Metrolinx seeking close to $100 million from City of Toronto for rail link to Pearson airport; Redevelopment of Honest Ed’s in Toronto holds several surprises; Average price of Toronto detached home shoots past $1 million; and more news…
Redevelopment of Honest Ed’s in Toronto holds several surprises (Globe and Mail)
The 2013 election of Pope Francis marked a number of firsts for…
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…
TTC fare hike rolls out, but not all riders are irked; Toronto tunnel: Police say investigation is over; Toronto Pan Am Games ticket sales right on target; and more news…
Toronto Pan Am Games ticket sales right on target (Toronto Star)
TTC fare hike rolls out, but not all riders are irked (Toronto Star)
Most U of T classes to continue as TAs strike on Monday (Toronto Star)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]