Category Archives: Building

One-of-a-Kind Shapes, Unique Topologies

The New York Times had an article about conceptual artist Allan McCollum “One-of-a-Kind Shapes” where “…a software system that allows him to hand-design 31 billion two-dimensional shapes, no two alike — far more than enough so that every person projected to be on the planet by the middle of this century could have one of his or her own, as a print, for example, or a sculptural object. “I also sometimes imagine a unique shape coming up every time someone goes to Google, or selling them on Amazon for 95 cents each”.

A sample of Allen McCollum’s 2D shapes

So A) I want one and B) why can’t similar techniques be use to map context, the ways information belongs together, across an internal network, within a database, or at various URIs on the internet? Customized shapes, billions of them, no two alike, but in 3D, 30D, 100D. More than one software system would be needed to model those kinds of shapes.


Online Education and Digital Storytelling

Mercedes Bell, a researcher for, shared an article The Art of Digital Storytelling.

The article makes several good points and provides numerous examples graphed below. When digital storytelling is used for education, a new challenge today is keeping the reader engaged, without clicking away, wandering through so many loosely related topics, its easy to get lost, and forget where a digital pathway started, or where it is heading.

The objective of digital storytelling, online education, large scale digitization and information projects needs to be spending more time with better information.


Physics of Data Flow

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Last week the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Northern Virginia Chapter (CSI NOVA) welcomed scientists from the NIST Fire Research Lab to give a talk about fire simulations and the new test facility.

NIST’s Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS)

A couple simulations were of just the fires themselves rather than walls, furniture, elevator shafts and other elements that might influence where a fire would move next in a building. The NIST Fire Research lab studies both the effects and relationships of different building materials with fire, and the physics of fire by itself. The physics of fire by itself has some known properties, such as maximum temperatures, and the short SHORT flashover point. The space around a fire is not always needed for better understanding of what a fire is likely to do next.

National Fire Protection Association (2001) from NFPA 1710

Today we have a lot of data moving around the Internet. Behaviors and patterns in the physics of data flow may have properties like maximum temperatures or flashover points in fires.

Ebb and Flow of Box Office Receipts Over the Past 20 Years – at Flowing Data

However it seems like most of these studies only look at the data, rarely the space around. As if the way different areas of the Internet were built, or the composition of various user communities, could influence where data are likely to go next and whether they are likely to spread quickly or slowly smolder. Below is an image about the flow of physics data from CERN, but who is studying the physics of data flow? Or more importantly, structural details about spaces around data, or how more precise configurations might help push relevant information into specific areas that are most conducive to those particular ideas catching on, spreading, and growing… Until at some point, inevitably, even the most gigantic ideas, like fires, will eventually die out. We are still learning about the physics of fire today, the physics of data flow and a better understanding of the life cycle of ideas and information may take many MANY generations of study until the statistics and calculations are relatively accurate, or at least aligned with the unpredictable real world.


Places & Spaces Mapping Science Workshop

Katy Borner organized a workshop for the Places & Spaces Mapping Science Advisory Board. We met for two days at the School of Library and Information Sciences to figure out the remaining iterations of the 10 year exhibit. See the Schedule and try to visit an exhibit in person, or order the Atlas of Science to read at your leisure. Pictures from the brainstorming session belowBonnie DeVarco, Michael Stamper, and Vincent Lariviere

Kevin Boyack, Deb MacPherson, Andre Skupin, Peter Hook

Bonnie DeVarco, Stephen Uzzo, Michael Stamper


Katy Borner, Kevin Boyack, Debbie MacPherson, Andre Skupin

Kevin Boyack, Bonnie DeVarco, Debbie MacPherson


Taking Apart and Putting Back Together in a Repeatable Process

The greatest thing about relational databases is they store everything loose in some kind of homogeneous level playing field. It is only be establishing relationships between data that anyone is able to see anything in context. Without context, they are just data. In context they are messages, thoughts, ideas, studies, results, and work products.

If an idea is very complex sometimes it helps to break it down into component parts. Systematically taking it apart to understand what makes this idea tick.

DesignIT Studios

Starship ModelerWikicommons Watch Movement

Taking an idea apart can be very informative. Especially when various parts need to be updated and optimized, continually changing like software releases. If the watch above was wordpress, the Swift theme, and the internet each gear changes sooner or later but the whole watch still needs to work together if it is to continue functioning.  Putting things back together offers it’s own set of challenges.  There is an opportunity to purge elements that are no longer useful during this process. Like a hoarder moving everything out of their house onto the curb then back into the house, maybe some of those items are not worth saving after all. Or fixing a car engine, or someones medical condition, when it is unclear exactly what the problem is but simply by taking it apart and putting it back together, whatever was not working gets repaired.

IDSA Materials and Processes Section

Instructions are needed, parts need to be labeled. A sequence of reassembly is needed to ensure the reassembled whole still is the same. It can be difficult to see how the parts fit together when viewed too close.

Carol Padburg

Because everyone’s perception and experience is different, the exact same elements, in almost exactly the same combination may be understood a different way from different points of view. The receiving end may be “reading something into” what the sender intended. It may not be possible for two different people to consistently see the same things the same ways.

Put Back Together Pictures

However, this is not true for machines like computers or networks like the internet because machines have no prejudices, emotions, or previous experiences.  They simply process the information, break up whole ideas into packets, send them somewhere, another machine puts them back together. For this to be reliable everything on both ends needs to be a repeatable process. It would be so helpful to have a mold with the end result packed in with every packet to ensure consistency. MIT has just started a project to map controversies that may be useful to understand multiple interpretations of the same information.

MIT Mapping Controversies Project

This project is important today because we are surrounded by so many controversies, and so much data, it’s difficult to sort out which parts are actually valid, worth processing, keeping in the information houses where we store things. For example the Washington Post had an article today about the disconnect between science and the general public entitled “Not Blinded by Science, but Ideology” where global warming is a perfect example.

To avoid using information the wrong way, or putting together messages, thoughts, and ideas that may be different than original authors intended, especially while processing the data in emotionless machines – repeatable processes are needed.

BZen Consulting

Info-Sight Partners Actionability Index

Global Wonderware

Today the primary representation of how pieces of information are to be put back together need to work with SQL. Looking at the relationships is usually just miles and miles of code. However, there is a company at who makes Schemaball, a Schema Viewer for SQL Databases where the relationships themselves can be put under a microscope and examined across the whole database in one glance.

It’s curious why geometry proper is not used more often to direct the arc, layouts and relationships. Something like a mold could be useful to ensure the reassembly is 100 percent correct on the receiving end, to match exactly, what the sender intended.

But how would you store and encode that geometry?


Emergent versus Imposed Boundaries

When organizing large quantities of resources and information in the digital world… putting things into groups, determining what goes where and assigning boundaries, it can be helpful to look at the real world for lessons learned.  Imposing boundaries in unnatural locations is bound to fail sooner or later, the results can be disastrous taking generations to overcome.

Take for example Southern Africa. Oceans, mountains, deserts, vegetation and other natural features determined where people lived and worked.


Physical Geography and Natural Vegetation
from Exploring Africa at Michigan State University 

Over time, people settled in various areas surrounded by their culture. Learning the best ways to be productive based on the conditions in their area – whether it was a jungle with vast resources or a desert with very few. 

From Africa Expat

Ancient people such as the Shona in modern day Zimbabwe congregated and stuck together in different areas.  Many of these languages and traditions continue today. But these curving, natural, and emergent boundaries don’t match boundaries imposed from outside cultures.

From Wikimedia Commons

Occasionally, an imposed boundary may coincide with a natural boundary such as a river.  More often though, imposed boundaries are designed to work within larger more global schemes, without paying enough attention to the local impact.

From Wikimedia Commons

Anyone can see where arbitrarily drawing lines has gotten us today.  What can be learned from history to avoid similar situations in the fresh, clean, brand new digital world where ideas and information are still patterning out and have no where in particular to belong except where they are emerging as “next to something else” or arranged for convenient, all encompassing, upper level views

Linked Open Data, Colored, as of March 2009

What about situations where digital terrain and intellectual data boundaries are being purposefully laid out. For example Master Web of Science, and Places & Spaces where navigating the data is like exploring uncharted territory, and Katy Borner and collaborators seek to enable the discovery of new worlds while also marking territories inhabited by unknown monsters.

The difference in the semantic world versus the physical world should be that the digital world has no constraints like rivers or mountains. Eventually all of the layout can be determined.  Attention does need to be paid to where cultures are emerging, and how this can benefit everyone both globally and locally.

 Not only watch how the semantic web is emerging, but to direct it’s flow in productive ways, geared for people in different areas that may vary widely in their density and resources, rather than as one empire. Because that only causes trouble in the long run.

Layout Algorithm, NYU

Data Mining at Information and Visualization

Random Layout Algorithm at Cell System Markup Language (CSML) an XML format for modeling, visualizing and simulating biopathways.

The advantage of paying attention to this is, reaching an appropriate balance between random emergence and directed flow will ultimately serve end users and programmers better than any other option, and the solutions will last for a long time.

Communities of Practice at NASA


Time Based Analysis of US Healthcare Reforms

Below is a time based analysis of the US Healthcare Reforms created by Frank Snyder, a physicist who worked in thinking machines and computer vision and now spends his time traveling the world and thinking about anthropology and religion. Image below see the link for the Google Doc.

Whole Building Design Guide, Clinical Relationships.

A few visualizations on Manyeyes are not showing up there at this moment, the visualizations are


Spending More Time with Better Information

In the book You Are Not a Gadget Jaron Lanier talks about the unrecognized value of ideas generated by individuals, and the unintended effects the internet is having on musicians, visual artists, writers and other professional creative people. One way he describes it is the the “digital flattening of expression into a global mush“. Another is the “adoration of fragments“.

From Jaron Lanier at the RSA uploaded to Flickr by PSD.

One of the best examples he uses is what MIDI did to music “squeezing all of musical expression through a limiting model of the actions of keys on a musical keyboard“. All of the nuances, individual interpretations and stellar performances are gone. Every performance is the same.

People are not spending enough time with better information because some parts of the internet design do not allow for multiple iterations without ditching the previous versions, or any way to see how an idea or the information surrounding it has evolved.  There is no variation of the same, there are only exact copies and links.  A new digital architecture is needed with provisions for continuity, and coming back to an idea again with a fresh perspective, to promote the slow building and appreciation of work that takes longer than a few minutes or hours to create or interpret. There is hope though, with organizations like the Long Now Foundation working on projects to foster long term thinking and responsibility. It is a monumentally large challenge to consider more efficient ways to process infinite data fields intersecting – in such a way that better data might rise up out of the fray.

From The Effects of Digital Crosstalk in Data Converters
by Maxim where Innovation is Delivered

For better data to be created in the first place, professional creative people need to be paid reasonable rates to be ABLE to spend more time making work that in turn lasts longer out in the world. Consider for example these beer taps, an actual designer was paid a reasonable rate to figure out a shape, they were free to use any typeface, the only design requirement was a universal hookup. That is all internet standards should be, universal screw threads that allow designs to be professionally created, manufactured, and distributed.

Dr. Dremo Donut Beer Tap from the Quest for the Holy Grain

It truly is a conceptual and mathematical problem to devise a system of standard access points that allow data to slowly evolve, and get better, in ways that enough people can become truly engaged in what hand crafters have made.

Some designs will last longer than others but there is no inherent functionality in the design of the internet currently to let digital cross talk start eliminating what should sticks around longer or pop up in searches faster because it is actually better or supported by people who have actually looked at some thing from all sides. The idea of what fits is underused because there is no geometry around data forcing some information to stick around certain areas or flow through and keep on going.

Processes need to be developed to start dealing with the pace ideas and information fly around.  Data flow needs to be treated more like music. Like many people have observed – the symbolic encoding can be very simple and the same everywhere – but more time and attention is needed for actually the shapes and architecture of what supports a digital idea or lets it exchange faster, slower, closer, further away.

Yale Research, Breakthroughs in the Water, the Science of Swimming

What would such an ideal exchange architecture look like? Where would the universal screw threads be and how can the visitor experience be directed through this information space like a museum design? Where are the long axial views? The hints of what might be around the corner? Where do you pause and consider individual works? There is a flatness to digital information, everything is in your face on the same plane. There needs to be a better way to get a longer perspective on what surrounds ideas and information. Where they came from, how they have evolved, and which parts need to stay connected so they can hold together and stand the test of time.

DNA from Emergent Culture


Trace Back In Time – to tie together

How Stomach Bacteria Can Trace Prehistoric Events, by Med Gadget Internet Journal of Emerging Medical Technologies.

What would it be like to trace the history of standards and technology adoption through time?

Would it be obvious most building codes are in response to a disaster or emergency?

Could you see that most people interested in open source prefer Macs?

