Empty Apartments: Technical Notes

UPDATE: Tech problems with the site, so it’s not working quite right. Consider this a glimpse into what is going to launch in just a few days.

This month, the curatorial collaborative project Drift Station, which I’m a part of along with Angeles Cossio, released an online project titled Empty Apartments. We pulled nearly 125,000 photographs of apartments and houses for rent on Craigslist that were completely empty because of a removal service, and presented them as an interactive online exhibition. The project took nearly two years of work, and much of it was manual (Angeles triple-checking every single image by hand to remove ones that included common spaces or non-apartments), but we also used several automated processes and machine learning to sort the photos.

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Light Map of SW United States

A really lovely, slightly glitchy satellite map of lights over the southwest United States. Taken on August 31, 2000 and found buried deep in the NOAA FTP server.

Triangulation Maps and Trig Points

TriangulationMapOfStatenIsland_1851

Triangulation maps, computing distances between known points, were used for ship navigation. Above is a triangulation map of Staten Island, below of the south-east quadrilateral of India (super-high res version here).

PrincipalTriangulationOfSEQuadrilateralOfGTSOfIndia_1878-web

Known positions with carefully measured latitude/longitude and altitude are called “trig points”, and are often marked, sometimes with a metal plate or, in the case of this marker in New Zealand, an amazing sculptural tower.

MountJohnNZ_TrigPoint-web