Here & There: A horizonless Projection in Manhattan "it is more than a map!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Here & There is a project by S&W exploring speculative projections of dense cities. These maps of Manhattan look uptown from 3rd and 7th, and downtown from 3rd and 35th. They're intended to be seen at those same places, putting the viewer simultaneously above the city and in it where she stands, both looking down and looking forward.
Pulse Laser says:
The projection works by presenting an image of the place in which the observer is standing. As the city recedes into the (geographic) distance it shifts from a natural, third person representation of the viewer’s immediate surroundings into a near plan view. The city appears folded up, as though a large crease runs through it. But it isn’t a halo or hoop though, and the city doesn’t loop over one’s head. The distance is potentially infinite, and it’s more like a giant ripple showing both the viewers surroundings and also the city in the distance.
(source: Pulse Laser)

Jack Schulze explains...
"First we take an electronic Manhattan. It's a patch-work of various commercial sources, where we've repaired walls that aren't drawn right and roofs that don't fit. About a tenth of the city is re-built by hand, then textured.
"The projection seen here is a combination of city manipulations in modelling software, and choosing the best lens for the simulated camera. The nearby buildings obstruct the view if you get that wrong, or the distant ones stop working as a conventional map. There's fine tuning and instinct. Let's not demo the power of 3D applications, but make a map which is both useful and optically awesome to look at.
"Annotations come after the render. You'll see that roads have to contour around buildings that would otherwise hide them. The design key is what's handiest for a person standing in this exact spot, looking at this exact poster."

Images & info from schulzeandwebb