“En Sudán del Sur no hay pueblos. Los tukuls, las chozas familiares, se levantan lo más distanciados posibles entre ellos, a menudo hay más de una hora a pie entre un vecino y otro”, comenta una funcionaria de la Unión Europea que trabaja en Yuba. “Durante la última guerra civil, vivir en comunidad significaba ser atacado una y otra vez por los grupos armados así que la gente decidió vivir lo más alejada posible para sobrevivir”.

Ernest J. Wilson III. How to Make a Region Innovative. strategy+business, issue 66 Spring 2012.

To foster economic growth, innovation clusters need to draw on the power of an interrelated “quad” of sectors: public, private, civil, and academic.

The city lights of Spain and Portugal define the Iberian Peninsula in this photograph from the International Space Station (ISS). Several large metropolitan areas are visible, marked by their relatively large and brightly lit areas, including the capital cities of Madrid, Spain—located near the center of the peninsula’s interior—and Lisbon, Portugal—located along the southwestern coastline. The ancient city of Seville, visible to the north of the Strait of Gibraltar, is one of the largest cities in Spain. The astronaut view is looking toward the east, and is part of a time-lapse series of images.
The network of smaller cities and towns along the coastline and in the interior attest to the extent of the human presence on the Iberian landscape. The blurring of city lights is caused by thin cloud cover (image left and center), while cloud tops are dimly illuminated by moonlight. Though obscured, the lights of France are visible near the horizon line on the upper left, while the lights of northern Africa are more clearly discernable at right. The faint gold and green line of airglow—caused by ultraviolet radiation exciting the gas molecules in the upper atmosphere—parallels the horizon (or Earth limb)…

The city lights of Spain and Portugal define the Iberian Peninsula in this photograph from the International Space Station (ISS). Several large metropolitan areas are visible, marked by their relatively large and brightly lit areas, including the capital cities of Madrid, Spain—located near the center of the peninsula’s interior—and Lisbon, Portugal—located along the southwestern coastline. The ancient city of Seville, visible to the north of the Strait of Gibraltar, is one of the largest cities in Spain. The astronaut view is looking toward the east, and is part of a time-lapse series of images.

The network of smaller cities and towns along the coastline and in the interior attest to the extent of the human presence on the Iberian landscape. The blurring of city lights is caused by thin cloud cover (image left and center), while cloud tops are dimly illuminated by moonlight. Though obscured, the lights of France are visible near the horizon line on the upper left, while the lights of northern Africa are more clearly discernable at right. The faint gold and green line of airglow—caused by ultraviolet radiation exciting the gas molecules in the upper atmosphere—parallels the horizon (or Earth limb)…

Abstract. Geographically referenced user generated content provides us with an opportunity to, for the first time, gather perspectives on place over large areas by exploring how very many people describe information. We present a framework for analysing large collections of user generated content. This involves classification of descriptive terms attached by users to photographs into facets of elements, qualities, and activities. We apply this framework to two contrasting photographic archives — Flickr and Geograph, representing weakly and strongly moderated content respectively. We propose a method for removing user–generated bias from such collections though the user of term profiles that can assess the effect of the most and least prolific contributors to a collection. Analysis and visualization of co–occurrence between terms suggests clear differences in the description of place between the two collections, both in terms of the facets used and their geographical footprints. This is attributed to the role of moderation/editorialising of content; to the role tags and free–text have on descriptive behaviour and to the geographic footprint of content supplied by the two collections.

… Eliel Saarinen quote “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” But, of course, in that quote, and in a lot of the conversations about the urban world, we’ve forgotten the next largest context for the city; the suburbs, the rural world and the small towns and villages that populate it.

So much city thinking seems mad keen for a return to city states; autonomous islands, connected to each other through finance and fibre but not to land that surrounds them. It’s a little bit collapsist; let’s wrap the city around us while we still can. But maybe we could think about network technologies as a way to reintegrate rural and urban rather than accelerate the dominance of one over the other. Perhaps all this brilliant city thinking could lift its eyes a little and look beyond the city walls - I’d love to see what we’d come up with then.

Edward Burtynsky. Oil
A new Steidl book release and touring exhibition organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC. surveys a decade of photographic work that explores the subject of oil. Edward Burtynsky has traveled internationally to chronicle the production, distribution, and use of the most critical fuel of our time.
In addition to revealing the rarely-seen mechanics of its manufacture, Burtynsky captures the effects of oil on our lives, depicting landscapes altered by its extraction from the earth, and by the cities and suburban sprawl generated around its use. He also addresses the coming “end of oil,” as we confront its rising cost and dwindling availabilit

Edward Burtynsky. Oil

A new Steidl book release and touring exhibition organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC. surveys a decade of photographic work that explores the subject of oil. Edward Burtynsky has traveled internationally to chronicle the production, distribution, and use of the most critical fuel of our time.

In addition to revealing the rarely-seen mechanics of its manufacture, Burtynsky captures the effects of oil on our lives, depicting landscapes altered by its extraction from the earth, and by the cities and suburban sprawl generated around its use. He also addresses the coming “end of oil,” as we confront its rising cost and dwindling availabilit

Llama la atención que aquellos que reclaman (con todo derecho) un pensamiento, una narrativa, e incluso una poesía, a la altura de nuestro tiempo tecnológico, sigan manteniendo como fetiches conceptos, metáforas e imágenes radicalmente obsoletas. Una de ellas es la del no-lugar. Su definición por negación tiene como referente algo que ya hizo crisis muchos años antes en estética y arquitectura: el lugar natural. ¿Son realmente no-lugares los aeropuertos, las estaciones, los túneles, las grandes superficies, los aparcamientos….? Si hasta los cristianos afirman que la vida es un tránsito.

The Territory is the Map – Space in the Age of Digital Navigation (pdf). Valérie November, Eduardo Camacho-Hübner & Bruno Latour (submitted to Environment and Planning).

Let us begin with a mapping difficulty that has puzzled us for a long time: when a cartographer wishes to record some reefs that might threaten the navigation of ships and yachts, it is enough to draw their rough shape and inscribe them on the map by pinpointing their exact location using their longitude and latitude and indicating by a conventional symbol the presence of a conventionally painted warning buoy. But when the same cartographer wishes to draw the risks (fire, flood, pollution, unemployment, crime etc) that might have to be taken into account by a given population, she is told that there is no place on the map for that sort of preoccupation and that it should be added as a thematic layer “on top” of a base map. So, whereas reefs can easily be mapped with the usual vocabulary of points, lines, surfaces and names, it is much more difficult for risks. This is surprising since both reefs and risks seem to belong equally to the definition of what is a territory and since both are clear obstacles to courses of action, both should be registered and marked just as easily through sets of conventions on many kind of maps (such as danger maps) …

La Mancha híbrida: cuando lo digital precede a lo analógico

Viajando por La Mancha, entre el inmenso océano que recorre todos los tonos del ocre, encontramos un pequeño grupo de árboles que desde la distancia parecían perfectamente ordenados, con sus copas formando una gran nube verde. Al verlos uno de mis hijos dijo: “Anda, igual que en Super Mario Bros”.

Posiblemente los diseñadores de videojuegos se han inspirado en el espacio físico para imaginar los escenarios digitales. Pero ahora, muchos niños y adolescentes empiezan ya a “leer” el territorio analógico a partir de sus propias referencias digitales.