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— urbantick

Tag "tide"

The fascination with the moon had for a long time now had a bit of low. It is just there on the sky changing somehow a bit everyday and might get recognized in good weather conditions at full moon.
Historically the lunar calendar had a big influence, today the only real lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar or Hijri calendar (wiki). Most calendar in the past where in fact lunisolar. “All these calendars have a variable number of months in a year. The reason for this is that a year is not evenly divisible by an exact number of lunation, so without the addition of intercalary months the seasons would drift each year. This results in a thirteen-month year every two or three years.” (wiki)
The lunar cycles are not in sync with our currently used time units. The lunar day is not 24 hours, but 24 hours and 50 minutes. The most visual impact of this shift is the tide cycle and the fact that the tide is not everyday at the same time, but is roughly 25 minutes later every day.
Aluna now, is a large-scale permanent installation to visualize and communicate the lunar cycles. It is proposed to be built in London in the East India Dock Basin by 2012.
“Aluna is a unique proposal for the world’s first tidal powered Moon Clock. It will change the way we consider time and understand our planet.
Larger than Stonehenge, Aluna’s forty meter wide, five storey high structure is made up of three concentric translucent recycled glass rings. By looking at how each ring is illuminated, you can follow the Moon’s movements, its current phase and the ebb and flow of the tides. This animation of light is called Alunatime.” (alunatime.org)
Three rings of glass will display the wax and the wane of the moon in 29.5 calendar days (largest ring), the rise and sink of the moon in 24 hours and 50 minutes (middle ring) and the ebb and flow of the tide in 6 hours 25 minutes (smallest ring).
A brilliant animation of the sculpture is on the website. It is a 3D rendering, but in sync with the three rings are also displayed the tide of the river Thames and the moon on the sky, absolutely amazing.
For lunar geeks, there is also a Google Gadget for your iGoogle displaying the lunar calendar.

Image taken from aluna.org by Laura Williams

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In terms of cycles the tide is one of the most direct and powerful examples. While being away for a few days I enjoyed roughly fourteen tide cycles. The constance and continuity is very impressive together with the force. Assuming all of us have once tried to defend a sandcastle from the incoming wavs or keeping the little channel connected to the water as the tide goes out. The task is doomed, but only for the moment. There will be a next timeframe where it is possible again, this is the fascinating aspect of the rhythm. The problem with this is that our ability to deal with these time spans is limited. We very much life in the here and now and the speed and repetition of the tide is somehow just about out side our time perception. On one hand it move too slow in order to be properly perceived on a short term basis and it suddenly reaches your towel. On the other hand the cycle of two high tides is too long to be directly related in our experience.
Therefore the timeLapse is a good tool to get to grips with the rhythm, enjoy.

tl_tideHD_090702 from urbanTick on Vimeo.

Music “fire whistle’ by Jorya at mp3unsigned

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Google released this month a new 5.0 Beta version of Google Earth. The main new feature is the water. So far the oceans were just blue surfaced with little detail. In Google Earth 5.0 the oceans have become part of the (virtual) world and user can explore the “all new” underwater world.

This is a great feature and I imagine the beauty of the detail if someone starts implementing the rising water level. Not only on the level of climate change and catastrophes, but more on the level of the daily cycle of the tide. This was kind of the trigger for my research topic in the first place. The project of the floating city in the Thames Estuary, were the ever changing sea level was a research field and had a great impact on the project. To capture this rhythm in Google Earth would be great.

There is also a new time line, redesigned and a lot bigger. On the PowerBook screen it takes quite a lot of room that is annoying. But I’ll see how it improves the handling, as I will use it in the next few days. The new timeline makes also a series of older aerial photographs accessible. It is now possible to follow the change of a place over time using a series of older imagery.

Recording is now a feature of the free Google Earth version. So far only users who bought a license of the popular visualisation tool
had the option to record their trips on the (virtual) planet. Now everyone can record and share recorded trips including sound – live comments. The focus is on recorded TRIPS, it really is only a record of the navigation done within Google Earth and not a real movie. It is not possible to exchange these recordings other than as kml/kmz files and you need Google Earth to replay these files. You can exchange them though, but not as real movie clips like it is possible in the pied version of Google Earth.

One more new thing is the GPS direct import. Google has now discontinued the $20 version of Google Earth and implemented the GPS track importing function in the free version. It covers still the same functions as it did three years back, meaning only Garmin/Magelan and NMEA support.
I have not been able to get it to work though so far with my serial to USB connection to read directly from my Garmin Forerunner. I have been doing this back when I still had the paid version, but I remember it to be very difficult and each time a number of attempts to connect to the right port were needed. It would scan through all the available port one by one and the eventually hock to the right one. I am suspecting that Google decided not to support the serial connection any longer.

Image by urbanTick – Screen shot Google Earth GPS import window

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