites in the past few days. It comes with a central device and collar as a sender. With the central device the collar is recorded. A maximum of two collars can be tracked at the same time.
The spatial limitation is 3 Miles. So for hunting a good distance, if you are more sort of a leisure dog type and your dog is not well trained and often runs off, this might not be enough. The device is “tracking” the pet as it is called in the description, but I doubt that it actually records these tracks. This is not mentioned anywhere in the description.

Image by RomEO

It comes at quite a price. The basic set of handheld and one collar costs about $280.00 and an additional collar is again $160.00. It is currently only sold within the United States because of radio frequency issues.
The company has a range of products for dog (pet) owners. They even showcase a, presumably (telling from the images), iPhone based software for pet tracking. We are looking forward to hear more about this.

Comparable tracking system by Garmin is the Astro 220. It can track up to TEN! dogs (animals) at the same time. The downside ere s that the collar transmits only up to every fie seconds. If you have a hunting dog, five seconds can be quite a distance. It does track the pack up to seven miles (depending a bit on terrain). It is also priced in a different liga at $500.00

Images by Garmin

So to conclude, the RomaEO is some everyday product for the general public, make some money, leaving some responsibility to technology type. You might find it fun for a couple of hours, but it probably wears out.
The Garmin Astra on the other hand is a hardcore outdoor gadget for the serious user. It is extendable, durable and costs a lot.

There is a whole market out there for the cheap pet tracking products and these companies are puling all the triggers to convince people they might need this and will be able to use it. Companies like Zoombak offer the whole range of tracking from pet, to kids, to partner. That is a service. If you are more in for the silly side of all this tracking this add might be for you.

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A book about time is always something difficult. While time is passing the book stays, could be the metaphor.
The book I chose today is different. It talks about the passage of time and this not very quietly. But instead with a very loud bang although the photographs are very quiet and empty they scream – time.

Image by UrbanTick – Ortszeit – Local Time – Zittau, Store-House, 06/1990 and 09/2001

Ortszeit – Localtime is a photoessay by Stefan Koppelkamm with an essay by Ludger Derenthal. The photographer and designer Koppelkamm has after approximately ten years revisited sites he had photographed earlier. Mainly this is around 1990 for the first shot and around 2001 for the following up shot of the same scene or better location.
It is all about the vintage point. To access the same location again after such a long time can be quite challenging and some spot must have been inaccessible.

Image by UrbanTick – Ortszeit – Local Time – Potsdam, Park Babelsberg, view of the Gliencker Bruecke, 08/1991 and 04/2002

Portrayed are a number of key buildings from cities and towns of former DDR shortly after the fall of the wall. An obvious subject for a few people thinking ahead. And it proofs right. It is more than a book about photographs and time. It is a social document about the world we live in and not last about the city as a body. Germany struggled and still is with its history of separation and the reunion in 1989. THe process is long and multi layered, it is not only about time.

Image by UrbanTick – Ortszeit – locatime – Goerlitz, Gruener Graben, 06/1990 and 09/2001

On might expect that change over ten year would be dramatic and towards improvement. But while flipping tough the book it emerges, that actually the interesting images are not the ones that show progress from an economic perspective. Change lives in small details of materials and light. The photographer pays great attention to erase all trace of change of technology, especially in terms of the final product. This helps to focus on the scene and lets the image speak about what’s happened. Features in the images are talking. For example accessories such as cars transport a clear image with atmosphere. But on the other hand you get the funny scene, where everything has changed except from the spacial configuration and the bin on the street corner.

Koppelkamm, S., 2006. Ortszeit = Local Time, Stuttgart: Edition Axel Menges.

There is a section on the book’s website for photographs that are not in the book. Some brilliant images can be see there online. There is also a short interview, the author was interviewed by Christina Tillmann, Der Tagesspiegel.

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Finally the new timeLapse animation is here. It was shot quite quickly in two days, while having reasonable August weather. The editing process was more of a problem, though. It is shot with a G9, some 1480 stills. While using the 360 VR this was quite an installation and there are issues with the zoom level. Because this has to be done manually it is different in each scene and this proofed a problem in the editing process. Photoshop is a helpful tool and without the batch function there would be no timeLapse, but for synchronizing the frame over different scenes it is quite tricky. I know video editing software would do the trick, but the rendering process would consume about the same amount of time.

Image by UrbanTick – StoryBoard

Anyway here it is, with eleven scenes from around central London (I know I should get out once! Any suggestions for places?) Funny enough I spent two days sitting underneath the tripod and studying the scenes. The angle of the VR mirror allows for sitting underneath so I dono appear in all the scenes, but still in a couple of them. In the empty Gordon Square I had to use some bread to attract pigeons otherwise it would have been a bit boring. Other scenes like the Millennium Bridge it as too crowded there was no need for intervention. Sorry for the shaking in this particular scene, but the bridge is in motion because of the crowd. If you sit (like me) or stand there for a while, you can feel it.
So the little worlds are up now, and maybe you spot yourself in the clip somewhere.

London Small World from urbanTick on Vimeo.

music by bradsparky at m3unsigned.com

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Brightkite has something to offer. This was already clear after last weeks post about the service. But there is more coming! Only two days ago they have posted a preview of their next step. As you might guess it is AR based, but it looks brilliant and, get at least me very excited.
To see all the posts on top of the real world through the lens of the camera phone will be a brilliant use of the technology. You could call it state of the art. A lot of services have been announced lately, but this will take social networking on a next level. At the moment unfortunately it is only Android based, but should soon come to the iPhone too. It looks like the revamp has also brought along some more colours and hopefully an extended length of messages, was a bit limited so far. Have a look at the clip.

Brightkite Augmented Reality from Brightkite on Vimeo.

We just need A LOT more people here in London to use it to make it a lot of fun! So get your iPhones and Androids out and start using Brightkite to generate some content for this AR application!
They have teamed up with Layar for the AR stuff. The company has just release an API for their AR browser. This has opened the competition to become the AR browser of choice, as there are other companies in the same market. At the moment it is Layar and Wikitude, you guessed it, a Wikipedia project, but soon other companies will make theyr own API available. One of the will be Mobilizy, sheduled for next week.
Layar has the potential to become a major player, as there is already a lot of content available. Check their blog for examples and pretty clips.

Found trough GPSObsessed.com and Vimeo.

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