All Posts Tagged ‘geography


★ Undersea Cablescape

This image caught my eye this afternoon;[Via Digg]Digging a little further brought up this image also;[Via The Guardian]I’d looked into this some time ago, noting the interdependance of continents on single connection points for their data resources, and this is a good example of that. The bottom image describes two separate incidents in which human sea activity disrupted data cable connections and resulted in major network shutdowns to entire regions. Whilst these events may occur fairly infrequently (I’d be interested to see some stats on the number of incidents in the last 30 years, or possibly just as interesting, stats on how frequently repair crews are scheduled for ‘routine maintenance’), the above images highlight an inherent weakness of the physical internet.Some thoughts come to mind;

  • Geographical regions as physical storage, or ‘plug-and-play’ Australia?
  • How do you actually lay/repair cables spanning entire oceans?
  • Is it possible to target a country’s umbilical data cord, in an act of piracy or terrorism-by-proxy?
  • What kind of intercontinental landscape has been created under our oceans? If raised, would this undersea network be visible from space?

★ The Street as Platform

The Street as platform – a street rendered in data.

November has been a busy month! Along with Anthony Burke, Dan Hill and Mitchell Whitelaw, I’ve been running an intensive masterclass studio in the Master of Digital Architecture program at UTS.  The masterclass is based on one of Dan’s earlier posts called The Street as Platform, in which the notion of the static street in contemporary urban planning and architecture is discussed as an anachronistic idea and one in dire need of reform.  The street as platform talks about the dynamically linked nature of the modern street, where mobile communication, ubiquitous computing and traditional number crunching merge as a new kind of informational street ecology that exists just outside of our normal consciousness.As students and teachers of architecture, it could well be said that the dynamism of the street in it’s inhabitation and occupation is implicitly known and explored, but never clearly articulated as a driver – in it’s own right – of architectural decision making regarding form/content.

With this in mind, we set out to investigate the lived inhabitation of the street in an attempt to visualise and understand the hidden seams of activity, an attempt to make the invisible visible.Along with Dan, Anthony and Mitchell, we had a selection of super keen students and a handful of sensor equipment with we set about taming the data beast of Harris St.  Our aim was to produce some meaningful information, based on corellated data sets gleaned and generated from our surrounds.  The students searched for data on Harris st from a number of sources relative to Harris St (google, flickr, youtube, newsrolls, blogs) and then used processing to scrape, munge and visualise the data.  Also included into the mix were a number of sensors we wired up to collect site specific data such as light/temperature/humidity/rainfall levels over the last week, Bluetooth devices in the vicinity, webcam images from the street as well as audio readings and a magnetic sensor.

All up the live data feeds were a bit of a mixed bag with plenty of teething problems, but over the next fortnight these issues will look to be sorted.The students presented their work on Friday to an invited panel including marcus trimble, andrew vande moere and kirsty beilharz, one of our new professors in Design at UTS.  The presentations went very well, showcasing some very good work and sparking much discussion amongst the invited guests.The students have diligently been updating a blog with images of the process workand sketch ideas throughout the last two weeks, which can be found at  The studio will be exhibiting some of the work at the upcoming UTS Architecture exhbition on the 4th December, so come see some of the live feeds being visualised on the night.

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