❉ Does Evan Know What He’s Talking About? ❉
No, I know only as much microwave remote sensing as I could glean from the paper.
Taken from this paper on using remote sensing to measure urban agglomeration in two dimensions; they took ten years of data from two satellites, one measuring night time lights to measure sprawl, and another measuring microwave scattering to infer vertical build-up. They divided each city into a 21x21 grid, threw out the ones that contained just water, tallied the change in observed lights and microwave bouncin' (the build-out and build-up, respectively) for each square, and stuck a tiny line chart in each one to show the ten year change. Blue means not much changed, red means a lot was added. Left column NL is nighttime lights, and on the right PR stands for "power return," or the relative amount of energy bounced back to the satellite. A higher power return (augh augh augh) means more bigass buildings getting in the way and reflecting more microwaves.
Dense urban cores in Beijing and Shanghai didn't add much illuminance since they're already built up and nova-bright, but they sure as hell are growing vertically; just look at those ulcers in the right column. India's cities on the other hand aren't growing "up" much at all, but are creeping outwards in informal-as-hell ways. Neat! But I'd throw out the line graphs entirely and just code each square by color. You can't even make out the slopes of the lines, so why bother with anything but the hue?
The Lunar and Planetary Institute at the Universities Space Research Association hosts an archive of radar altimetry plots of Venus, made over the 80s and 90s. Geologic/geomorphic maps are always fun crazy patchworks, and the survey of that sulfurous hellscape is no exception.
Or as we at the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology pitched it to tenth graders: "think of it as the intersection of light and life." Effectively meant expensive lasers, even more expensive microscopes, and something called Raman spectroscopy. That's as far as I knew, I was just a student designer entranced by the views I was InDesigning onto binders.
Yeah yeah yeah Vignelli blah blah blah Michael Hertz fuh fuh fuh every illustrator jockey ever, but my carto heart belongs to NYCT's bus maps. On first read, it's their completely insane energy that draws me in: manic tangles of color snaking over desaturated streets, every label fighting a losing battle with its neighbor.
Also making one of these is an order of magnitude more difficult than drawing a train map. Subway routes may be abstracted since riders need only know how to get from train A → train B at the white dots; they don't need to know how to navigate, only how to match the schematic with the signs flicking past. And they're on their damn own once they hit sunlight.
Bus mappers, however, can't throw basic navigation out the window. The conveyances are bound to roads, and so one can't grievously distort their routes. Knowing the B24 line intersects the Q60's doesn't mean dick if Queens Boulevard isn't also marked, since the riders "here I am" cues are street signs. This limited license to screw with space makes for some crowded rainbow messes, but even the most giga-dense segments of these maps are legible. This is a testament to the designers' skill and fastidiousness. They spun transit wool into variegated threads of gold, and I salute them here.
Come on, looking at this should make you at least a little bit sweaty. No? Cold soul.
or what passes for fun around here
❉ Does Evan Know What He’s Talking About? ❉
I know enough about biochem to ingest the paper and that’s about it.
Before I tear off on these things as an ingenious drug delivery vector, gotta highlight one of my favorite scientific graphics lifted from Douglas et al.
The paper describes a two piece hexagonal barrel assembled from DNA strands and held together by short DNA "staples." You can stick a payload in the center and design the staples to lose their grip on the barrel halves if the right molecule hits them, e.g. a certain protein on the surface of a cell. I sketched out the shape to the left.
Now that you know what they're talking about, here's the graphic: lovely first, and a great explainer if one spends a bit of time with it.
A explains the basic idea: load up the barrel (seen head-on) with a payload, and if the surface protein on a cell unlocks it, that'll be indicated by the flow cytometry counts (the hump on the graph will be on the right).
B demonstrates how if you key the "staples" to two different triggers, you can make a biological AND gate: 0 and 1 gets 0, 1 and 0 gets 0, 1 and 1 gets you 1. Gotta satisfy both conditions to get that barrel to unlock and release the payload, making this thing very specific in terms of what it throws that payload onto. See how this could make a good drug delivery system?
C shows the results of the "dump these things in with cancer cells, see if it delivers the payload only to the correct targets" test. Each box represents a different type of cell population these devices were thrown into, each with a different set of surface receptors (represented as colored keys). The row labels show what kind of staple set each structure was equipped with; if it had one of each type, that makes the hyper-specific AND gate we were talking about.
And those colored waves? Remember, a hump on the left means low payload release, and a hump on the right means a bunch of payload dumped out. The dual black closed locks meant that nothing unhooked those staples, so no payload released, so the humps in that row are all on the left. The dual grey open locks means those things opened willy-nilly and always dumped payload, so a bunch of humps appear on the right.
For the rest of the types, mixes of blue, yellow and red locks, you can immediately read down each cell and see that the staples did their job of holding closed when they needed to and popping open when presented with the right "keys": the second box from the left had all keys floating around in there, so every type of device popped open. On the far right, only the blue key was present, so only the device that needed just blue keys opened up. Every other type needed more than one color (remember, AND gate, only 1 and 1 gets you 1) stayed shut. These things are specific as hell, believe it.
Science later, cute now, this is all the beauty you will ever need.
These were fun to make, a friend needed a header for what she terms an "online zine" and I obliged. I can't in good conscience link to it because it's all drearily repetitive irony and "hecka"s but I guess it's good to have hobbies.
The fuzz didn't take any scriptographer, just a run of outline text > stroke > offset path a few times > convert strokes to dashes > expand fully > ungroup > transform each > change angle, tick "random" > watch 'em dance.