Brainwave Sofa is exactly what you were thinking also at MedGadget where “Ever wondered what a piece of furniture formed from raw data extracted from your brain would look like? But of course you have, and so did Lucas Maassen and Dries Verbruggen, the designers of the Brainwave Sofa. Mr. Verbruggen had his brain activity measured while he closed his eyes for 3 seconds. The extracted EEG data was used to create a 3D landscape with the x-axis representing the frequency of brainwave activity in hertz, the y-axis is the percentage of activity, and the z- axis is time. The sofa was then created in its physical form by a five axis computer numerical controlled machine, which creates a three dimensional object out of foam.”


I Love Typography

On 10 July 2009 Steve Kehlet said: For a while I’ve been reading I Love Typography, which describes itself as a means of bringing the subject of Typography to the masses. I am definitely part of the masses, I know I don’t have the critical eye and patience needed for good page design, as made evident by my site with its uninspired look, horrible colors, blocky layout, and general failure to render properly in any browser but Safari. But as I Love Typography says, it is truly inspiring at times to see these beautiful fonts and what people have done with them. Each article showcases numerous typefaces and sometimes works of art created with them. It’s a fascinating read on a beautiful topic I now realize I know so little about.” So he starts to look at it:

For the full story, see 1 <3 Typography and the I Love Typography site.


Change and Grow at Different Rates 2

In “A Request for Technology In Support of an AECOO Testbed”, (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator) the buildingSMART alliance and Open Geospatial Consortium OGC envision:

“… an idea around BIM as not simply a collection of files, or objects, but rather a collection of evolving business components and building systems, which grow and change at different rates according to project phase and building requirements. Based on our work we would like your thoughts about BIM instances and how they might be employed interoperably over the timelines for design, construction and operation.”


[270] The Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand sorts civilization into six layers that change at different rates over time. See The New Vernacular at LinuxJournal.


[187] Different layers of the rock are weathered at different rates, by MrSciGuy Phil Medina.


[630] As memes propagate over the Internet, they seep into different domains at different rates, at

Network interoperability is a new problem, tracking project phases and building requirements is an old problem. According to Brian Bowen at Georgia Tech aand the Construction History Society “…changes in construction take place ever so slowly and not necessarily at the same pace everywhere. So precise timelines are impossible to plot.”

Plotting timelines for design, construction and operation, starting from when building processes began, would include the following:

Contracts: There have been construction contracts from the earliest of times. The Greeks inscribed them in stone. Up until the second half of the 19th century, contracts were of great simplicity, naming the parties, outlining the scope of work, basis of payment, time for completion, commitment to the work (i.e. show up) and some form of guarantee or assurance (surety) that the work will be completed.

Basis of Payment: There were three choices – time & material, fixed lump-sum, or unit prices. The latter, usually known as measure & value, became the favored method in England from medieval times, carried over to colonial America up to the time that general contracting became the norm.

Trade Contracting: Masons tended to predominate in Europe, carpenters in America.

General Contracting: There is plenty of evidence of masons or carpenters taking fixed price contracts as early as the 17th century for small and simple buildings like housing. The application of General Contracting to more substantial work began in the periods noted above and it took a generation or two for the system to fully take hold. This was driven by facilities becoming more complex and elaborate. And the labor unions needed taming.


The Taming of Bucephalus, by Andre Castaigne at WikiCommons.

Construction of the semantic world does not yet have general contractors or labor unions to tame or benefit from.

Today, the timeline and quantity of BIM instances is rapidly changing and growing. Design and financial information need to be captured and distributed, so does location in several regards. Building footprint sit within the property line, even when the footprint is right up against a property line and theoretically the same line;


Hong Kong Central, locally known as ??


History of Open Geometry Exchange

 Investigation into the history of open geometry exchange for a better understanding of the origins of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and its relationship to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), relational database specifications, and ontologies. 

Organizational Structure by Mike Bergman


Slides to advocate the Open Floor Plan Display Project and the development of a Floorplan Markup Language, in collaboration with the Building Service Performance Project ,  were presented at Ontolog Summit 2009 Symposium, Towards Ontology-based Standards, held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Summit organized by Steve Ray and Peter Yim.

1984 The development of the Standard Exchange of Product Data (STEP) begins as a successor of IGES, SET and VDA-FS

 1991 GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library (GMP)
1991 US Government transferred responsibility for non-military component of ARPANET to the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF lifted restrictions on commercial use of the network.


1992 Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)

1993 European Process Industries STEP Technical Liaison Executive (EPISTLE) founded
1993 Organization for Structured Information Standards (OASIS) founded
1993 Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) founded

1994/95 ISO published the initial release of STEP as international standards including the following parts on which the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) depend:
Written in EXPRESS (ISO 10303-11)
Exchange structure in Part 21 physical file (ISO 10303-21)
Shape representation adopted from ISO 10303-42 and ISO 10303-43.
3D design is controlled by the AP203 Configuration


1995 International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) founded
1995 JavaScript spawned
1995 X/Open introduces the UNIX 95 single specification

1997 Object Management Group (OMG) releases Universal Modeling Language (UML)
1997 XML is compiled by a working group of 11 members supported by 150-member Interest Group

Layout showing major ISP in 1998 by Bill Cheswick

1998 XML 1.0 becomes a W3C Recommendation
1998 Google arrives
1998 Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) are commercially exploited, database access uses the STEP Standard Data Access Interface SDAI (ISO 10303-22:1998)
1998 eSPECS development begins
1998 Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN)


1999 OASIS aecXML for Architecture, Engineering and Construction working group formed
1999 ISO 11179 Information Technology, Metadata Registries (MDR) first published

2000 OASIS XML Conformance TC Closes
2000 W3 Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

2001 Creative Commons Founded
2001 VerticalNet was the first eCommerce company to use ontologies to map between disparate databases to achieve a interoperability in B2B.

2002 Ontolog Forum mailing list created (May), then organization chartered (September)
2002 site is created to host and further stimulate the development of green building schema

2003 EPISTLE took over the work of ISO 10303-221. For modelling-technical reasons OSC/Caesar in Norway proposed ISO 15926, thereby writing the integration model in 15926, Part 2.
2003 OASIS Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) begins
2003 W3C publishes Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
2003 Single UNIX Specification standardized as ISO 9945. Solaris 9.0 E ships. Linux 2.6 kernel released

2004 OASIS Common Alerting Protocol v1.0
2004 W3 RDF/XML Syntax Specification
2004 W3 OWL Web Ontology Language
2004 ISO 1117 Information Technology Metadata Registries v2

In 2004, when it came to translating data from one model to another, all the data could not be translated due to lack of place-holders for that data


2005 AJAX asynchronous loading of JavaScript and XML content
2005 Google Maps goes live, Google Earth unveiled
2005 IFC2x Platform Specification, ISO/PAS 16739

2006 OASIS UnitsML begins
2006 OGC Geography Markup Language (GML)
2006 OGC cityGML
2006 OASIS ebXML Business Process Specification Schema
2006 OASIS Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Distribution Element v1.0

2007 ISO 10303-28: STEP-XML Extensible Markup Language (XML) to represent EXPRESS schema
2007 POSC/Caesar and ANSI Reference Data Libraries merge, ISO 15926-4 is signed
2007 OASIS Web Services Context (WS-Context) v1.0
2007 IFC references back to ISO 10303-41 and ISO 10303-42
2007 National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) released
2007 International Framework for Dictionaries (IFD) standardized as ISO 12006 IFD in a Nutshell


Google acquires Sketchup and launches 3D Warehouse
2007 319 GNU packages hosted on the official GNU development site

OmniClass formed from ISO TC59/SC13/WG2 to look at classification a different way

 2007 US National Building Information Modeling Standard (NBIMS) v1 published by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI), now building SMART alliance (bSa).

Common Operating Picture, Golden Gate Safety Network

2008 SVG Tiny published as a W3C Recommendation for small portable devices
2008 W3 Geolocation API Public Working Draft
2008 W3 SPARQL Query Language for RDF and XML
2008 OGC Observations and Measurements
2008 COBIE Construction Operations Building Information Exchange
2008 CERN Geometry Description Markup Language (GDML)

2009 Ontolog Summit, Toward Ontology-based Standards at NIST

from The Eurozone – A Structural Assessment




Call for Mathematics and Design Papers

June 07 – 11, 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dra. Vera W. de Spinadel

Claudi Alsina
Drumi Bainov
Javier Barrallo Calonge
Ubiratan d´Ambrosio
Roberto Doberti
Rosa S. Enrich
Carlos Federico
Dirk Huylebrouck
Slavik Jablan
Amadeo Monreal
Janusz Rebielak
Adela Salvador Alcaide
Gunter Weiss

Centre  MAyDI  and Laboratory of Mathematics & Design, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning, University of Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
International Mathematics & Design Association

Susana Toscano
Marcela Franco
Néstor Díaz
Graciela Colagreco

Languages: Spanish and English.

Objective:  The objective of this conference is to convoke designers and scientists from different fields of knowledge, interested in the active interaction between Mathematics and Design. There exists an enormous wealth of experiences not only  in Architecture and Engineering but also in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Textil Design, Light and Sound Design, Art Design, etc. It is important that the experts in some of these fields meet together to interchange their results and projects.

* Computer Design
* Mathematical modelling
* Visualization
* Multi-media
* Project Design
* Art and mathematics

Plenary Conferences:  These conferences will be delivered by well known invited researchers. They will dispose of one hour.

Scientific communications:  The scientific communications have to be the presentation of a finished investigation or in the state of conclusion. They can be presented orally or by means of a poster. For the presentation, the author will dispose of twenty minutes followed by ten minutes to answer questions from the audience.

The acceptance of the scientific communications will be a responsability of the Scientific International Committee and the Proceedings of the conference M&D-2010 will be published as a special issue of the Journal of Mathematics & Design.


Papers are invited on the topics outlined and other topics which fall within the general scope of the Conference. The deadline for the reception of the abstracts of the communications is July 31, 2009 .

Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words, contain a list of keywords and clearly state the methodology, purpose, results and conclusions of the final paper.

The answer about the acceptance will be sent  by  December 1, 2009.

CONTACT EMAILS  (Centre of Mathematics & Design) (International Mathematics & Design Association (Laboratory of Mathematics & Design)


Smart Grid / Dumb Grid

Smart Grid versus Dumb Grid.

From TerraWatts.comNew Power for the Planet

Smart Grids Could Power a 21st Century Economy at

Looking at planning documents like those above it seems possible that a Smart Grid could be achieved. However, the reality is some places barely can move power around still.  Whats the best way for these places to be able to leap frog forward, skipping entire generations of innovation, to get directly to a Smart Grid, Smart City, Smart Buildings, Smart Building-to-Grid Interfaces?

Indias Electrical Mess at This Is Just Stupid

Safe Electricity for Slum Residences – A Pilot Project in Paraisopolis, Sao Paolo Brazil, at

from DG Draft 9 Graphics Set at Nick’s Public Gallery




Matrix Loops Black and White, Available at the BigRugStore

On the scale of everything that people have ever done and will ever do, multiple view points are always there.

Tomorrow, Barack Obama will give a speech he wrote himself.  This is the opposite of the last president.

Maybe the ability to play opposites against each other ~ to see what is going on ~ will be possible now.

A grand scale of idea and information exchange may now be able to swing across full spectrums of public opinion.  What a perfect mathematics and art problem.  Solving this problem in meaningful ways would include:

* Incorporating diverse viewpoints, agendas, and business models;

* Opening and strengthening communication channels;


Opposites can look alike – maybe people had to dislike Sarah Palin before being able to laugh with Tina Fey.  Maybe there had to be an economic crisis and two wars to:

* Speed up the pace of innovation about strategic data capture and efficient re-use;

Obama’s brand new speech tomorrow will address the oldest problems where:

* Seeing, being able to work with and fine tune diverse viewpoints in pragmatic, opposite-side-of-the-coin-ways may be able to help really understand what transparent governance looks like and how it functions;

* Public safety is the opposite of paranoia;

* Openess and Reason are the opposite of opaqueness, IE opacity, without the ability to see, compare or study;

* Actually thinking and considering multiple viewpoints are the opposite of rash actions that cost a lot of money and do not actually deliver schools or other locally useful buildings to the people supposedly being helped;

When Barack Obama takes office, the future is a welcome opposite to the past.


Digital Continuity



ABOVE: Nature-2 (rough).jpg @ 50% (Gray)
BELOW: Untitled-1 @ 33.3% (Layer 4, Gray)

Both by Bruce MacPherson, work-in-progress sketches for the MathFactory, for Gallagher & Associates Design Proposal



Below is the introduction from Time & Bits, Managing Digital Continuity edited by Margaret MacLean and Ben H. Davis, an eternity ago in 1998 for the Getty Research Institute.  The Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the visual arts and aesthetic appreciation through the advancement of long term digital preservation and information exchange techniques to protect our common cultural inheritance.  The book is about an early workshop pondering over new problems with obsolete media and machines impact on the cycle of: capturing, preserving, distributing, representing, and unlocking a real understanding of the meaning of stored data. See the Long Now Foundation Projects for follow on work such as the Rosetta Project.


