Cartographic spasms

The concept of a global village stems from an idealistic view of a shrinking world, connected through electronic media. What is far, comes closer, nothing is out of reach anymore.

Maps shape our undestanding of the physical world, so I decided to invert it. To shape the maps according to the understanding of the world - in this case according to the concept of a global village.
I shrank the world little by little by removing empty, unused spaces. If they were valuable, they wouldn’t be unused, right?

Maps seem true and immutable, even though every projection of the spherical planet onto a two dimensional space produces faulty results. Either the northern and southern parts appear much larger than they really are (Greenland is actually 60% the size of India, not the other way around), or the shapes are all wrong, or both. But we trust maps, we trust that what they represent is the truth.

So it’s a special delight to play with this notion of cartographic immutability.
This one is a breathing map of New York.

What could be in this text but isn’t:
- How maps shape political understanding and decisions
- How South America is much farther east than people commonly think. It’s really far east.
- The whole discourse on failed globalization, nation states and Gaia
- How the mental map combines positional cues with vector based cues (how humans actually navigate the world)

And here’s the code:

  1. compile imagemagick with liquid rescale support (this is the hard part - this page helped a bit. Also, install liblqr.)
  2. use the script and adjust to your desires:

# sequence numbers are width and height percentages
# so, seq 100 -1 33 means "from 100%, go down 1 percent
# until width is 33%"
# adjust file name, obviously
# then rename the output to 0001.png etc, and run ffmpeg to combine to video:
# ffmpeg -framerate 10 -r 10  -start_number 0 -i %04d.png -c:v libx264 -preset veryslow -tune animation -crf 19 -b:v 10000k -vf "fps=10,format=yuv420p" -y animated.mp4
for i in `seq 100 -1 33 ;`; do
command="convert profile.png "

command="$command  -liquid-rescale ${i}x${i}%\!  -gravity center"
command="$command -crop 1200x768+0+0 +repage "
command="$command ${i}.png"

eval $command

datum="$(date +%k:%M)"
echo "\033[1;33m $datum \033[0m \033[1;32m scaling: ${i} \033[0m"
chmod 644 ${i}.png