Photogrammetry in action: dating the great "A trip down Market Street", 1906

Sometime before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a camera was attached to a streetcar travelling north along Market Street, San Francisco, and recorded the hustle and bustle, the multi-modal transportation options, and the wonderful fashions of early 19th century San Francisco. The movie, which I happend to catch last week at SFMOMA as part of their great (but too large) Stein collection, is mesmerizing. Check it out here on You Tube. It is clearly pre-earthquake, but its exact timing has not been known until now.

Ferry Building arrivalIn an article in Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, Richard Greene narrows the window of aquisition down to between 24 March and 30 March 1906, just weeks before the earthquake on 18 April. Remember, that earthquake and the fires that followed largely destroyed much of the city. He performs this feat of timing through detailed photogrammetry: determing the time of day, the solar position, and the time of year from shadows on cornices and other architectural details.

Another windy day in the city! these cornices were helpful in determing solar positionSo cool! The article can be found here. Full reference here: 

Greene, R., 2011. Dating the fliming of "A trip down Market Street". Photogrametric Engineering & Remote Sensing 77, 839-848.

Check out some fun pics from the movie.


Geospatial Revolution Project launched

Penn State Public Broadcasting has released the first episode of the Geospatial Revolution Project,"an integrated public service media and outreach initiative about the world of digital mapping and how it is changing the way we think, behave, and interact." 

These videos are a great resource for sharing the wonder of all things geospatial in an exciting and easy to understand format. Three additional episodes are set to be published throughout the year. 

View the site to watch the videos and learn more, and keep an eye out for Berkeley's own Kass Green who contributed to the project.

casablanca: the google earth prototype

I am so glad someone wrote this up! I was watching Casablanca (1942!) again awhile back, and just loved the intro scene of the earth, europe, and the route from Paris to Casablanca. This blog ((E)Space&Fiction: spatial machinery of fiction) (cool name, right?) makes the case that it was the first proto google earth, and analyzes the technical specifics that presaged Keyhole, etc. Specifically:

  • the combination of the spinning globe with a zoom effect on a specific point: Paris;
  • the use of a “jump” effect similar to Google Earth to move from one place (Paris) to another (Casablanca); and
  • the perspective changes from the vertical view to an oblique perspective of the streets of Casablanca, similar to current street views.

Local Code : Real Estates - GIS and environmental design

Check out this great video that was produced by Nicholas de Monchaux, Assistant Professor of Architecture here at UC Berkeley!  Nicholas and his team have been working with the GIF over the last two years to explore the connections between geospatial technology and archtectural design, and to train architecture students in GIS applications. 

This video does a great job of highlighting the innovative approach they are taking.  It is a finalist in the WPA 2.0 competition sponsored by UCLA Citylab.

Their project description:

Local Code : Real Estates uses geospatial analysis to identify thousands of publicly owned abandoned sites in major US cities, imagining this distributed, vacant landscape as a new urban system. Using parametric design, a landscape proposal for each site is tailored to local conditions, optimizing thermal and hydrological performance to enhance the whole city’s ecology—and relieving burdens on existing infrastructure. Local Code’s quantifiable effects on energy usage and stormwater remediation eradicate the need for more expensive, yet invisible, sewer and electrical upgrades. In addition, the project uses citizen participation to conceive a new, more public infrastructure as well —a robust network of urban greenways with tangible benefits to the health and safety of every citizen.



William Bowen: 3 new aerial flights of the Sierra Nevada

William Bowen has produced some new lovely high res aerial flyovers (some with what he describes as "choppy and unscripted" - but very informative - narration). At left, one of his great images of the Delta from the California Atlas of Panoramic Images.





Three new silent movies focusing on the High Sierra:

Examples with narration: