Google Moon faked in a holodeck

Google_moon.jpg

I’m not actually a believer that NASA faked the moon landings but had an amusing moment looking through Google’s wonderful new Google Moon where there aren’t enough images to complete the 360-degree panorama. The result is that you see the grid of the pano and it looks like the backdrop of a studio. Or a holodeck, but then that doesn’t really exist either except in secret NASA labs.

[tags]googlemaps, moon, nasa[/tags]

Googlemap of Design Books

Markus Dressen's Googlemap of his books

Markus Dressen has laid out a selection of his favourite books and created a Googlemap of them. Most of them are design and art books and provide an interesting insight into his tastes. And it’s a clever idea too.

I noticed that he appears to be German and that one of his books was about the Volksboutique work of one of my colleagues here at the Bauhaus, Christine Hill. Anyone know who Markus is?

Thanks to Mike at Digital Agency for the link, which originally came via RandomCulture.

UPDATE: It really is a small connected world. Interaction designer, David Schmidt posted in the comments a link to some Flickr photos of Christine and Shelley Jackson. I had no idea they knew each other (and I’ve not met David in the flesh yet either). (Christine wants it known that she won the tennis match they’re relaxing after!).

So of course I mailed Christine who then replied explaining who Markus Dressen is:

Markus is not my student, he’s a force of nature. He’s a stellar designer based in Leipzig, and did the complete layout of my monograph.  I will show you a copy in Weimar, it will knock you over.  He is amazing.  We are actually about to reprint that, including 32 new pages for the Venice Edition, and I am so looking forward to spending more time with him.  He studied at the HGB in Leipzig, specializing in books, his thesis is a hand made Unikat, that is a feat of both layout and printing, not to mention hand binding and well, I just can’t do the work justice in an email.

Markus also is the brains behind the journal Spector Cut + Paste.

The HGB is also the home of the Spherical Robots project/group who have created some great interactive/installation concepts, including Bitfall.

Google and UNEP Map Environmental Change

Deforestation of Rondonia in the Amazon

Google and the United Nations Environmental Programme last week launched an addition to Google Earth called the Atlas of Our Changing Environment, which allows people to view images of environmental change and information overlaid onto the satellite images.

You can access them from the ‘Featured Content’ section of Google Earth, or you can look at the web version.

I find this convergence of interaction/information design and environmental/sustainability issues really interesting because a large part of the problem is making this stuff meaningful and visible to everyday people and hooks into the work we’re trying to do at the Omnium Creative Network. It goes to show that good visual design (and of course the data) can really have an impact.

I’ve known about the scale of deforestation in the Amazon for years, all the stats on football pitch sized patches being destroyed every hour, etc. But it’s not until you see an image like this (and you can get the 1970’s image overlaid too, to compare) that you really appreciate how awful it is. Most of these images from Rondônia are from about 500 miles up too. From the overlay info:

In 1975, the region was still relatively pristine, with much of the forest intact. By 1989, the distinctive fishbone pattern of forest exploitation had appeared and by 2001 had expanded dramatically.

Shocking. As are almost all of the before and after images.

Google Flight Sim

Me flying over South London somewhere...

Okay, so once again I’m so far behind the curve on this one I’ve wrapped around and am in front again (I reckon). Mark Caswell-Daniels’ Goggles – a flight sim using Google Maps is up there on my list of “things I wish I had done” (which is getting rather long these days).

It feeds into my slight obsession with Google Earth/Maps and some kind of God-complex I’m sure.

It’s a portfolio piece for Mark, so go visit his folio and someone give him some work. The bandwidth is costing him a fortune.

(Thanks to Iain at Crackunit for this one.)