Workshop Figure 1

This was a very unhappy interface. And small wonder. No doubt this entire virtual environment was being encrypted, decrypted, reencrypted, anonymously routed through satellites and cables, emulated on alien machinery through ill-fitting, out-of-date protocols, then displayed through long-dead graphic standards.  Dismembered, piped, compressed, packeted, unpacketed, decompressed, unpiped and re-membered.  Worse yet, the place was old.  Virtual buildings didn’t age like physical ones but they aged in subtle pathways of arcane decline, in much the way that their owner’s did.

Bruce Sterling, in Holy Fire. Science fiction writer and founder of the Dead Media Project.


Workshop Figure 2

Below from the article Storage Knowledge by Doug Carlston, page 28 Time & Bits: Managing Digital Continuity

– process information is everywhere and, with increasing frequency, it will not be possible to perceive the full expression of the content-creator’s intent if the ability to perceive the process information is lost.

Imagine, if you will, that we are talking about process content that represents the instructions for building a virtual space and populating it with still and animated images tied to sounds.  Even if one could disambiguate the various data forms and figure out what was image, what was sound, and what was descriptive code, the author’s expression is virtually impossible to deduce absent its interpretation via his original processing device.  If in the future it becomes common to create digital wire models of complex inventions and other devices in lieu of written words, we will have an entire body of obviously important process data held hostage to its original interpretation device.

Perhaps in these areas we just have to give it time.  We do seem to have some movement towards standards, numerical bits have been translated in a reasonably consistent way into numerals and letters of the Roman alphabet (and others), a necessary first step toward a process Rosetta Stone.  And there appears to be a compelling universal interest in standardizing the operating systems and chief applications of commonly available computers, although these standards themselves continue to evolve at a hazardous rate.  Perhaps this process will not continue indefinitely, in which case we are confronting merely an interim problem while the universal standards are finally worked out.


All of this was written before the explosion of the semantic web, online services, and the large scale development of open standards.  Nevertheless, many early concerns raised at the Time & Bits workshop are still valid.  The documentation of places and buildings together with the public information they generate has only just begun.  When will the process information be mature and standardized enough to tell the story of all these people and places over long periods of time?  There are many arguments on OntologForum regarding the utility, accuracy, and even the possibility of universal standards for such large scale processing. Like buildings in the real world, some digital architectures are better than others, some data deserve to be taken better care of and

“there is no constituency representing that body of information”

Margeret MacLean, Setting the Stage, page 33 in Time & Bits: Managing Digital Continuity.

3 images below are from the central garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. You can go anywhere, touch anything, get led in directions you want to go anyway, and have tremendous vistas open up around unexpected angles.  There are curves and corners. Only the best materials are used and they are taken care of.  The combination is gorgeous together.  This level of spatial design, execution, and maintenance is needed for an equivalent level of high quality, long term, takes-forever-to-build, semantic web spaces made expressly for the general public.


File: Getty Center Central Gardens Wiki Commons



Companion Post: Trace Continuous Threads



23 MVDs

The National Building Information Modeling Standard will be comprised of different parts.  Works in progress to standardize certain ways of looking at things in the AEC/FM Architecture Engineering Construction Facility Management Industry are Model View Definitions using IFC Industry Foundation Classes and IFC based solutions for data exchange. Currently there are 23 MVD‘s in progress. MVD’s with diagrams are below.


Some MVDs are at the design stage, some have diagrams shown below. Generic concepts are on the left side in blue, IFC 2×3 Binding Concepts are on the right side in yellow.

Architectural Design > Structural Design

The General Concepts include: Beam, Building, Building Storey, Column, Grid, Project, Ramp, Site, Slab, Stair, User Defined Object, and Wall. The IFC 2×3 Binding Concepts include: Beam, Building Element Proxy, Column, Project, Ramp, Site, Slab, Stair, and Wall. Apparently the Building Element Proxies encompass User Defined Objects and the Building Stories.



Architectural Design > Thermal Simulation

Will be useful for energy performance and sustainability studies. Here the main concept on both sides is “Space”



BPEA Building Performance Energy Analysis 

More detailed for sustainable studies, now project is moved above, spatial components are separated from other concepts, the building elements are more defined.  Spatial zones are indicated which can be related to sensor data and long term performance tracking.




Code Compliance Checking

Focuses on the building systems and elements. Codes vary by jurisdiction boundaries, can’t these geometric boundaries be used to help narrow down relevant codes?




Concept Design > Quantity Take Off

Costs. Organized by Project first, then Site, Building, Building Storey, and Space.



Indoor Climate Simulation > HVAC Design

Related to Code Compliance Checking.  Project is not separate here, the main generic categories are Building, Building Storey, Project is at this level, Site, Space, and Thermal Zone. Long term wide spread studies might combine this MVD with sustainable processes listed above.



Spatial Requirements and Target > Thermal Simulation

Focusing here on Project and Space Type




Structural Design > Structural Analysis

Looking at: Building, Building Storey, Project, Structural Analysis Curve Connection, Structural Analysis Curve Member, Structural Analysis Point Connection, Structural Analysis Surface Member, Structural Linear Action, and Structural Point Action. Reminds me of the art fundamentals program at Virginia Commonwealth University where students explore surfaces and spaces. Mathematicians analyze critical points and actions too, how can there be an internship program bringing together people in their 2os across each discipline?



Now look at this Domain Map of the Building Service Performance Project by Bob Smith, based on meeting notes here


What’s needed next is a map of open standards in NBIMS MVD formats.


Building Dictionaries

geospatial ontology

Geoconcepts Ontology, Skeleton Structure by avier Ruiz Aranguren at Trabajos Catastrales S.A. Two versions can be used: Geoconcepts Ontology v1.2, and v1.2 SWRL enhanced model.

People are building dictionaries and ontologies all over the place today. For example, researchers at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing are working on an original system for building multilingual dictionaries based on multiple term equivalences using what they are calling “universal words” – which will have huge impact to geospatial meaning. They claim system reliability and accuracy is 88%.

A HUGE effort impacting the entire design, architecture, contracting, construction, and facility management cycle is the Construction Specification Institute Project Construction Industry Terminology Initiative Task Team CITITT, refer to the article Words and What They Mean by chairman Gregg Borchelt PE FCSI.


In the Economist article Publish and Be Wrong, illustration by Adrian Johnson

What a call for participation. What huge kind of trumpet is needed for the participants to hear? What a showdown this could be between the subject matter experts to really explain building science. If so, what is the best way to handle scientific disputes or conflicts between publications?

Accuracy in scientific publications are tricky to begin with. For example, in the Economist article cited above, along with evidence in the maps of science, there are legitimate concerns about incorrect findings end up in print ~ then those findings hanging around as accepted fact for too long.

There needs to be better ways to compare concurrent and conflicting definitions in these dictionaries and ontologies. They suggest that, as the marginal cost of publishing a lot more material is minimal on the internet, all research that meets a certain quality threshold should be published online. Preference might even be given to studies that show negative results or those with the highest quality of study methods and interpretation, regardless of the results.

 How about a game or challenge? The construction industry terminology smack down.



A Trail through SMARTcodes

Imagine taking a piece of door hardware all the way through the code review process: from an assembly of parts, to a hardware set, to a door, to an egress corridor, to a building, to the local building authority, the state, the country, and the world.


80 Series, Narrow Design, Sargent Co.


American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Builders Hardware Manufacturing Association (BHMA) ANSI/BHMA A156.3-2001 establishes requirements for exit devices and trim.

Hardware reinforcing in accordance to ANSI, SDI, NFPA standards requirements

Sargent’s Newest Innovations
“80 Series, Accept Nothing but the Facts!
Withstands Real-Life Abuse!
It’s the strongest, most durable exit device in the industry today! The SARGENT 80 Series continues to exceed ANSI/ BHMA Grade 1 standards.”


Laws or rules prescribed by an authority to regulate conduct.  State or local construction regulations incorporate codes and referenced standards.

“The International Building Code 2006 states that entrance doors in Occupancy…. Access control locking hardware must conform to the door’s fire rating…”

fire door

Contact PH Insulations about – Fire rated doors


Passes positive pressure test standards UL 10C, UBC 7-2, and UBC 7-4
Door tests performed in accordance with UL 10B, ASTM E2074, NFPA 80, and NFPA
Tested according to NFPA 252 and UL10(b) and labeled up to 3 hours


Arlington County Virginia
Accessibility: 2003 ICC/ANSI A117.1
Building: 2003 International Building Code
Electrical: 2002 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70)
Energy Conservation: 2003 International Residential Code
Fire Prevention: 2003 International Fire Code
Fuel Gas: 2003 International Fuel Gas Code
Mechanical: 2003 International Mechanical Code
Plumbing: 2003 International Plumbing Code
Residential: 2003 International Residential Code


Department of Community Planning, Housing & Development
Planning Research and Analysis
Planning Division Applications & Forms Library
Construction Inspections, Permits, Certificate of Occupancy, Code Enforcement


Virginia Community Association Network – Understanding Building Codes
VBCOA Virginia Building Code Officials Association  Battlefield Chapter Region V
International Building Code General: Carolyn Majowka represents Arlington County


Map of VBCOA Regions

ICC current version “The existing code language fails to address the issue of hardware that is required as part of the door assembly to satisfy egress and security requirements …”

FEMA 453 / May 2006 Risk Management Series Safe Rooms and Shelters “The occupancy loads in the building codes have historically been developed ….. Source: Arlington County After-Action Report Designated entry/exit access …”


Map3  Map4

Maps from the International Code Council

“The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct…”

smart3  ecodes


ICC Online | SMARTcodes



 SmartCodeStudio by TechnoRiver


QR Codes and Semacodes are similar in the sense that they’re squarish. ShotCodes, appropriately enough, mimic a bulls-eye. Unlike normal barcodes, these two-dimensional “matrix codes” can store much more data, aside from simple numbers. From Three Formats Promise to Turn Your Mobile into a Barcode Reader

smart 2

i-Nigma codes are smart codes that act as links to websites. What makes them so amazing is how they are used. Refer to mydigitallife for a step by step explanation.


Museum  FireStation  11520000transportationwe.jpg







Open Standards / Commercial Technology

Benefits of Using the BIMstorm Process and OPS Onuma Planning System to develop Open Standards  

Open standards for building and geospatial information are rapidly changing.  So much is being figured out at the same time its hard to know which of the many parallel tracks will eventually meet in the distance.  For example:

Performance Specifications:  Proprietary versus generic names of things are very tricky ~ the CSI Construction Specification Institute International Framework Dictionary is currently being developed;   

Data Exchange Policies:  Recording brand names, model numbers, and manufacturer’s warranties as performance specifications, designs and data change hands from Architect, to Contractor, to Owner ~ COBIE Construction Operations Building Exchange is currently being developed;  

Building Codes:  Construction type and use group are able to align with building data by facility type and location ~ ICC International Code Council SmartCODES are currently being developed;  

Space Definition Rules:   BOMA calcs and owner program requirements ~ OSCRE Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate are currently being developed;  

Geospatial Coordination: OGC Open Geospatial Consortium has already made a huge impact, open standards continue to be developed with an impressive focus on interoperability amongst the standards themselves;  

Sustainability: Owners, Architects, and Contractors understand how to go for LEEDS points now ~ USGBC US Green Building Council has already made a huge impact, standards and requirements continue to be developed;  

Tools for Public Inquiry:  How can environmental organizations assess their area using USGBC/LEED data, GIS Watershed, BOMA Calcs, SMARTCodes and all the above while OmniClass, MasterFormat, UniFormat and all the words we use are constantly evolving?

BIMstorm and OPS provide an opportunity for non-technical people to like and understand the potential of BIM and open standards in simple ways.  Room Criteria Sheets and Google Earth are OK, regular people can play out a variety of scenarios without liabilities, deadlines, or costs.  It can’t be only technical people who solve these problems.   The main benefit of using the BIMstorm process and OPS is being able to figure out how open standards SHOULD work together with commercial technology.  Open standards need to be vendor neutral, but it takes vendors to help develop these standards along the way.  There is still a tremendous amount of work ahead and true interoperability will never be “done”.  Until then, using the BIMstorm process and OPS provides a unique opportunity to work together towards the same shared end goals.  Can’t get there without using real products and technology.

Deborah L. MacPherson AIA, CSI CCS
Specifications and Research, WDG Architecture PLLC
Projects Director, Accuracy&Aesthetics
NBIMS National Building Information Modeling Standard, Consensus and Model Implementation Guide Task Teams
Member of the buildingSMART alliance



Collages about linking huge amounts of open data in hyperbolic space. Individual images and links are below.




