Ephemeral Cartography

Map of Urban Archeology in Human-Nature Patterns

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A map that capture the ephemeral change of human-nature pattern in Pittsburgh

First-hand Research

Why “Archeology”

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Gooski’s, Polish Hill
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Data Analysis

Scale Development

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Urban Layering

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Second-hand Data

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Google satellite map and System of Green map from OpenSpacePGH

Development Process

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Complexity and Storytelling

Therefore, for my inspiration I turned my view into non-traditional map that focuses more on the storytelling side. Taking inspiration from the painting by the street artist Jean Basquiat (left). This painting of his demonstrates

  • text and sketches that conveys a more personal information that could adds a story-telling layer on the map
  • overall very expressive quality which adds to more visual interests but rich in details
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The Frick Orientation Center

Engaging The Future

The map is designed to be installed in museum where people can use this map to gain more knowledge on the urban development of Pittsburgh, so the target audience are the younger generation and anyone who are interested in the topic. It also should be able to draw other audience’s attentions to encourage them to be more attentive about the city.

Iterations

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first iteration to the third iterations

Final Map

Features

  • Zoom in and out of map to see the details of map to see how human and nature interacts with each other;
  • Prospect into the future, audience are encouraged to draw their own human-nature map for pittsburgh/their neighbourhood, and after they submit their maps, a collective map of every answer overlapping to see the direction where everyone prospect to get;
  • Slider that allows users to drag to see the transition of Pittsburgh from the past to present to the future.
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Takeaway

This is a very challenging project due to the complexity I planned to achieve. Since there are many variables interacting with each other the map might need to simplify the representation of each element and focuses on my original goal — urban layering. The layering could be illustrated in a more obvious way that as slider slides the patterns are reviewed in layers.

Written by

A curious & self-driven multimedia interaction designer interested in speculative interactions. Salted pretzel@CMU Design.

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