Let us move on and start:
The Esquire posed earlier today the United States of 2012 or a series of maps of the U.S. much more considered as alternative maps of the U.S. Alternative they are: red state, blue state, big state, small state, north and south, east and west. Mark Mikin, the author of the article, asks a question that I quote here: how we define our similarities and differences with each other often comes down to where we see ourselves on the map of America. Following with this: what if we threw out the standard-issue version and started over with something new?
Among the authors of these maps, you will recognize Interboro Partners, an agency that I have been following with delight since 2005, with a series of maps and SENSEable City Lab with the United States of Cities. Others are Stamen, Eric Fischer and Dominic McGill. And we start with SENSEable City Lab.
|The United States of Cities © SENSEable City Lab|
Credits: MIT SENSEable City Lab, IBM Research, AT&T Labs - Research, New York University.
We once were chained to our workplace. The phone chained us to our desk. Then the computer chained us to our desk. And then our work tools became mobile, and so we became mobile, and the distance we were willing to travel to and from work gradually rose. In collaboration with AT&T Labs Research, Carlo Ratti and his team at MIT's SENSEable City Lab — a research group that blends architectural concepts with emerging technology — used anonymous, aggregated cell phone data to prove just how mobile we've become and to explore our evolving definition of state lines. "Today, everywhere is a workplace," Ratti says. "We see people doing their work, using a railway station as an office. An airport as an office. Starbucks as an office. Because of that, our lifestyle is changing, and the fact that people commute from very, very far away is one side of that. "The data was compiled during the month of July 2010 from several million commuters' home locations, while the rings and their intensity represent the bumber of commuters traveling. The resulting map shows a breaking down of the traditional idea of a nation of states, and, instead, an ever-expanding urban sprawl the pushes the limits of our respective cities. This is a version of America that's not based upon politics, or history, but one that's constantly moving.
|The Real-Time City © Eric Fischer|
The digital cartographer Eric Fisher's map is another amazing map. Its title: The Real-Time City.
The real-time city can be defined a number of ways. Eric Fischer's map defines cities by where the action is: the places one photograph to preserve, the places one tweets about. By compiling 8,653,518 geotagged tweets (during the year of 2011) and 9,368,254 photos tagged in Flickr (from 2004 until 2011), his United States is an interconnected web, the lines of which consist of a series of dots that each represent one tweet of one photo. Unsurprisingly, America's coastlines are rife with pictures and tweets (Florida's Disneyworld bulges out in the bottom right). But Detroit, a city better known for economic struggle than sightseeing, is surprisingly dense (Michigan as a whole has 187,639 photos and 255,856 tweets alone), and sparsely populated areas like Yellowstone and Yosemite — which normally are hardly represented in census-based maps — are larger than ever, rate more for their beauty than their population. Whereas a map built upon census data is figured down to a city block — a static representation of where you live, where you sleep — this is a map that represents where we vacation, where in our lives is important enough to photograph, to tweet, to report to the world. This web represents a completely different relationship to place; not the aggregate, or the community, but the individual.
|The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion © Interboro Partners|
Credit: Tobias Armborst, Daniel D'Oca, Georgeen Theodore, Rebecca Beyer Winik, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez
The third one is that of Interboro Partners with The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion. This map articulates the 42 following points: Animal Zoning Ordinance, Annexation/Incorporation, Armrest, Automatic Elevators, Beach Badge, Blood, CC&Rs, Concierge, Cul de Sac, Curfew, Eruv, Fire Hydrant, Fire Zone, Gate, Golf Course, Hockney Rink, Housing Voucher, Immigrant Recruitment, Inclusionary Zoning, Lavender-Lining, Map, Minimum Lot Size, "No Loitering" Sign, No-Cruising Zone, NORC SSP, One-Way Street, Questionnaire, Racial Steering, Regional Contribution Agreement, Residential Parking Permit, School District, Sidewalk Management Plan, Skywalk, Stoop, Ultrasonic Noise, Ave Maria, Snowflake, Rainbow Vision, Sky Village, Jumbolair, Peace Village.