Components starting with Michael K. Bergman on AI3 Adaptive Information, Adaptive Innovation, Adaptive Infrastructure. Not all components below are shown above.

Lack of Road Signs Causes Collisions and Missed Turns (459)



One Possible Road Map (515)


Full UMBEL Graph (496)


From Wikipedia: An umbel is an inflorescence which consists of a number of short flower stalks (calledpedicels) which are equal in length and spread from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs. Umbels are a characteristic of plants such as carrot, parsley, dill, and fennel in the familyApiaceae, and ivy, aralia and fatsia in the family Araliaceae. A compressed cyme is called unbelliform if it resembles an umbel.





OpenCyc Selected Vocabulary and Upper Ontology


Linked Open Data


Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles at Daily Dose of Imagery


Crochet Model of Hyperbolic Plane by Daina Taimina, presented by the Institute for Figuring


Ontoforms by Accuracy&Aesthetics Director Ken Fields



Standard Upper Ontology Working Group (SUO WG)







Wishful Thinking

When members of the general public are faced with complex decisions, for example a medical situation for an elderly parent, all of the sudden there is a need to learn what a whole lot of new words mean and a compulsion to get up to speed with current research. The relevant words may be entirely new concepts and its hard to know where to start. The spectrum of sources for medical information range from Google to MedLine and on and on depending the users comfort level with exploring advanced research. Members of the general public, and even experts, can face difficulty staying on track to solve only the current problem without wandering down unrelated paths that, while interesting, actually have nothing to do with making an informed decision about the situation at hand.


terrain2 by Matthias M. Giwer at the Internet RayTracing Competition May-June 1999

There are too many facts and opinions to choose from and currently no way to stack conflicting and current points of view against each other in a simple format limited to a specific, narrow context, rather than the context of everything. In a medical situation, understanding all the options for medical reasons is unfortunately only part of the picture, there is also a need to become an instant expert in the swirl of confusion that is the insurance industry, not to mention the information pharmaceutical companies publish for public access. All three industries collide on a regular basis. Simple decisions may be influenced by a large number of conflicting viewpoints that may not care as much about the outcome as much as untrained users trying to learn new terminology to understand the pros and cons. Maybe FLIPP explainers could be used to understand the options, for example, IF hospice care is initiated THEN Medicare benefits will change.


FLIPPexplainer by David Cox

Having access to endless research, benefits, and reports does not make the decision easier or fix things in the real world. Diagrams can help see in overviews to consider what doctors are telling you, compared to what the industry position is, compared to what you can observe yourself to decide what is realistic, what to expect, how you can help. What is needed is something like a holding bin or personal visual dashboard to collect, analyze, and keep only the pieces that matter in your puzzle. For example, Figure 5 from Context Driven Topology drawings shows:


Instead of a curator, scientist, and detective – what if the points of view were brother, brother, and sister? From left to right, one approach is to integrate bits and pieces information into a solid position, another may choose to undertake a comprehensive survey, another may simply be trying to separate fact from fiction. A consensus across all three points of views and ways of making decisions may only intersect at one point. Too bad that point can’t be guided by all the medical, insurance, and pharmaceutical information.


How would such a point be derived? Maybe through Linked Open Data


Linked Data at



Name, Rank, Facility Number

Download PDF Where Does All This Information Belong [ DMacPJBIM08 ] to appear in the Fall 08 online version of the Journal of Building Information Modeling



“I see this as a topic map question with a good query mechanism that would allow you to match patterns and bubble to the top the requisite variety of solutions to the query.

There is something you see and talk about that I rarely do, the ability to fold, twist, and reveal. I have no clue how one goes about that except along the lines I suggested in an earlier post about manifolds, intersecting them, and playing them using something like a GBG (will ask: one of these or Glass Bead Network?) as an interface.

An old (late) friend Iben Browning used to talk about using evolutionary program and “spring” metaphors to let things like this self organize. The idea is that you arrange nodes in relationship to each other and add springs between them. You can watch this happen with touchgraph – the nodes jiggle around until the dust settles. You can tweak spring coefficients until something “makes sense” – – that’s what evolutionary programming does for you.”


See the big picture of clusters and interrelations within your data, and zoom in on whatever catches your interest, by TouchGraph.



RE: “Set of data structures, or code templates, to extend semantic relationships that already exist in CSI and OCCS classifications to capture and describe building information by construction type, use group, code requirements and so on.”

I see (in the pdf below) that you are linking core concepts (Uniformat and MF2004 names) to various the classification systems and specification clauses (step 1 ,2) and related these to their usefulness for some building types (step 3-5 Looking at ICC allows  you to relate some requirements to ‘core concepts’ and/or ‘building types’. COBIE exposes the  classification of spaces, systems and registered types. Lastly your spreadsheet mentions standards that are relevant. Overall you have a tree of references and relationships.


Developing a set of code and classification templates to track and standardize building information modeling exchanges. See pdf for explanation.


and the following links

bimSMART lab


BuildingSMART Alliance


Building Code templates are a way of understanding the design of buildings and also what happens inside there. Some of this information is private, some is related to overall energy awareness and efficiency concerns, some are public services that could be shown on Google maps, some are simply where a person lives with preferred and ranked restaurants around them. Whatever the concerns, how do you get from all the possible information and building control system readings to the necessary and sufficient information needed for the general public to live their daily lives and participate in the governance of their local, regional, national and global community? Code templates are a stab at it. It is assumed every building type can use the same Division 01, General Conditions in their contract documents while being built. Its still unclear what happens after that in terms of the building lifecycle. Where building codes fit is still being figured out but probably in another band above Division01.


Choosing Colors



Looking at colors for the code/classification templates for the Building Service Performance Project at Ontolog. Sample building models provided courtesy of Kimon Onuma at Onuma Planning System which is used for BIMstorm.

The basis of the color design is adapted from this brochure at the Sasquatch Music Festival. Comments welcome on the colors above, other examples of color selection techniques are below.



Fire Station Coverage by Finith Jernigan at Design Atlantic


Color Brewer, Selecting Good Color Schemes for Maps by Cindy Brewer at Penn State University


Color Select Demo at the CodeProject


Satin Solids at My Faux Paws Apparel and Accessories


Alternate Color Selection at GeneCluster2 Reference Guide at the Broad Institute, MIT


Twisted Brush Pro Studio at Pixarra

color selection


See Code Templates for More





What Does That Line Mean?

Architectural drawings contain graphical information explained in more detail in the specifications. For example, waterproofing is just a line on the drawings designated “WP” but up to 50 pages in the specifications.  Specifications became necessary when buildings got more complex, the entirety of the intended work results could not be captured in drawings without the drawings becoming too cluttered. As a result  architects sometimes ask “What does that line mean?”.


from 2D Visualization of Electrical Fields of Point Charges around a Dielectric Interface at Vizlab

If lines of inquiry could be traced through semantic space for example in ShiftSpace, these lines would get very complicated. See BLDGBLOG too. Tracing lines of inquiry would be a whole new form of drawing and wondering what simple lines mean, more details and the work results would have to be explained in specifications separate from the drawings.

Below are a set of citations for images and papers collected around 2001, wondering about these shapes. Each example below has varying levels of documentation. This is an experiment to see what is still available. Most are not. Some are in new places than they were originally found but its still the same images and information.  Open source images have found many more uses. The remainder is a survey of scientific and artistic approaches to showing dynamics and tracing histories.


The Coffee Mill , by Juan Gris, 1916, Original: oil and collage on paper, 10 9/16” x 8 7/8”, Provenance: Henriette Reverdy, Paris; Pierre Chareau, Paris; E.V. Thaw & Co., New York; Herbert and Nannette Rothschild, Judith Rothschild Foundation, New York, from the book Encounters with Modern Art: The Reminiscences of Nannette F. Rothschild, George H. Marcus Editor and Anne D’Harnoncourt, Philadelphia Museum of Art; ISBN: 0876331088; 1997. Image is now available at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

 collage of forms

DMacP Collage of Forms some below


Cross section of nautilus shell from the Patterns of Nature Disk Image KS1724 Comstock, Royalty Free


Hurricane: N-009-0110 Corbis Royalty Free at Matton Images


Galaxy: SC-086-0109 by Myron J. Dorf Bridges. Now available at ???????

What Lies Between Order and Chaos? by James P. Crutchfield, The Sciences, New York Academy of Sciences, New York (1994), Santa Fe Institute.

“The events happen far too quickly (over 10^-23 to, at the most lackadaisical, 10^-10, seconds) and in too small a region (on the order of 10^-18 meters) for human perception.”

“We’re maximally uncertain about the weather: we keep looking out the window for an update and are constantly surprised; the entropy rate is high.”


Theoretical Morphology: State of the Art, by Gunther J. Eble, Santa Fe Institute Working Papers

Sturgeon’s Law states that “ninety percent of everything is crap.” from One Thing or Another: Some Examples of Selection in Minds and Computers, A.K.A. “William James at CERN”, by Cosma Shalizi



Nude on a Red Background (Seated Woman), by Fernand Leger, 1927, Original: oil on canvas, 51 1/4” x 32”, Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1972, 72.173, from the book Hirshhorn: Museum and Sculpture Garden, Jane McAllister Editor, Harry N. Abrams; ISBN: 0810934363; 1996.


Vitruvius, by Leonardo da Vinci, available everywhere, this copy from the British Library learning about bodies.


Asymmetrical rocks, Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, G81-161783 Cannot be found. Image above from jmg galleries.

“…semantic leaps in jokes, arguments, counterfactuals, and analogies”
Turning the Cat on its Head, by Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds, from the web site of Seana Coulson, University of California, San Diego, Department of Cognitive Science“…until at last we reach our perceptions, grouped together by another process of selection into things. Some of these we attend to; the rest we ignore.”

“…studies indicate that there is a certain level of visual and acoustic complexity that tends to be most pleasing to the human senses.” Holding a New Mirror to Nature, The Economist, 6 November1993



The Periodic Table of Poetry, now at MAKE

“…literature, pictures and sound and movies can all be turned into strings of bits. Once we have a measure of fitness, there is no a priori reason we could not turn standard techniques loose on an initial population of pictures, or sonatas, or sonnets. There are even techniques, outlined at least by Holland, which will allow our system to modify the means it uses to evaluate fitness. In particular, rather than mutating and recombining essentially random lengths of bits, they system could come to recognize that certain blocks of bits are meaningfully connected. It also does not seem impossible, or even terribly difficult, to modify the standard techniques of genetic programming so as to work directly on two-dimensional or three-dimensional objects.” Genetic Algorithms for Art by Cosma Shalizi


Mathematical Equations on Chalkboard, by Steve Cole AA011042  at Getty Images now at Diomedia


“Fun” by Condensed Matter Research with Neutrons and Muons (NuM) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)

But architects also ask, what is this space represented by lines and specifications really made of?


The Light Inside, by James Turrell, 1999, Original: electric lights, wires, metal and paint, Museum of Fine Arts Houston Texas, from Modern Painters Magazine, Winter 2001

Seminar Hall in the Museum for African Art , by Maya Lin, New York City, 1992-93, Associated Architect, David Hotson, from Boundaries, Simon and Schuster; ISBN: 0684834170; 2000.

Stainless Steel Mesh, Design 9, Lumsden Custom Mesh, 1-800-367-3664
Classic Travertine, Vein Cut, Unfilled and Honed, Stone Source, 202-265-5900
Clear Satin on Cherry, 20A, David Edwards Furniture Company, 410-242-2222
Wrought Iron, Benjamin Moore, 2124-10
Clear Natural Riverstone, Artistic Tile, NY 212-727-9331
Glass, AR 105, by Skyline Design, 773-278-4660
Gel, BTG 150 Starke 9mmm kein Farbmuster Peer Almute, Smooth, 800-433-7337
Platinum, by Ben Park


See the actual buildings of
The National Gallery of Modern Art, India
National Museum of Modern Art, Japan, 3rd floor Special Corner
National Gallery of Australia


This is a Test

this is test

[237] This

[57] is

[357] a test.

Above are 3 definitions and 3 purple number locations for words in the phrase “This is a test.” Today, there is a wide selection of dictionaries to define what words mean, most public sources are correct enough to serve most users goals. However, as soon as the work only applies to a specific knowledge domain or line of inquiry, the meaning of words must be more precise. In these cases, precise locations within dictionaries and semantic structures are more beneficial than definitions ~ which meaning of the words “this” “is” and “test”? Some knowledge domains, like biotechnology, are way ahead of everyone else developing their own controlled vocabularies, thesaurus, taxonomies and similar. How could these scientific pursuits and careful documentation efforts be extended and applied to artists? storytellers? musicians?

If an interlinked data structure was made for every word that had ever been uttered, common words for common uses would not need to be redefined again at each source. Over time, words that originate in certain areas of expertise might eventually branch out into other areas and have many slight variations in meaning in another area. A simple word could get very complex very quickly.

