About this project
Have you ever wished you could explore, close up, craters and nooks on the lunar surface? Now is your chance to get a piece of the world’s first true 3D map of the Moon--a dazzling digital or paper copy of the Moon made from NASA’s recently released - and amazing! - elevation data.
I’m a cartographer, and inventor of the Ambroziak Infinite Perspective Projection (AIPP) which is used to create my PopView Maps. This is the first PopView 3D Moon Map, and it is being offered exclusively here on Kickstarter for the next 28 days--a full lunar cycle.
(PopView map of Mars, front side, 2009)
(Detail, PopView map of Mars)
When I was a boy, I took my treasured, dog-eared National Geographic maps with me on camping trips across the Pacific Northwest and wondered why maps had to sit flat on the page instead of popping up like the terrain they represent.
3D glasses required for proper viewing
(Detail, AIPP/PopView map of Yosemite Valley, 2011)
I didn’t know it then, but this problem had plagued cartographers for millennia. I vowed to solve it--and I did. That’s what the Infinite Perspective Projection is. I started with the majestic terrain of the American West Coast and by the time I turned my eye to the cosmos my maps caught the imagination of writer Ray Bradbury, who wrote the introduction to my book, Infinite Perspectives:
“We built a birthing place from which to fire off toward our tomorrows, then take off for the whole universe,” Bradbury wrote. “The moon called, and they went.”
The spectacularly detailed PopView 3D Moon map will be available to the Kickstarter community for the next 28 days. It’s spectacular on an iPad, where you can zoom in and out and investigate every crater on the surface covered by the map, and it’s also gorgeous on the wall, where future astronauts can gaze at the distant surface and imagine the possibilities.
The times, they are a changin. Private individuals are coming together to send space ships to the space station. Let those of us who grew up dreaming of faraway places pitch in to do our part. Together, we can create a revolutionary map of our beloved satellite.
For more information on our technology, see Adam Balkin's NY1 review:
Kalliopi Monoyios of Scientific American shares her thoughts here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2011/11/15/ambroziak-infinite-perspectives-exhibit/.
You can read a bit about our technology here: http://www.popviewmaps.com
I plan to throw it back to the backers to choose the area to be mapped. Because the z, or "elevation", dimension is so small in relationship to the large latitudinal and longitudinal dimensions in a map that covers a large part of an entire planetary surface, the z-dimension must be artificially pumped up to be visible. When trying to show a large part of a planet's surface, this can result in a cartoonish image. This argues against mapping a huge expanse. I would prefer to focus on a portion of the moon that has special meaning. For example, all of the Apollo landing sites are clustered along the equator amidst some interesting terrain. In additon, the front of the map will be a "National Geographic"-like informational/artistic creation. I like the story told on the front to relate closely to the 3D map on the back, This further argues for an Apollo themed map.
I would like this to be the first step towards a systematic mapping of the entire surface of the Moon - perhaps following the USGS quad-map convension.
Received this question recently:
"... Another question I was wondering about, with the technology behind NASA's digital elevation data, is it possible to create a 3D image of the "dark side of the moon" or does it need the light for us to distinguish the lows and peaks?"
Interesting question. I'm going to make a guess that you and I are of a similar generation that grew up spinning Pink Floyd's vinyl in our darkened rooms mesmerized by the "Dark Side of the Moon". I too prefer to refer to the frigid and mysterious unseen expanse of our orbiting little buddy in accordance with Mr. Floyd's nomenclature. However, technically, it is the "far side" of the moon. And no side or portion of the Moon is any darker than any other (with the exception of some portions of polar craters).
The LROC data I will be using has been assembled as a mosaic of thousands of images of the Moon's surface taken at different times. The images are selected such that they incorporate, to the extent possible, images taken when the sun was directly behind the downward looking satellite. This reduces the occurence of long shadows extending from peaks. Unfortunately, for my purposes, the lack of shadows makes the surface imagery look uniform. This provides a dearth of image features for the 3D projection to "grab onto". I therefore compute shadows from the digital elevation model and mix them into the imagery before applying the AIPP projection.
