Sunday, April 22, 2018

UPDATED—A Map of Every City (plus Izabella Kaminska does a drive-by)

Update: Forgot the contact info of the map's creator.
Chaz Hutton's Instagram:instachaaz

From 99% Invisible:
Sketched on a sticky note and posted to Twitter and Instagram, the “map of every city” quickly became a viral sensation as people read their own locations onto this wonderful work of subjective cartography.

Designed by artist Chaz Hutton, the drawing is not really a map as such, but it does feature elements we recognize from maps. There is a winding river and set of bridges that cue us in about what we are seeing. Yet it is not a representation of any particular place.
“Rather it’s a map of people’s experience of living in cities: The changing circumstances of people as they get older and have children, the way ‘cool’ areas emerge from formerly ‘rough’ areas and are then invariably compared to the less-cool, traditionally wealthy areas, the kind of areas that an Ikea needs to be built for it to be profitable. All these things are endemic to most large cities, with most of them the outcomes of events situated at some point along the gentrification arc.”
Once Hutton posted his sketch online, people immediately began “identifying” the fictional location as a city (Nashville, Paris, and Seoul among others)...MORE.
And from FT Alphaville:

Encore Geoffrey West on why some things stop growing and other things don’t
This is an encore podcast and book review of Why things stop growing, and why other things don’t, first published in June 2017. Enjoy.
Alphachat is available on Acast, iTunes and Stitcher.
Geoffrey West, theoretical physicist turned complexity scientist at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, first became fascinated with the idea of Scaletwo decades ago as he began to approach his 50s. Coming from a long line of short-lived males, he says this age more than any other triggered a foreboding sense of his own mortality.

Being a scientist, however, he wasn’t prepared to accept the ageing process as a given without at least trying to understand it first. He wanted to know more about where the span of human life emanated from. And why, for example, had no-one been able to live beyond 123 years of life?

In Scale, West outlines his quest to answer these questions and in so doing the associated research which has since guided him towards the beginnings of a universal theory of growth — or scaling — which goes well beyond the spectrum of human lifespans, encapsulating natural organisms, corporations and even cities. It could, he suggests, be applicable to financial markets and economic growth too.

West’s particular obsession now lies with cities. Unlike all the other investigated systems, they are unique because they never stop growing and hence curiously defy the ageing curse. “It’s very hard to kill a city,” says West, noting that even Hiroshima revived itself after being wiped out in an atomic attack.

All this thinking is framed within the context of complexity science, something the Santa Fe Institute specialises in. Not unironically, explaining what complexity science actually is isn’t all that easy. For now it remains a relatively obscure field centred on trying to understand how and why seemingly unrelated interactions between many constituent parts give rise to much greater ’emergent’ effects such as, for example, the majestic patterns of birds in flight.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the journey towards zoning in on a single universal scaling rule which could finally give insight into how and why all systems grow and die is powered by data collection and number crunching. A lot of it.

West assesses everything from how quickly people walk in variously sized urban areas and metropolises to the number of gas stations and patents per capita in cities in the hope that common links can be found. In the biological world, meanwhile, West tracks how quickly animals burn energy, the average number of heartbeats in a lifetime, average lifespans, average weight, average volumes and much more....MUCH MORE
FT Alphachat: Episodes