There are too many badly drawn, clunky looking charts and diagrams about semantic structure designs, it is impossible to choose which ones are the worst.

If the task at hand is to examine or work with the semantic structures themselves, more time and effort should be spent working with forms that are more fluid and beautiful, like language and word meaning.



Exponential by Eric Heller


ShiftSpace Trail

Trail Proposal: This is a Test

Top Layer (orange, two parallel lines like regular trails above)
[237] This
[57] is
[357] a test.

Next Layer (cyan, single arcs)


Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo


Merge Layer (thin white circles and ellipses trapping elements from various layers together)
Seeking film clip from the Deer Hunter where Robert De Niro is saying “This is This, it is not something else”




Trace Continuous Threads

dance pattern IssacPastoral

Yang’ge Dance Patterns and The Pastoral Dance Pattern by Mr. Isaac

The diagrams above show dance patterns. Its easy to imagine how these shapes and places to put your feet could be drawn on a floor for dancers to follow. Experienced dancers could probably just look at the diagram and recreate the movements.

By contrast, its more difficult to imagine how dynamic movement of information could be diagrammed to be followed and recreated by others. Below are examples of a cellular automata pattern about Emerging Complexity by Stephen Wolfram, LLC.

This image confuses Photoshop because pixels and colors are more continuous than they seem. There are actually very few boundaries or stopping points. The flow is constrained to limited dimensions with all elements are moving in the same direction.


If working with this pattern was like preparing a set of building specifications – the first step is starting with everything possible. There are patterns which are unseen here before dimensions are constrained. First, a process of elimination to look at only parts. Then working with each part. Some parts may be the exact same on several levels. They can be picked up, inserted, repeated and slightly modified to fit within the set of working information. Tracing paths through working sets and patterns could be a really fun mathematics and art problem.

Finding Continuous Threads

1 – Light Blue – finding the fastest way through.

2 – Orange – trying to cut across horizontally by inferring a line. Started looking for configurations with a sharp tip and two vertical lines going straight down on both sides.


3 – Purple – noticed some of the orange shapes had a strong spine of exactly repeating shapes in chains of varying lengths.

4 – Blue – noticed some chains were independent from the ones colored orange in the red pencil shapes.

5 – Light Green – easier to see by itself with trails above filled in.

Depending on what you are looking for, there are lots of ways to find and isolate repeated elements and trace continuous threads in seemingly disconnected, parallel tracks. If the patterns themselves could be worked on to push the information around in the first place…

computer placement

Sketch to figure it out, automatic placement by the computer of 2 unlike scales, some angles still align.


Based On


Image collage presented to Jim Crutchfield at Santa Fe Institute and the Art and Science Laboratory in 2004. The black and white backgrounds are evolving cellular automata patterns, the blue lines were added to trace continuous threads.


Residential vs Commercial

Conversation between Jim Disbrow and Deborah MacPherson regarding the component and community of interest we’re trying to build.  Metaphors comparing semantic architecture vs building architecture are presented on 2 levels: Residential vs Commercial.





Details of the trademarked EuraCraft System at

JD: …for artists to understand and help depict relationships in semantic space….Building outbuildings and barns might be easier to understand than contracting and programming commercial office space. I can pick up a book at the hardware store on the first two, but not on the latter. Can we make allusions to weightbearing and nonweightbearing walls, and the space in between having multiple functions? How about snow loads and fresh air exchange; mighten they have some semantic equivalent? Cantilevered buildings, porches, and awnings are pretty common too. How about glass houses with lots of transparencies and light?


DM: Right – what is holding it together? What can you see through? How do the various parts perform? What is the equal to door hardware and hallway layouts to control accessand direct the flow of visitors to this space…?




kmeans Kmeans

Basic k-means clusters that can be used as a reference for comparison vs Overlapping k-means clusters illustrate SOM distortion of semantic space both by Stacy Rebich, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Both images show variations of the same solution in semantic space. The same semantic relationships may underly what is being shown in both images, but simpler versions are all the general public needs 99 percent of the time. Like the residential manufacturers drawing above, all that is needed is one picture showing how the parts fit together, and the names of the parts in case there is a question about one of them. A failure of the resident to assemble the parts the right way would not be a disaster beyond their own property. Commercial projects however, require standards, tests and inspections. There are rules to comply with and more detailed relationships need to be documented.

….in progress….





From Commercial Construction Loans

SHORT stands for Semantic Heuristic Ontological Relator Terms.

Comparison of semantic architecture vs building architecture.

Semantic = Each piece of information has a context where it belongs. For example, in an architectural package, the 100 series is always plan drawings. Symbolic notations refer one drawing to another, recognized by both their number series and symbolic notation as a plan, elevation, section, detail, coordination drawing, and so on. The relationships between all drawings in the set are captured by a project name and number. All projects of the office are in a linear sequence with no relationships between projects except before and after. All the lines and words for a project are in an evolving context together as a set of design and construction documents, specifications and work result requirements. There may be common details or requirements between projects of similar types (residential, office, mixed use) or location (Arlington County, Florida, Dubai), but once the contract is executed, the documents are frozen in time unless formally changed by amendment. The established semantic structure of a set of construction documents allows the Architect to issue updated separate parts in ways recipients can quickly know where the interpretations and clarifications belong.

Heuristic = You can make things with this system of terms and relationships. Drawings and specifications already have established locations and standing references between them. For documentation efforts, SHORT will create a better work environment than starting with a blank slate. Nearly anything that can be designed and built can be made to fit into a heuristic structure. Shared heuristic structures need to follow the equal of drawing conventions, and be described by a controlled vocabulary to be understood by others without ambiguity.

Ontological = Large scale, underlying, overarching principles of design and specification – but not yet construction or project definition. A potential ontological aspect of the work patterns and products of Architects could be the National Building Information Modeling Standard NBIMS. A consensus based, technology neutral, industry wide solution where software needs to be certified for compliance, you are on your own for hardware. NBIMS is a huge technological challenge to capture and maintain records of physical space, locations, and valid measurements including time. SHORT terms are like proprietary language being presented in NBIMS language to meet exchange requirements. The relator terms are an ontological mapper to meet exchange requirements defined in a SHORT checklist where some terms are included, others are specifically excluded to define the scope of work.


X Y z


There is underlying background information but a contract to do ontological work using SHORT includes only the contract items listed in the checklist, subsequently shown and specified in the final contract documents.

Bidders evaluate the checklist and design documents to negotiate or win a contract.


The checklist is used by Contractors to presort projects to decide what they are interested overall and for Owners to prequalify Contractors experienced with certain types of construction.



~ not shown yet~ Once the work is underway, the Contractor submits and continuously updates the schedule of values independently from the design by the Architect because the values are always changing based on the market but the design documents were frozen in time when the contract was executed. SHORT ontological terms keep the different disciplines in check. ~ aligning “bar codes” above is only for simplicity, the semantic relationships could rearrange and be any shape because of standing references between the relators. The more projects that repeat the same relationships, the stronger the references between the relators will become~


Waves_H by Kumiko Kushiyama SIGGRAPH 2003

Relator = When the design is broken into constructable parts to be communicated in checklists, models, drawings, and specifications the relator terms are like keynotes. They are a code, a short consistent designator.

Term = Expanded relators.

So – if building architecture is in physical space, SHORT is for semantic space. Accuracy&Aesthetics interest in the comparison is to require, through regulations and exchange requirements, that public space be purposefully set aside, designed, and updated with current information in the semantic world.

These designs do not have to be done over and over again. Patterns of understanding and communications can be reapplied and reused by repeating their semantic structure – which will help them to match up on higher more abstract levels in the future.

Today, it would give public information organizations the chance to select their best examples of the thrill of discovery, explain the services they provide, provide official answers to re-occuring questions, and set up predefined directions through the information they provide. By designing the semantic architecture specifically for public space as a small interoperable part of most projects.


BIM tracking

Technology advances rapidly in nearly every industry. Yet, many tools and resources do not provide easy access or interpreted meaningful benefit to the general public. Some have said Accuracy&Aesthetics is developing a “building code” for semantic space based on building in the real world.

For example, Building Information Modeling could have innumerable uses for museums and their audiences. Museum buildings are constructed and live in a place. Objects are interpreted and displayed in physical space with geospatial locations. If BIM software could truly interoperate with GIS and collection management software – it would be possible to document not only object dimensions, properties, and images – but exhibit spaces as well. Programmed instructional walkthroughs could be created in a relative size and appropriate pace for clear understanding of the objects and stories they tell. A variety of human perspectives could be generated and compared over time. By tracking enough curators interpretations and viewer preferences over time, could it also be possible to capture the reasons objects move from museum to museum, exhibit to exhibit, audience to audience?


How can large scale online museum collections, BIM, information and data visualization, social networks, open source service architectures, and countless other emergent and developing technologies be merged into one simple system designed to serve the general public?

What interface would be most compelling and true to the subject matters?

How can the thrill of discovery and most essential examples from entire areas of expertise be conveyed to audiences that cannot share the same physical space or time period with the digital materials they are experiencing?

What are the performance requirements for the construction, operation and maintenance of shared semantic space?



There is a gathering storm to document space in the physical world that will eventually impact, or help to form and track, the development of the semantic world. Go see BIMstorm ~ here are some reports.

BIMstorm is a series of spontaneous 24 hour long collaborations organized by the Onuma Planning System. The participants don’t even meet each other for a kickoff meeting. Players all just start designing and utilizing different types of expertise… and design architect can go back to work on their design again and someone else has added onto its information – for example a structural engineer or interior designer could refine what was only put up as BIM blobs. Its hard to understand semantic space. There are multiple locations of the same things. There is Google Earth for a bigger picture anyone can use. There are the programs, purposes. and information exchange priorities in these spaces. But there are no building codes about use groups yet. There have not been any catastrophes, like fire driving the development of US codes. And now BIMstorm is a call to link up all the building and geographic information in semantic space too. An statement on the challenges of Open Standards vs Commercial Technology is here and here.

The requirements of accurately documenting physical space include the Building Owners and Managers Association Calculations (BOMAcalcs), National Building Information Modeling Standard, w3 rules, ontology, language, model definition rules and more, and more. Architects and specification writers can get in trouble for “making things up” because there are reasons the rules are in place. Building and geographic data meet exchange requirements by being standardized, accepted measurements – which is figured out in detail for the physical world, but how is semantic space designed, built and measured?



Zu in the swirl by sgatto



Swirling by exper

Curving, Swirling by shapeshift

A huge quantity of building and geographic records are currently being made to design, operate, and maintain public buildings and public spaces. What are we going to do with all this information?


Exponential Documentation vs Just Building


Compressive Transverse Section of a Typical Gothic Cathedral from Bearing Walls: Monolithic Masonry Construction, Columbia University

People tend to assume the way things are done now is the way they have been done forever which is not always true. For example, the thrilling video Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Photosynth Demo shows a sequence where Flickr images are assembled to form Notre Dame cathedral.

One geometry can be put together from different view points and angles because we know what Notre Dame cathedral looks like now.  In comparison, trying to decipher the geometry of knowledge being built over time, or precisely reconstruct the topology of similar idea and information exchanges, is very difficult because the geometry of the end result is not known yet.  There is not one existing structure to assemble the different points of views and angles to a single structure.

Surprisingly, according to Brian Bowen of Georgia Tech and the newly forming Construction History Society, it turns out many builders of the old cathedrals did not know what they were doing ahead of time either.   Scholarly research indicates there are only approximately 3000 drawings and 400 contracts from the medieval period.  Paper was not available and papyrus was simply to expensive.  More often than not, plaster was used as a temporary canvas to depict parts of the building until that stage was complete.  New plaster was applied on top to show the next phase of work.  Thomas Jefferson used similar techniques in the design and construction of the University of Virginia.  The masons controlled the execution, often changing their minds part way through the construction process.

Today, the contract documents for 1 building may be comprised of 3000 drawings with 400 contracts and subcontracts = the entire history and all of the documentation left of the medieval period.  3000 and 400 are the quantities that can be validated now, maybe scholars will discover more records in the future, especially if these records can be pieced together by subject matter or physical location.

The whole world of buildings and geography is being constructed and documented both backwards and forwards in time.  At some point instead of documentation rising exponentially, hopefully the tide will reverse to become smaller, shared records of places stepping back in time and detail as needed.

Now when you see a video like 1 Week of Artworks




It makes more sense that perhaps semantic space can be built in a controlled and creative fashion without knowing the optimal geometry of the end result.  This is actually history repeating itself from other monumental efforts in the past.


Tag Experiment

A selection of illustrations by Rockwell Kent, in Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, published by Random House, in 1930 are used herein as an experiment about tags.
Written following the CSI format for architectural specifications by breaking into PARTS 1, 2, 3.



