Month: October 2013

Biblio (63) Square cells…

biblio 63-1

This biblio post is about a powerpoint presentation by Jean Luc Lipatz (from the French National Statistics Office) on the new geodata publishing method that is being used for census and other datasets. The whole of Europe (the system is being deployed by the concerned countries) is covered by a set of pixels, each of which has the data on what is in; a way more precise method to geographically show what exists, when compared to previous methods based on atributing data to each administrative entity.

Biblio63-2

Sea, Land (6)

Malta surIn southern Malta you are told to visit the Marsaxlokk harbor, with picturesque traditional boats. On the background you can see the Delimara power station, a strategic energy asset for the islands. It may see an eyesore to many, but Malta is a book case on the issues raised in a place where the land is so scarce you cannot hide needed big infrastructures (an equivalent solar array or a group of wind turbine would be equally visible in such a small island).

Sea, Land (5)

Hamburgo-puertoThe new urban harbor in Hamburg (Haffencity) is a large renewal program in which the coast transfoms, but does not reduce its artificial condition. Altough there is a will to reintroduce nature, and in some areas there are no more moored ships, the shore is still a concreteline (it probably would be quite difficult to avoid that as new buildings need some security it will stay…)

 

Unexpected

Preciados-huevoThis is a good example of what has been often said of the difference between a public space and a private one, especially that of a retail mall. The snap was taken last sunday in Calle Preciados, the main retail street in the core of Madrid. Just get a look at the hair of the girls that show their backs; they were among a larger group of teenagers that was raising funds for something like a term-end travel, and they found no better way than to propose to pedestrians to crash an egg on their heads, just for one euro; this is the first time I see this. I have seen many ways to use your head to earn money, but this one had still not come to my mind. Here they are seen trying to convince some women to enter the game, to the suprise of other pedestrians.

The point here is not your right to go and have an egg crashed on your head on the street, or wether that is good or not for the image of the retailers (that in such central locations have already seen many baffling things). It is not even an issue of freedom of speech (altough there could potentially be somewhere a connection). But this is hardly something you can think of in a hypercontrolled environment, and despite the fact that I am not going to spend an euro on that (or to crash the egg on my own head…), this is just a face of the unexpected that also happens in cities and enrichs the experience in them. It is the kind of thing that can be just a surprising feature, a tradition waiting to be established by fund-raising teenagers prone to be included as a local flavor in some hip tourist guide, or become a nuissance if it becomes a widespread habit.