The map is not the territory – the Arctic Circle and the cartography of conflict to come

Paul Raven @ 06-08-2008

Arctic Circle claims mapThings are heating up in the Arctic Circle – and not just because of climate change. The prospect of as-yet untapped natural resources lurking at the crown of the globe may cause a resurgence in territorial disputes, as various nations attempt to stake their claims to jurisdiction over the area.

In an effort to inform policy-makers, researchers in the UK have used specialist geographical software to create a map that lays out the potentially disputable regions in detail. Whether the map becomes a focal point for reasoned discussion or a template for military operations rooms remains to be seen. [image courtesy Durham University via linked BBC article] [hat-tip to Darren@Orbit]

Crime stats as sculpture – Mount Fear

Paul Raven @ 12-05-2008

Another little gem spotted by the grinders: what would you get if you took the crime incident statistics for London and represented them as a 3D physical map?

Mount Fear - installation sculpture based on crime statistics

Mount Fear is what you’d get. In the words of its creator, Abigail Reynolds:

The terrain of Mount Fear is generated by data sets relating to the frequency and position of urban crimes. Precise statistics are provided by the police. Each individual incident adds to the height of the model, forming a mountainous terrain … The imaginative fantasy space seemingly proposed by the sculpture is subverted by the hard facts and logic of the criteria that shape it.

While it makes for an intriguing art project, Mount Fear surely presages a short-range extrapolation of geolocative mash-ups.

In other words, being able to call up the data used for Mount Fear and overlay it on Google Maps running on your mobile device would make your next flat- or apartment-hunting experience that little bit more reassuring.

Or should that be less reassuring?

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