The National Gallery of Art presented a film “Retracing Rockwell Kent” by Frederick Lewis. Rockwell Kent (1882?1971) was a painter, illustrator, travel writer, social activist, and American celebrity. He was so famous in the 1930s the New Yorker was prompted to write “That day will mark a precedent which brings no news of Rockwell Kent.” The documentary asks, why, then, was he nearly forgotten only two decades later? A stunning example of Rockwell Kent’s work are huge number of illustrations in Moby Dick, a huge commission during the depression in the United States.

Below are a set of images scanned with the words on the page, meaningless to the computer, simply lines, black versus white, not letters forming words with meaning. After loading the images, a new evaluation will be made of computer suggested tags. Next, the pictures will be shown by themselves and the text manually entered to see what terminology coming together to form this compelling story are deemed worthy enough by the computer to serve as keywords and tags.

Currently, only by writing these few words, the computer suggests the following tags “art, aesthetics, accuracy, about, images, Accuracy&Aesthetics, set, connect, process, and sketch”.


Amazingly, Random House forgot to list the author on the cover.


after only 3 interior pictures, the following suggested tags appear “see, document, versus, gallery, mark, tags, semantic mashup, connection, people, shapes”

rk4rk5rk6rk7rk9rk-10.jpgrk19 rk11rk12rk13rk14rk15rk16rk17rk18rk19rk20rk21

inexplicably, the computer now suggests the tag “K-12”.




poetic pearl; Thou who didst clothe with doubly hammered leaves of finest gold, the stumped and paupered arm of old Cervantes; Thou who didst pick up Andres Jackson from the pebbles,; who didst hurl him upon a war-horse; who didst thunder him higher than a throne! Thou who, in all Thy mighty, earthly marchings, ever cullest Thy selectest champions from the kingly commons; bear me out in it, O God!


after three more pictures and the text above, the following tags are suggested “tags, design, Map, master planning, outreach, beauty, preference, architecture, history, context”

Continuing on with the story:

omit them as altogether obsolete; and can hardly help suspecting them for mere sounds, full of Leviathanism, but signifying nothing.

Finally: It was stated at the outset, that this system would not be here, and at once, perfected. You cannot but plainly see that I have kept my word. But now I leave my Cetological System standing thus unfinished, even as the great Cathedral of Cologne was left, with the crane still standing upon the top of the uncomplicated tower. For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught – nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!


Come, Ahab’s compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!


Days, weeks passed, and under easy sail, the ivory Pequod had slowly swept across four several cruising-grounds; that off the Azores; off the Cape de Verdes; on the Plate (so called), being off the mouth of the Rio de la Plata; and the Carrol Ground an unstaked, water locality, southerly from St. Helena.

It was while gliding through these latter waters that one serene and moonlight night, when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver; and by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed a silvery silence, not a solitude: on such a silent night a silvery jet was seen far in advance of the white bubbles at the bow. Lit up by the moon, it looked celestial; seemed some plumed and glittering god uprising from the sea. Fedallah first descried this jet.


With reference to the whaling scene shortly to be described, as well as for the better understanding of all similar scenes elsewhere presented, I hae here to speak of the magical, sometimes horrible whale-line.

The line originally used in the fishery was of the best hemp, slightly vapored with tar, not impregnated with it, as in the case of ordinary ropes; for while tar, as ordinarily used, makes the hemp more pliable to the rope-maker, and also renders the rope itself more convenient to the sailor for common ship use; yet, not only would the ordinary quanitity too much stiffen the whale-line for the close coiling to which it must be subjected; but as most seamen are beginning to learn, tar in general by no means adds to the rope’s durability or strength, however much it may give it compactness and gloss.

Of late years the Manilla rope has in the American fishery almost entirely superseded hemp as a material for whale-lines;


A word concerning an incident in the last chapter.

According to the invariable usage of the fishery, the whale-boat pushes off from the ship, with the headsman or whale-killer as temporary steersman, and the harpooner or whale-fastener pulling the foremost oar, the one known as the harpooneer-oar. Now it needs a strong nervous arm to strike the first iron into the fish; for often, in what is called a long dart, the heavy implement has to be flung to the distance of twenty or thirty feet. But however prolonged and exhausting the chase, the harpooner is expected to pull his oar meanwhile to the uttermost; indeed, he is expected to set an example of superhuman activity to the rest, not only by incredible rowing, but by repeated lout and intrepid exclamation; and what it is to keep shouting at the top of one’s compass, while all the other muscles are strained and half started – what that is none know but those that have tired it. For one, I cannot bawl very heartily and work very recklessly at one and the same time. In this straining, bawling state, then, with his back to the fish, all at once the exhausted harpooneer hears the exciting cry – “Stand up, and give it to him!” He now has to drop and secure his oar, turn round on his centre half way, seize his harpoon from the crotch, and with


only new suggested tag at this point is “system”


When in the Southern Fishery, a captured Sperm Whale, after long and weary toil, is brought alongside late at night, it is not, as a general thing at least, customary to proceed at once to the business of cutting him in. For that business is an exceedingly laborious one; is not very soon completed; and requires all hands to set about it. Therefore, the common usage is to take in all sail; lash the helm a’lee; and then send everyone below to his hammock till daylight, with the reservation that, until that time, anchor-watches shall be kept; that is, two and two for an hour, each couple, the crew in rotation shall mount the deck to see that all goes well.


Crossing the deck, let us now have a good long look at the Right Whale’s head.

As in general shape, the noble Sperm Whale’s head may be compared to a Roman war-chariot (especially in front, where it is so broadly rounded); so, at a broad view, the Right Whale’s head bears a rather inelegant resemblance to a gigantic galliot-toed shoe. Two hundred years ago an old Dutch voyager kikned its shape to that of a shoemaker’s last. And in this same last or shoe, that old woman of the nursery tale, with the swarming brood, might very comfortably be lodged, she and all her progeny.



If the Sperm Whale be physiognomically a Sphinx, to the phrenologist his brain seems that geometrical circle which it is impossible to square.

In the full-grown creature, the skull will measure at least twenty feet in length. Unhinge the lower jaw, and the side view of this skull is as the side view of a moderately inclined plane resting throughout on a level base. But in life – as we have elsewhere seen – this inclined plane is angularly filled up, and almost squared by the enormous superincumbent mass. At the high end the skull forms a crater to bed that part of the mass; while under the long floor of this crater – in another cavity


Other poets have warbled the praises of the soft eye of the antelope, and the lovely plumage of the bird that never alights; less celestial, I celebrate a tail.

Reckoning the largest Sperm Whale’s tail to begin at that point of the trunk where it tapers to about the girth of a man, it comprises upon its upper surface alone, an area of at least fifty square feet. The compact round body of its root expands into two broad, firm, flat palms or flukes, gradually shaling away to less than an inch in thickness. At the junction, these flukes slightly overlap, then sideways recede from each other like wings, leaving a wide vacancy between. In no living thing are the lines of beauty more exquisitely defined than in the crescentic borders of these flukes. At it supmost expansion in the full grown whale, the tail will considerably exceed twenty feet across.


tail of this whale, how understand his head? much more, how comprehend his face, when face he has none? Thou shalt see my back parts, my tail, he seems to say, but my face shall not be seen. But I cannot completely make out his back parts; and hint what he will about his face, I say again he has no face.


Ere now it has been related how Ahab was wont to pace his quarter-deck, taking regular turns at either limit, the binnacle and mainmast; but in the multiplicity of other things requiring narration it has not been added how that sometimes in these walks, when most plunged in his mood, he was wont to pause in turn at each spot, and stand there strangely eyeing the particular object before him. When he halted before the binnacle, with his glance fastened on the pointed needle in the compass, that glance shot like a javelin with the pointed intensity of his purpose; and when resuming his walk he again paused before the mainmast, then, the same riveted glance fastened upon the riveted gold coin there, he still wore the same aspect of nailed firmness, only dashed with a certain wild longing, if not hopefulness.

But one morning, turning to pass the doubloon, he seemed to be newly attracted by the strange figures and inscriptions stamped on it, as though now for the first time beginning to interpret for himself in some monomaniac way whatever significance might lurk in them. An some certain significance lurks in all


one hand, and a pill-box held in the other, occasionally casting a critical glance at the ivory limbs of the two crippled captains. But, at his superior’s introduction of him to Ahab, he politely bowed, and straightway went on to do his captain’s bidding.

“It was a shocking bad wound,” began the whale-surgeon; “and, taking my advice, Captain Boomer here, stood our old Sammy – ”

“Samuel Enderby is the name of my ship,” interrupted the one-armed captian, addressing Ahab; “go on, boy.”

“Stood our old Sammy off to the northward, to get out of the blazing hot weather there on the Line. But it was no use – I did


Inasmuch, then, as this Leviathan comes floundering down upon us from the head-waters of the Eternities, it may be fitly inquired, whether, in the long course of his generations, he has not degenerated from the original bulk of his sires.

But upon investigation we fine, that not only are the whales of the present day superior in magnitude to those whose fossil remains are found in the Tertiary system (embracing a distinct geological period prior to man), but of the whales found in that Tertiary system, those belonging to it latter formations exceed in size those of its earlier ones.

Of all the pre-adamite whales yet exhumed, by far the largest is the Alabama one mentioned in the last chapter, and that was less than seventy feet in length in the skeleton. Whereas, we have already seen, that the tape-measure gives seventy-two feet for the skeleton of a large sized modern whale. And I have heard, on whaleman’s authority, the Sperm Whales have been captured near a hundred feet long at the time of capture.


Not seldom in this life, when, on the right side, fortune’s favorites sail close by us, we, though all adroop before, catch somewhat of the rushing breeze, and joyfully feel our bagging sails fill out. So seemed it with the Pequod. For next day after encountering the gay Bachelor, whales were seen and four were slain; and one of them by Ahab.

It was far down the afternoon; and when all the spearings of the crimson fight were done: and floating in the lovely sunset sea and sky, sun and whale both stilly died together; then, such a sweetness and such plaintiveness, such inwreathing orisons curled up in that rosy air, that it almost seemed as if far over from the deep


It was a clear steel-blue day. The firmaments of air and sea were hardly separable in that all-pervading azure; only, the pensive air was transparently pure and soft, with a woman’s look, and the robust and man-like sea heaved with long, strong, lingering swells, as Samson’s chest in his sleep.

Hither, and thither, on high, glided the snow-white wings of small, unspeckled birds; these were the gentle thoughts of the feminine air; but to and fro in the deeps, far down in the bottomless blue, rushed might Leviathans, sword-fish, and sharks; and these were the strong, troubled, murderous thinkings of the masculine sea.

But though this contrasting within, the contrast was only in shades and shadows without; those two seemed one; it was only the sex, as it were, that distinguished them.

Aloft, like a royal czar and king, the sun seemed giving this gentle air to this bold and rolling sea; even as bride to groom. And at the girdling line of the horizon, a soft and tremulous motion – most seen here at the Equator – denoted the fond, throbbing trust, the loving alarms, with which the poor bride gave her bosom away.


hammer frozen there; and so the bird of heaven, with archangelic shrieks, and his imperial beach thrust upwards, and his whole captive form folded in the flag of Ahab, went down with his ship, which, like Satan, would not sink to hell till she had dragged a living part of heaven with her, and helmeted herself with it.

Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.


“And I only am escaped alone to tell thee” Job

The drama’s done. Why then here does any one step forth? – Because one did survive the wreck.

It so chanced, that after the Paree’s disappearance, I was he whom the Fates ordained to take the place of Ahab’s bowsman, when that last bowsman assumed the vacant post; the same, who, when on the last day the three men were tossed from out the rocking boat, was dropped astern. So, floating on the margin of the ensuing scene, and in full sight of it, when the half-spent suction of the sunk ship reached me, I was then, but slowly, drawn towards the closing vortex. When I reached it, it had subsided to a creamy pool. Round and round, then, and ever contracting towards the button-like black bubble at the axis of that slowly wheeling circle, like another Ixion I did revolve. Till, gaining that vital centre, the black bubble upward burst; and now, liberated by reason of its cunning spring, and, owning to its great buoyancy, rising with great force, the coffin life-buoy shot lengthwise from the sea, fell over, and floated by my side. Buoyed up by that coffin, for almost one whole day and night, I floated on a soft and dirge-like main. The unharming sharks, they glided by as if with padlocks on their mouths; the savage seahawks sailed with sheathed beaks. On the second day, a sail drew near, nearer, and picked me up at last. It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in here retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.