The Esquire writes:
Though we've lived in a post-Fair Housing Act America more than four decades, that doesn't mean there aren't still ways for communities to be discriminatory. The way Brooklyn-based architecture firm Interboro Partners sees it, a housing discrimination exists still, through what they call the "Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion," legal policies that keep some people in, and keep others out. The policies can be subtle like in the case of "Ave maria," a Catholic community in Florida created by Tom Monaghan (the founder of Domino's Pizza), which employs what's called an exclusionary mend: Members of the community are required to pay due to a Catholic church that's built on the property. The policies can be outrageous, as in the case of an ordinance in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, which mandates that only blood relatives can be rented to by owners of single-family homes, if they had become rentals after the disasters. But whether or not the policies are necessarily good or bad can be less than obvious, and in some cases, cause for good: Rainbow Vision, a New Mexico retirement community created for the LGBT community, has created a place for LGBT retirees that can't be matched anywhere, with amenities like drag shows.For an in-depth description of each point, check out the Esquire website. I advice the reader to read these points for a better understanding of Interboro Partners' map.
Now Stamen with Where Does the Money Go?
Stamen's map is particularly interesting. Based on American class mobility, Eric Rodenbeck and his team explores spatially lost and gain in terms of money. New York County, for instance, "has lost $1,306,548,000 and 15,100 people," the map shows, which "does not necessary mean that New York is a big loser". More below:
The notion of American class mobility is deeply roted in the ability to make more money. But class mobility can also be measured in the ability to actually move. Using IRS migration data from the 2009-2010 period — which measures the inflow and outflow of citizens who file taxes from county to county — Eric Rodenbeck and his team at San Francisco-based design firm Stamen created a map of America that is as extreme as ever. By using the IRS figures and mapping them out on U.S. highways with open-source technology provided by OpenStreetMap, they've created a roadmap of the parts of America that are losing and gaining, and the results are suprising. "We realized that if you look at the biggest 'losers,' essentially what you're looking at are the biggest cities in the U.S.," Migurski says. One of those losers: New York county, which lost $1,306,548,000 and 15,100 people. "But does that actually mean New York is a big loser?" Migurski asks. "One of our ideas was that, you're not a loser if you're losing money. You're an exporter." The sort of exporter, he says, that boosts the rest of the U.S. economy. Traditional Sun Belt retirement areas comprise the gainers; areas like South Florida and Southern California in particular, create what Migurski calls "money sinks." But between the two is a middle that doesn't move, that actually exists in the middle: King and Loving counties in Texas remained unchanged. The rural areas between coasts show movement not from coast to coast, but off the beaten path, within state lines. Stamen presents an America that is in both a state of unrest, and unable — or unwilling — to move at all.
|Where Does the Money Go? © Stamen|
The last one map is that of Dominic McGill: with We Are All Keynesians Now.
Imagine an America — and more broadly a society (France, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, to quote some — without a middle class or even a center, a middle, says The Enquire about Dominic McGill's map. Yet observers notice a decline of middle-class and a rising low-class, a decline accentuated by financial crisis. And for McGill, it is time to change, not only America but also the world's society, if not…
What would the country look like without a middle class? Or, even, without a middle at all? "I took the outline of the U.S. map and then digitally compressed it in the center — basically pushing it in from both sides," painter Dominic McGill says. "We Are All Keynesians Now," as McGill explains, is a carefully orchestrated collage of archival imagery, original illustration, and quoted and statistics that depict a country at odds with itself. "Thirsty years of neo-liberal policies have been nothing short of class war," McGill says. He fears a country that won't reverse the tide. Mounters inspired by 16th-century maps come tattooed with phrases like "social mobility," breathing "executive excess." Rick Perry becomes a snake, touting the number 234 — the number of prisoners he's executed since 2000. Occupy's lighthouse project becomes a literal lighthouse, while a statistic for middle-paying jobs being replaced by low-paying jobs straddles the Northwestern coast. McGill's observed America is an America that needs to change before it envelops itself.
|We Are All Keynesians Now © Dominic McGill|
Source: The Enquire.
All the maps are initially appeared on The Enquire.