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Culture

Daily Headlines: News From the Internet for March 4, 2015

Posted March 4, 2015 by Jack Landau

Urban

Metrolinx seeking close to $100 million from City of Toronto for rail link to Pearson airportRedevelopment of Honest Ed’s in Toronto holds several surprises; Average price of Toronto detached home shoots past $1 million; and more news…

Average price of Toronto detached home shoots past $1 million(Toronto Star)

Redevelopment of Honest Ed’s in Toronto holds several surprises (Globe and Mail)

‘Whack-a-mole’ situation leaves 15,000 Toronto customers without power (Toronto Star)

Metrolinx seeking close to $100 million from City of Toronto for rail link to Pearson airport (National Post)

Metrolinx staff still rides GO for free, but plus-one provision eliminated (Toronto Star)

Most homes needing thawed water lines are in Beach, East York (Toronto Star)

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Books

Why Does the Pope Love This Trippy Dystopian Novel from 1907?

Posted March 3, 2015 by Gordon Haber

The 2013 election of Pope Francis marked a number of firsts for…

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Culture

Daily Headlines: News From the Internet for March 3, 2015

Posted March 3, 2015 by Jack Landau

UrbanToronto, Metrolinx in negotiations over airport express train funding; Mysterious tunnel becomes a labyrinth of confusion; Medals for Toronto Pan Am Games to be revealed today; and more news…
Toronto, Metrolinx in n…

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Culture

‘After Empirical Urbanism’ Panel Discusses the Messages of Maps

Posted February 27, 2015 by Anonymous

Urban

University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design began its three-day symposium ‘After Empirical Urbanism’ today. The free series explores urbanism as an art, and how data and information has shaped and will continue to shape the growth of cities. 

The first session, ‘Carto Graphics‘, examined how maps are used not only as a means of displaying factual information, but as a way to influence the viewer. The inclusion and exclusion of specific information along with their strategic placement on the map can shape the viewer into thinking a certain way. 

The panelists take questions from the audience, image by Marcus MitanisModerator Mason White and panelists Jill Desimini, Jesse LeCavalier and Sarah Williams, image by Marcus Mitanis

Moderated by Mason White from the University of Toronto, the panelists consisted of Jill Desimini from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Jesse LeCavalier from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Sarah Williams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Jill Desimini discussed some of the different techniques used in mapping. She pointed to Ian McHarg, who worked as a Scottish landscape architect and writer, noting that “his maps changed the perception of the urban landscape.” His 1969 book Design with Nature looked at the mapping of regions, explaining how to break down areas into appropriate yet competing forces. His work emphasized the study of ecology—becoming familiar with the natural aspects of a site, including its climate and soil—and his legacy went on to inform the development of modern day Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Desimini explained that mapping and designs can be engaged and influenced by embracing data, also noting that the creation of maps is often both an objective and subjective exercise.

New York City subway map, image by the Metropolitan Transportation AuthorityNew York City subway map, image courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Jesse LeCavalier studied how Walmart uses maps to portray their image and tell stories about itself. First, he pointed to the bias of maps in general, particularly New York City’s subway map, which depicts the Hudson River much wider than it is in reality, the result of which completely excludes the state of New Jersey.

As Walmart expanded from its original Arkansas location, the geographical correlation between the stores and freeways became clear. Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart, explained that this was no accident: “We never planned on actually going into the cities. What we did instead was build our stores in a ring around a city,” he said. Some areas of the United States, particularly Vermont, had attempted to exclude Walmart from its borders due to the store’s impact on traffic and the landscape. They were successful at first, but Walmart set up shop just a short drive outside state borders, essentially forming a perimeter around Vermont. As a result, many Vermonters had nearby access to Walmart. The state, the last in the country to welcome Walmart, now has a handful of stores that are still controversial to many. 

Map of Nairobi's matatus network, image courtesy of Civic Data Design LabMap of Nairobi’s matatus network, image courtesy of Civic Data Design Lab

On the international scene, Sarah Williams discussed her work as Director of Civic Data Design Lab. The lab compiles and analyzes data to “expose urban policy issues”. One of her most notable works came when her team researched the transit system of Nairobi, Kenya. Over 3.5 million people in the city rely on a haphazard network of privately owned minibuses known as matatus. The system was highly decentralized and unregulated until Civic Data Design Lab developed a map which outlined every route in the city. Showing the map to the locals, the drivers were surprised at the lack of coverage in some areas, immediately insisting on creating new routes for underserved neighbourhoods. The visualization went viral and shortly afterward was adopted by the city as its official transit map. 

Williams’ also showcased her efforts mapping the Garment District in New York to better understand how the neighbourhood is used by those in the industry. A rezoning application in the works for the area would have altered the district’s tailored zoning, which aims to keep the iconic neighbourhood a hub of manufacturing. The resulting map created by Civic Data Design Lab demonstrated that the perception of a declining Garment District was misrepresented; rather, the tracking of designers’ business trips revealed that 80% of this movement took place within the Garment District. Williams and the other panelists noted that the information that is not being collected in maps needs more focus, explaining their powerful use in telling stories and shaping observations. 

The remaining sessions, which are free and do not require registration, will be held on Saturday, followed by student presentations on Sunday. For more information about the event, visit the official website

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Culture

Is Pope Francis Yogaphobic?

Posted February 24, 2015 by Anonymous

As Luke Coppen noted in a recent piece in The Spectator, Francis…

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Culture

The Top 5 Benefits of Hosting a Customer Advisory Board

Posted February 24, 2015 by Anonymous

By Rob Jensen As a Product Management professional, are you confident the products or services you have planned (or already under development) will be accepted – i.e. purchased – by your market? If so, how did you obtain this confidence? Hopefully, formally engaging with – and soliciting feedback from – your existing customers to vet […]

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Culture

Jesus Backs Gender Equality at the Oscars

Posted February 23, 2015 by Evan Derkacz

  In her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, Patricia Arquette called for…

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Culture

David Carr’s Secret to Honesty: Sin

Posted February 17, 2015 by Anonymous

David Carr didn’t want you to trust him. It’s a funny thing…

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Culture

4 lessons Product Managers can learn from Target’s failure in Canada

Posted February 16, 2015 by Anonymous

by Saeed Khan Target is a retail giant in the United States, with about $75 Billion in revenue and over 1,800 stores nationwide. In 2012, Target announced it would open stores in Canada; it’s first international expansion beyond the United States. In March 2013 Target opened it’s first stores in Canada, quickly expanding to over 130 […]

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Culture

Why This Lie? Brian Williams’ Pulpit Fiction

Posted February 13, 2015 by Anonymous

The deafening whomp-whomp-whomp you may have heard when Brian Williams got caught…

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Books

‘Iconoclash’ of Civilizations: Missives from the Image Wars

Posted February 12, 2015 by Anonymous

It is as if, by professing how much we hate all images, we in turn profess how much we really, in the end, love our images more than all others.

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Books

What To See At INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair

Posted November 12, 2014 by Jennifer

Toronto-area book lovers are looking forward to a new and exciting event this weekend. INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair is Canada’s book exposition for all things print and digital, launching this weekend, November 13 to 16, 2014. From literature to […]

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Adult

Exclusive photo’s of Jian Ghomeshi on a date!

Posted October 31, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Once again, ya saw it here first! After a great amount of trouble and expense, the Perspective Naked News staff , a branch of the Perspective Research Department, has managed to obtain this clip of Jian Ghomeshi on a recent date with one of the women now accusing him of assault. As you […]

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