In conclusion, the computer suggests the following tags: “compare, place, local, understanding, contrast, fixed, OWL, change, logic, and Geo”

to that, as a human reader, must add:

“story, interpret, inscription, computer suggest, purpose, formations, time of capture”

and most importantly (even coldly based on occurrence or placement) “whale”


After saving, the computer now adds the following suggestions:

“figures, tags, global, visual, Maps to Make, standards, create, specifications, detail, and pattern”


Furthermore, the computer now goes on to suggest:

“Google, music, consensus, education, technology, colors, general public, ideas, visualization, Africa”


In one last save and inspection, the following terms are highlighted, seemingly at random:

“color, public, concept, support, spectrum, math, science, BIM, geospatial, mathematical”

………not convinced computers are able to suggest tags accurately or aesthetically at this point in time because this is a real story with great drawings and the computer did not get it. Better for a person to select their own keywords and tags until machines can learn to be more subtle, not simply spitting out what we want to hear, making it too easy to click on proposed terms that may or may not reflect the stories being told; and certainly not grasping the process of selecting parts from a whole or looking at drawings to enhance the letters, words, paragraphs, pages, books, libraries, digital collections forming the sea of records we swim in and attempt to navigate.


Mixing Performance and Design Specifications

RE: Green building laws and regulations.


Green Building, by TopLeftPixel, a daily dose of imagery

In the real world of building architecture, some jurisdictions have performance bonds, payable to the jurisdiction, when projects do not achieve sustainable requirements.

By contrast, sustainable information design does not have an equal to the LEED rating system, clear definition of sustainable information design requirements, or even design goals. Altogether there is a poor general understanding of what authorities having jurisdiction means for Web3.0 and beyond.

In the Construction Specifier David Blak and Leah Rochwarg are lawyers who discuss potential interpretation problems in the article Avoiding the Gray Area When Going Green ~ “In addition to green laws and regulations, there is a multitude of other legal issues concerning the field of sustainable construction. One such issue involves mixing performance and design specifications. Performance specifications demand the contractor achieve a specific result, whereas design specifications require the contractor follow the documentation like a roadmap.”


What “documentation can be followed like a roadmap” by semantic contractors? What is a modern roadmap?


Patricia Hilton’s map of the 14 August 2007 Expedition Workshop (3NDU)


Accuracy&Aesthetics portion, gone pixelated


What is meant by “Performance versus Design Specification” in semantic construction and contracting? How can the proper form of specification help an information Owner achieve their communication goals by helping people find what they are looking for?


Parasol, Texas A&M University, Algorithms & Applications Group Neuron PRM: A Framework for Constructing Cortical Networks


What network topologies and documentation standards will improve public understanding and access?


Figure 3(b): Hyperbolic view of BGP routing table data describing connectivity among autonomous systems. Internet measurement and data analysis: topology, workload, performance and routing statistics by Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA)

Is hyperbolic space the best depiction?


Figure 2 Sample Service Provider Fiber and SONET/SDH Layout
Beyond the Access?Understanding the Physical Topology by CISCO

How do you write a performance specification to improve physical topology when in the words of Arun Majumdar, “we are caught in a non-deterministic problem where sequential reasoning – i.e. look forward to what you want as your outcome and then reason backwards – will simply not work because we have no clear blueprint for what the end outcome “looks like” (or *must* look like).”


Record of a Project

A survey to track the needs of an historic renovation architectural project to see what public information is available about the property.
The place is Strider Farm, a stone house built 1790 outside Harpers Ferry WV.


National Registry of Historic Places Nomination Form
Prepared by historian Michael J. Pauley
Maintained and published at

The next in addition to the number of historic registries quickly found by Google, the current task was to find the topography of the property to overlay the architectural drawings onto an accurate representation of the site.
national map

United Stated Geological Survey (USGS) National Map


United States National Grid (USNG) at Geospatial One-Stop?

Google Maps, Hybrid View


TopoZone at 1:50,000 and 1 meter = 1 pixel

Considering the task, TopoZone provided the clearest, easiest to use answers.


Juxtaposing Dynamic Forms

Below are images from Dale Chihuly’s Gardens and Glass installed at botanical gardens all over the world. Perfect juxtapositions of beautifully crafted objects, once fluid and rapidly changing, now fixed in time. Purposefully and collaboratively placed in similar backgrounds. The living objects continue to slowly change and grow in ways that are impossible to observe in a single visit. The now-fixed and eternally-changing are simply together, enhancing each other’s beauty, creating a place.

What can designers of modern, fluid, information patterns learn from this stunning collaboration between botany and art? How can cleaning your data and preparing records for deep, widely distributed archiving feel more like working in your garden? If dynamic growing data collections could be shown, and tended to, in forms that were able to be made more beautiful over time…what do newly fixed data structures look and act like in context of slowly changing knowledge domains forming beautifully tended backgrounds?

To really see, be surrounded by, experience and wonder for yourself, please go to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh PA before November 11, 2007 – where juxtaposing dynamic forms is made real.


chilhuly20 chilhuly19

chilhuly17 chilhuly16


chilhuly13 chilhuly12

chilhuly11 chilhuly10











GSA NSF Workshop

“It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.” Werner Heisenberg (3N7T)


Intersecting Backgrounds

“Creativity is a process that can be observed only at the intersection where individuals, domains, and fields intersect.” Csikszentmihalyi, 1999 (3N7U)

Model 1

Intro to the Expedition Workshop Mapping and Navigating the Waterways of Public Information: Connecting People to Science and Scholarly Knowledge.

Projects Director Deborah MacPherson to participate in panel on Virtual Organizing: Conducive Conditions for Creativity in Advancing Knowledge Collections. See the agenda here.


Context of Codes

According to sustainable design architect William McDonough, in the world of building codes, context is all.


1. Insist on the right of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.

2000 Carbon Atoms in a Diamond Lattice
James R. Morris, C. Z. Wang and K. M. Ho

2. Recognize interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend upon the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognize even distant effects.


Core by W3C
3. Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement, including community, dwelling, industry and trade, in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness.


High Sky 2 by Bridget Riley, lives at the Neues Museum, Nurnberg, Germany.
4. Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems and their right to co-exist.


Spatial Layout, Deborah MacPherson CAD drawing with SpinnerCropHoudek

5. Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance or vigilant administration of potential dangers due to the careless creation of products, processes or standards.


SeaShellCage by Dream Geometry at, Research & Development Through Free Exchange of Ideas.
6. Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life cycle of products and processes to approach the state of natural systems, in which there is no waste.

7. Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative force from perpetual solar income. Incorporate this energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.

8. Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever, and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor, not as an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.

9. Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers and users to link long-term sustainable considerations with ethical responsibility and to reestablish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.

The Hannover Principles should be seen as a living document committed to transformation and growth in the understanding of our interdependence with nature so that they may be adapted as our knowledge of the world evolves.


Specifying Public Information

If the construction of semantic space was an organized process like the construction of physical space, more consensus documents are needed.

The real world, historical process of creating, promoting, and maintaining places for democracy to be conducted occurs in places and buildings around the world.

The project map below shows a sample set of public projects by the Architect of the Capitol


Democracy is also conducted at embassies around the world regardless of how many buildings you have.


Hot Spots Around the World

Private enterprise has a role in democracy. The magnificent, spacious, new Newseum building is a place to discuss free speech, free press, and free spirit in sweeping and fine detail. See a construction movie of the building coming to life here. The purposefully transparent building is ideally located between the Capitol and White House  to put the first amendment under a microscope.

Photo by Sam Kittner

The requirements for constructing and making democracy big and transparent in the digital world are harder to plan for and construct than the real world. In the real world property lines already exist and there is defined processes for building based upon where the building will stay. There is not a formalized system for public information to be built or stay in places yet.

To pretend public information were like public places made through contracts like buildings – the first document needed for any project would be a set of General Conditions defining the roles of typical project participants. It could be a diverse mix.


Tree of Life, Gustav Klimt at Krobs

AIA201 reduces the complexity of every project and the entire AEC industry to only 3 roles: Owner, Architect, and Contractor. The Architect’s drawings and specifications are directed exclusively to the attention of the Contractor. Yet, the Architect has no direct relationship with the Contractor except to certify the work is in compliance with the contract documents and design intent.

If you keep the basic structure of 3 roles but switch:

Owner = Public
Architect = Press
Contractor = Government


People in the University of Florida Department of Astronomy

Excerpts from A201:

Owner (public) and Contractor (democratic government), both the person or entity identified as such in the agreement and referred to throughout the Contract Documents as if singular in number.
But, what are the contract drawings and specifications?


The Contractor (democratic government) shall perform Work in accordance with the Contract Documents?
But, what are the performance requirements for public semantic spaces promoting democracy by enabling community voices?
What is the relationship between the public as Owner, the press as Architect, and democratic government as Contractor to define information exchange requirements

A201cont: The Contractor (democratic government) shall not be relieved of obligations to perform the Work in accordance with the Contract Documents either by activities or duties of the Architect (press) in the Architect?s administration of the Contract (Constitution), or by tests, inspections or approvals required or performed by persons other than the Contractor (democratic government).

What should this information structure feel like when you are in this place?


Gustav Klimt Beech Forest

What type of information structure would work best for a new democracy like Nigeria to thrive? What is comfortable? What gets things done? What worries and concerns are on their minds? What is the role of the local and world press in a city like Lagos? Can idealized information exchange structures be made to avoid reinventing the wheel and provide people in need with sustainable information designs?



May 11, 2007, Wayland, Massachusetts.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC?) has issued a Request for Quotes/Call for Participation (RFQ/CFP) for the OGC Web Services, Phase 5 (OWS-5) Interoperability Initiative, a testbed to advance OGC’s open geospatial interoperability framework. Based on sponsor requirements, the OWS-5 initiative is organized as six threads over two initiative phases:

1. Sensor Web Enablement (SWE)
2. Geo Processing Workflow (GPW)
3. Information Communities’ Semantics (ICS)
5. Agile Geography
6. Compliance Testing (CITE)

CAD-GIS-BIM thread of OWS-5 is detailed in Annex B (starting on page 59)


SOURCE: Earth Observation Magazine


SOURCE: Spatial News


SOURCE: CAD Search System in Purdue News


Sustainable Design in Semantic Space


To build consensus about the construction of semantic space, a reasonable approach could be to follow a parallel track with best practices of architecture in the real world.

A vital topic in real world building architecture today is sustainable design.
See this program: Sundance Channel, Big Ideas for a Small Planet
Architect’s Statement: Waste is Food, William McDonough


Ford River Rouge Manufacturing Plant with Green Roof

The Sundance Program “Waste is Food” shows architect William McDonough and ecological chemist Michael Braungar revamping manufacturing industries worldwide.

They ask, how can all industrial waste be re-used? Nike, Herman Miller, and other forward thinking manufacturers are designing new products, and redesigning existing products, to have more efficient geometry and chemically pure materials to break their products down into reusable and recyclable components.

Luckily, this process has also aided the assembly process also which helps the business bottom line. Hopefully the idea will spread.

Now = what is waste in the semantic world? What can be reused and recycled versus thrown away.
The following are proposed as information waste:

Duplicated data or processing efforts

Untrue, Uninteresting, Unneccessary

Out of date or superceded from above

How can information waste be made into food? Can better geometry and assembly/disassembly processes be used to improve data packing, shipping, storage, functions, and reuse?

What are the design criteria for information that should be thrown away after nobody has looked at it or needed it for x, y, or z period of time?
What are the system migration and updating requirements for information that is created for and available to the general public? How do we turn back in what has worn out and get new or updated versions?
Need to build a consensus on what constitutes and characterizes sustainable information design. Bringing together a group of artists, scientists, and to discuss would be a good start.


AIA Google Earth

AIA Google Earth

Building information modeling (BIM) and the architecture, engineering, and construction community (AEC) and now geographic information systems (GIS) community are embroiled in interoperability issues. Google Earth gives us a glimpse of what it may be like some day to find a museum and go in to the building.

Now with the new alliance between Google Earth and AIA and the magnificent programs that will be enabled by it…

What semantic web programs will there be? Will any extend Google Earth and Building Information Modeling to take tours of the digital collection as assembled by both expert curators and untrained users simply interested in the digital materials. Some digital exhibits may not have a building or geographic location but going on these tours in semantic space would be the same.
Like a podcast or television program coming to you one way completed
by another person or group of people together.


Public Projects


Skyscraper Models you download, fold, and build yourself

Wondering about the process of developing federal standards for the construction of semantic space the same way physical space is managed in cities with permit offices etc.:

Is U.S. Government Outsourcing Its Brain’?
According to the Wall Street Journal article Boom in Tech Contracts Sparks Complex Debate; A Mecca in Virginia By BERNARD WYSOCKI JR., Wall Street Journal, A1 the government could wind up “outsourcing its brain.” Especially for projects what’s known as “systems integration” — pulling together complex information networks.

But what about new initiatives like GovBrain? Can the government be its own systems integrator with many people chipping away at the effort? Who would understand the project best? How would design submittals be recorded, would any become public record? What impact would public record like this have on the development of public versus private projects in semantic space?


