View Urban Camo Seed Bombs in a larger map
I love using maps to visualize data. It’s often the only method that allows me to see/think through my spatial blind spots. So of course I had to throw my Urban Camo Seed Bomb data into Google Maps to help gain perspective on future placement sites. Turns out that using Google Street View in my neighborhood is FASCINATING. I blame the rain, my various winter colds, and the resulting cabin fever for this newfound interest in digital urban explorations. Google Maps Hole!
So after thoroughly exploring the pixelated contours of this particular Map Hole I’ve found some special tidbits and interesting urban puzzles worthy of sharing. Consider this the best of the weird from Fruitvale and Google.
In general, I’m not a fan of stencil art. I find it aesthetically beautiful but technically and conceptually dull. However, I’m not so snobbish that I can’t fall in love with random examples of the genre. A great example of a stencil piece I LOVE is this site specific installation on 16th Street between Hubbell and 7th. The mirroring of the tile work, the purposeful framing, the reclaiming of disused space – I tip my hat to whomever made this piece. Despite it’s roughness it’s quite clever – I’m a sucker for clever.
Looking at it, I wanted to know more about the tile work it mirrored. Was it part of a now-demolished building? Was it someone else’s playful intervention in the space? What exactly did that now-demolished building look like? Was it someplace important or interesting or beautiful? So off to the internet I went. And then suddenly – map hole.
Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground
I wrote about the San Francisco Ghost Sign Mapping Project for the Traction blog. You can read more about it here.
My Traction blog post was picked up by the Huffington Post and San Francisco Egotist. Although neither link to Perception Filter I’m still pleased.
Can an element of the urban environment be considered endangered? If so, are there categories, or heirarchies, of importance to be taken into account with this assessment? Is a neighborhood more important than a street than a building than an architectural element? And what about old signs and ads? Can an advertisement be considered of historic or sentimental significance? Can we detach the business/brand from the aesthetic of the ad from the context it’s shown in? Does that even matter?
Below is Phase #1 of my San Francisco Ghost Sign Mapping Project. In this phase, I’ve been meticulously walking the streets of eastern San Francisco documenting the old painted advertisements, or ghost signs, that I’ve come across. While ghost signs come in three generic categories – ads/brands, business/building signs, and illegible – I’ve focused on the first type for this map.
View Ads of San Francisco in a larger map
About my methodology: I walked up and down the streets of San Francisco, skipping the residential sections, and generally walking north/south streets some days and east/west streets on others. The signs I’ve included are either A) recognizable brands/companies or B) ads/billboards for businesses whom are NOT tenants in the buildings in question C) Any ad including an address or phone number. This is a work in progress and I’m sure I’ve missed many signs. Please let me know in the comments if you can think of any omissions I’ve made.