Scott Reinhard combines contemporary land elevations with historic maps to create three-dimensional environments of a specific region, city, or state. To produce the digital maps, he pulls elevation data from the United States Geological Survey, which he then embeds with location information and merges with the original design of the old maps.
Producing these hybrids allows the Brooklyn-based graphic designer to gain a better sense of the topography found in large areas without aerial photography, while also developing a story from the cartographic information. He often selects locations he has personally visited or is generally curious about for his digitally produced works. “I am from Indiana, which always felt so flat and boring,” he explains to Colossal. “When I began rendering the elevation data for the state, the story of the land emerged. The glaciers that receded across the northern half of the state after the last ice age scraped and gouged and shaped the land in a way that is spectacularly clear.”
By visualizing the history that shaped a location’s composition at a large scale, Reinhard is able to notice trends in the environment in a more localized way. These forces affect how we traverse our daily environments, but are hard to comprehend without taking the time to zoom out, or look at from above. “As a visual person, I was most intrigued by the ability to visually harness data and create images that helped me gain insight into locations,” he continues. “I felt empowered by the ability to collect and process the vast amounts of information freely available, and create beautiful images.”
Reinhard was introduced to the methods he uses in his digital maps through Daniel Huffman’s website Something About Maps. You can see more of Reinhard’s digital works on Instagram and buy select high-quality prints, on his website. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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Philadelphia-based photographer and videographer Bruce W. Berry Jr. brings together images from the International Space Station (ISS) in his new time-lapse video, The World Below. Berry used public content from NASA to form the meditative short film that reads like a supersized version of today’s popular drone landscape videos. The World Below offers a glimpse at the vast scale of our planet, with portions of the ISS in-frame to provide additional perspective. The film compares richly textured, abstracted topography with dense networks of bright lights to showcase the powerful impact of humans on the planet.
All video and time-lapse sequences were taken by astronauts onboard the ISS. Berry then edited, color graded, denoised, and stabilized the footage to create the seamless quality of the final film. If you’re interested to learn the specifics of the clips’ locations, the filmmaker lists them out to the best of his knowledge in the video notes.
Berry created a similar video in 2013, but decided to create the newer version due to the wealth of content that has become available since his original take. The ISS makes 14.54 orbits around the Earth every day, providing ample opportunity for new views. You can see more of Berry’s photography portfolio on his website, and watch more videos on his Vimeo channel. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
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Arena is a short film by Ireland-based artist Páraic McGloughlin which explores the similarities of international roadways, farming infrastructure, and urban design. In the minute and a half work, McGloughlin presents thousands of aerial images collected from Google Maps to create a series of winding pathways and geometric shapes that snake across the screen.
“I put a lot of focus on imagery containing flat lines, symmetry and grids as they are so different to the patterns/shapes made by nature, and hoped in turn that this would be most effective,” the artist told Directors Notes. “It wasn’t until I started messing with some images that I thought to allocate the idea of the game of life – ‘Arena’ to the theme as it fit perfectly in my opinion.”
The fast-paced video is set to a soundtrack by the director in collaboration with his brother Pearse McGloughlin. You can see more of Páraic McGloughlin’s work on his website and Instagram. (via The Kid Should See This)
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