Carefully building up to systematically destroy

Every real story has at least two sides. To tell it fairly, there is a need to create a balanced, equitable structure to see where the situation stands and compare apples to apples. Too bad there are no data structures made like coloring books so you could fill in the blanks.

Setting up an equitable structure to examine two sides of an argument is a challenge in itself. One example of instructions for creating symmetrical, even opposing structures is here copyright ? 2003, Zef Damen, The Netherlands. His reconstruction of the Milk Hill 17-06-2003 formation is below. But pretend this unfolding logical structure was used to examine a touchy subject, see both sides of a story, set up and compare histories and facts…

Step 1 or 27 – place opposing view points into the same structure, begin to divide and classify. One side is for an issue like the war in Iraq, the other side is against.


Step 9 of 27 – more and more details, connections, and separations are needed between the opposing histories, available records, and points of view. There are more sides to the argument because it is getting more complex. There are more factors to consider, deciding a stance on large impact issues like wars is not simple.
Step 27 of 27 – a complex situation is depicted, as many view points as possible given equal space.


Once the structure reaches a limit of the number of facts that can be isolated and examined together in one group – the confusion of messy reality can be methodically broken down into manageable parts to systematically destroy weak arguments and keep only the best examples.
Systematically eliminate directly opposing views requires a formalized process of elimination that is best done by people. But how could machines help us find the fallacies? A taxonomy of fallacies is defined by Gary Curtis, Logic at Indiana University, Ontologist for Cycorp


What if proper fair layouts of emotional and expensive real world situations could be made in order to fill in the blanks to illustrate the many side of any issue – and computers could be taught to recognize what doesn’t actually fit or belong in certain areas? Ideally, by people and machines working together, eventually opposing, extreme, and just plain wrong views will eventually cancel each other out. The truth will be exposed because that is all that would be left. Once the information was clean, accurate and diverse – then you could really pick up a problem to start examining it and see various relationships from every angle.

Then structures even simpler than coloring books would be needed. For example FLIPP explainers by David Cox where “notice we would see (in this case 11) patterns even if no subject matter were shown.

In other words, the FLIPP explainer is a formalized logical structure to arrange and look through potentially huge amounts of information. If any layout from simple to complex was made to sort through and present the paintings a person or culture prefers, could the same layouts be reused for different subjects too?


Errors and Ommissions

asbuilt detail

Stair Tread As-Built where the notch at the top is a detail mark on the drawing, Source Unknown, flew like wildfire around WDG Architecture another funny picture where the source is unknown is here



Deciding what information is shown versus specified for the construction and maintenance of semantic space needs to be coordinated. An example of similar coordination between specifications and drawings is below from the Construction Specification Institute Project Resource Manual The first line lists potential errors and omissions in construction documents for buildings, the second offers a comparison to the design and construction of semantic space.

ac antelope

Leaving out important instructions or data sources that should be included.


Overlaps and duplications between disciplines:
The data curator, writer, image maker, systems engineer and others should not duplicate work.


Noncompliance with laws and regulations:
Outside of copyright, exactly which laws and regulations are the semantic world subject to? Standards developed by W3 or ISO may be looser or tighter than standards needed within a particular area of expertise.


Conflicts and discrepancies with locations of equipment and components:
Where are the computational and display devices being used?


Incompatible materials and components:
Can’t play this video on that monitor, the composer of a piece of music prefers it not to be played over a low quality cell phone speaker – both should be equally incompatible.


Difficult or impossible construction methods:
The information actually has to transmit and be classifiable.


Inconsistent terminology and abbreviations:
Particularly for search, inconsistencies compromise results. Inconsistent and inappropriate terminology is perpetuated by such poor practices as the indiscriminate reuse of details and poorly edited specifications from previous projects. Today there is not enough tracing and quality control over sources being used, in the future such quality control needs to extend to reuse also.


Inconsistent units of measure:
Today, units of measure are treated like text rather than actual values to find and utilize information by others.


Incorrect or unspecified materials, components, or equipment:
Not stating optimal display or computational devices.


Errors in extent of alternates:
Where are ideas and information interchangeable, where can substitutions be used?


Errors in defining areas of construction phasing:
Every system is built and implemented step by step, what are the appropriate phases to develop a semantic space for a particular use? How is this shown? What can be specified from lessons learned?


Errors in defining limits of work:
Most digital collections specialize in an area. Their presence should be stronger there with a weaker presence in areas that are simply related.

Errors in identifying work by the Owner or work not in contract:
Not every semantic space contains every digital material, not all spaces and materials are new or the responsability of tomorrow’s semantic contractors. What exactly states their scope of work? What can be shown in a universally shared diagram versus specified in a project specific requirements document?

Errors in designating work of separate contracts:
Where are the dividing lines between curator, specification writer, image? or map maker, registrar, network designer, owner, and review boards. What feedback mechanisms are in place for the entire cycle of work of separate contracts?

Inaccurate or unnecessary cross-referencing:

Extremely long lists of links, redundancy in any form, and any search results over 3 pages.

To avoid errors and omissions in construction documents for semantic space, what checklists can be used to be sure all items are covered and there are no discrepancies or overlaps between scope?

Shouldn’t information drawings be like construction drawings using only generic terms and symbols? Does it matter if end users cannot read the symbols the same way most building owners cannot read plans?

Once the semantic design documents are finalized and before the work (such as a library digitization project) is completed a responsible semantic design team needs to:

Verify that all previously noted inconsistencies, errors, and inaccuracies have been corrected.

Verify that the construction documents are complete, with final check of specification contents and list of required model views.

Verify consistency of all schedules between the specifications and drawings. The schedule could be the tabular data underlying the map, most of the work is done in this view before the map is generated.





5.1 A Context Driven Topology is like a person, each one is unique, born, and was not here before. Even if each individual shares preferences and characteristics with other people, they have their own age and circumstances. Even twins sharing practically the same lifetime and most circumstances rarely behave the exact same predictable way. A Context Driven Topology has a life and interacts with or influences others even if they never meet. Some day the person will die, it is not fair when they are taken away too early or linger too long. They will be remembered by people who knew them, people they influenced, they may have children and grandchildren. There are unique traces that are not the person and at some point even these traces will be gone. A Context Driven Topology is not like a person because it can be specifically tailored to keep and use only certain aspects of its personality.

5.2 A Context Driven Topology is like a song, sometimes there is only one clear note you remember. All the other music out there does not matter.

5.3 Retrieving Context Driven Topologies from the stateless space is like raking leaves. There are different kinds of rakes with different styles of prongs with varying distances between, different material strengths or flexibilities. When the gathering tool is used too often or left unattended in unstable conditions, it needs to be replaced. Information that is not the right proportion or density simply passes through and will not be picked up. Sometimes foreign objects that do not belong are still retrieved but they are easy to recognize and remove because the first level of collection and separation has occurred. Using CDT similarity measures is not like raking because the leaf pile can be compressed into one piece and easily handled. Users can create one boundary and shrink it ~ rather than looking at all of the individual boundaries around all of the leaves, and clusters of leaves, scattered around separately.

5.4 Context Driven Topologies put in groups together are like chemical reactions, some simply cannot coexist in the same space. Other kinds transform, unite, and may even become something else. Context Driven Topologies are not like all chemicals because they are only man made.


5.5 Context Driven Topologies are like water, they can be in different states with certain thresholds. When they are ice they are different than steam but they can transform from one state to another without becoming something that is not water [Fig. 10]. When a Context Driven Topology is captured, it takes the shape of the vessel that carries it. When they are moving, they can have the power and persistence to change the non-water landscape around them. Context Driven Topologies are not like water because they are not real and do not have physical properties that constrain them to certain structures, states or adjacent conditions.


5.6 If Context Driven Topologies were used in a library, the levels and information components are: this library compared to other libraries, subject matters, books, chapters, phrases, words, letters. When a Context Driven Topology regenerates a book, it does not have the word ?the? in the archive over and over again. Each word is saved only one time to be mapped and assembled in proper sequences even if there are duplications. One level down this is also true for letters but this particular user is not looking at that level so these maps are hidden. Library to library, there is of course only one book also. Because of the way the book was published as and idea or information (8.3), the CDT system automatically and always defers to the original authors’ writings. The user can switch ?dimensions? to read a French translation, which naturally has different maps because the words are often in different sequences. At the chapter level, translated ideas are cohesive. Words are used in other books, this is another map that leads to other points of view that be compared if the user is interested in similar concepts conveyed by this word. Context Driven Topologies are not like libraries because there is not a better library with everything in mint condition including a knowledgeable staff to direct you versus an unattended trailer with 28 dog eared books to choose from, most which you have already read. There are only original books mapped out in precise sequences, anyone can get a copy, read it in their language, it is never checked out, and the author always receives credit and a higher ranking for general interest.


5.7 There is an old wooden roller coaster at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania called the ?Jackrabbit? built in 1921. Over time, piece by piece, the wood and tracks and cars have been repaired and replaced yet there was never a time the Jackrabbit wasn?t there. As a whole, the ride has not changed. It clacks and shakes and people fly up or hold onto their kids on the double dip the same way their parents held them before. Darts is a game that persists through time because of its geometry – circles of specific diameters, a fixed distance to stand away, even though there may be endless styles of darts and boards.? The popular game ?Cricket? includes an efficient scoring system that does not waste time writing down what ?might have been?. Perpetuating and precisely recreating Context Driven Topologies of shared knowledge across advanced networks of machines over time is like this ride and game, the components may be replaced and updated, but through each topology?s geometry, and an efficient annotation system, the whole continues to have meaning on its own regardless of the rate the components are replaced, or the number of variations that occur.


6.1 Every idea has a pace [Fig. 10].


Look What is Happening

All around the world from popular culture games to the most advanced science, people are developing new ways to put groups of many things together to look at it as if it was one thing.

Digital Earth is a visionary concept for “spaceship Earth” sparked by R. Buckminster Fuller, grokked by the Apollo astronauts returning from their moon missions, and popularized by Vice President Al Gore.

New tv game show where one person and one hundred people are equal players

Every participant is invited to send a descriptive memory of mathematical applications in any type of design.

The Music Genome Project On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Su Do Ku
A new newspaper game solved with reasoning and logic. There is no math, only placeholders and the concept that every element in the entire picture is interrelated.

New Media Art Center – Space Introduction – Beijing University
A new place to present new ideas and new media.


Finishing Touches


If ideas and information can be cared for like a garden over long periods of time, we need simpler tools to assemble the essential elements and finishing touches needed to create memorable semantic spaces.

The current digital world is not set up to cultivate reflective and contemplative places able to transcend any one person or organization’s lifetime yet.

New, special processes and requirements need to be defined to span the boundaries of multiple communities, create new knowledge together, and accelerate our knowledge flows.
What Is the Knowledge Garden

This Knowledge Garden is a public service of Community Intelligence Labs, a part of the global commons. Here we explore ideas that span the boundaries of multiple communities, create new knowledge together, and accelerate our knowledge flows.

The Knowledge Garden is continuously seeded with thought-provoking articles, interviews, research papers, slide presentations and work-in-progress documents by the CoIL team, our friends, allies, and partners.

Depending on how much attention those seeds will receive from you and other users and members, some of them may turn into fast-growing, robust plants, others will not. Welcome to our participatory collective intelligence!

Not only the content, but the structure of the Knowledge Garden too is evolving with our deepening understanding of the relationships between the knowledge domains–and their corresponding communities of practice–represented here. Currently we feature the following knowledge domains:

Communities of Practice

Generative Leadership Strategies

Intellectual Capital

Knowledge Ecology

Organizational Intelligence

Virtual Communities

If you want to have some fun, take a trip over to the Flying Carpet, and allow yourself to become inspired by the collected bits of wisdom and high-flying adventure awaiting you there.


IMAGE: A Stream in The Ginkakuji Garden by S.O.D.A.

Ginkakuji was constructed as a Buddhist temple using Kinkakuji as a model. It was originally intended to have silver lining, but because of the Onin War it was never completed.

The complex has a large Zen sand garden with a pile of sand symbolizing Mount Fuji on one end, and a large wooded and moss garden stands behind the main area.

I personally think the gardens are the main reason to come to Ginkakuji, although the incomplete pavilion stands as an interesting contrast to the almost gaudy Golden Pavailion.

Map it:
Google Earth | Street | Satellite | Hybrid


World Overviews


Languages of the World Map edited by Raymond G. Gordon Jr. in 1995 for Ethnologue.

Seeking permission to alter the graphic by marking the locations of the Board of Directors and develop a symbolic overlay to indicate the languages each person uses in the places they live and where they work. For example, Vera W. de Spinadel is a mathematician from Argentina, her primary language is Spanish, but she is also fluent in English. Ken Petersen is here in Washington but an expert in Russian languages and its derivatives… the purpose is to show how our nonprofit organization communicates within the context of everything else.