I have received several requests for printed versions of the artist's statements that accompanied my recent show at the Underline Gallery in NYC. The show was a tremendous success and a lot of fun. The outside of the gallery was draped in a huge 3D map of Mars. 3D glasses were mounted outside for pedestrians to stop and look at Mars jump to life. You can get a feel for the show at the link to the NY1 news footage on the main project page. For each mounted map at the exhibit I wrote and recorded an artist's statement to provide an explanation of the work's significance. The artist's statements for the two maps of Mars are as follow:
Mars - I
While no planet can be said to exist on a human scale, Mars is strangely tied to our earthly experience. One, both Mars and Earth are inclined to the Sun’s equator to a nearly identical degree. Two, both planets experience an approximate twenty-four hour day. And three, the surface area of Mars in nearly the same as the land mass of Earth. Perhaps this as why, as a young child peering through my hand-me-down telescope on rare cloudless nights, Mars called to me. Bedtime stories often included Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.
Skipping ahead, the first AIPP map I made was of the Canyons of Mars and utilized data from the Viking probe. A copy of the image made it to the map library of the university at which I was studying law. The kindly curator sought me out and explained that some years earlier a visiting graduate student from the U.S.S.R. had spent the bulk of his time denouncing the United States and its corrupt system pausing only intermittently to note that the only American worthy of any merit was the genius author Ray Bradbury. The curator took the extraordinary step of contacting Mr. Bradbury. In response, Ray sent the Marxist malcontent a collection of signed editions of his works. The curator asked if I might be so kind as to send Mr. Bradbury a copy of my Mars map as further thanks for his generosity. Hiding my excitement, I readily agreed and much to my amazement received a hand written note on Martian Chronicles stationary from my boyhood idol. Skipping ahead again, after Ray enthusiastically agreed to write the forward to my first book, I received a call from my editor that the finished work had just come off the fax machine (Ray is old school). It was subsequently re-faxed to my co-author and myself and a conference call was set up as we three endeavored to decipher the iteratively degraded faxes. Talking over one another as each discerned words and phrases, we channeled Jean-Francois Champollion as we attacked our thermal printed Rosetta Stone. The resulting prose was a revelation. To many, Mars hangs in the night sky enticing the earth bound viewer with the possibility of realizing childhood dreams. To the little boy who drifted into dreams to the sound of Ray’s visions, the possibility was realized.
Mars – II
What do you get for a billionaire, we’ll call him “Jay”, whose library contains, amongst other things, a Sputnik and one of only two identical renaissance master renderings of the papal apartments? Keep in mind that the Vatican owns the less well preserved copy. Might I suggest an AIPP rendering of the Canyons of Mars identical to that displayed here. This is only the second AIPP rendering of this area of Mars ever made. Adding to the intrigue, the original map was made from data smuggled out of Germany. In contrast to the United States Government that cannot maintain a copyright in publicly funded data, the European Space Agency zealously guard its data and are slow to make it available. Data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express instrument, displayed here, is typically released in secure fashion to relevant scientists long before the public gets a look. Evidently, being a renowned cartographer has a few privileges. Very few. I was contacted by a scientist of Germanic derivation, we’ll call him “Werner”, from across the pond who offered to exchange the previously unseen data in return for a compressed and encrypted digital AIPP image of the Martian terrain. I readily agreed and asked if I might print up a copy for my eccentric collector friend whose interests tended towards space hardware and unique printed materials. Werner obliged while cautioning, “You didn’t hear that from me.” When I replied, “Didn’t hear it from whom?”, the one word email response simply said, “Exactly.” I have never heard from Werner again.
My colleagues and I interrupted a meeting to present the map to our friend. Laid out across a long table in the conference room, snow flakes were beginning to fall outside as most of the employees had already left early to prepare for the impending Christmas festivities. To our great satisfaction, Jay reacted as do so many viewing AIPP maps for the first time. He repeatedly walked up and down the map periodically pausing to reach out in an attempt to touch the craters and canyons. I like to think that that map has found a home amidst a Sputnik.
Dear Backers outside the U.S.A.:
As promised, I have researched the cost of mailing PopView 3D maps of the Moon to the far corners of our beloved sphere. From a high (Australia) to a low (Canada) and all places in between, the average additional cost is $10. This amount is in addition to the portion which I have agreed to pay. Strangely, it costs more to mail to any location in Canada than it does to mail across the country to California.
For any reward between $15 and $65 requiring mailing 3D glasses, please add an additional $5 for international mailing. In the interest of under promising and over delivering, allow me to assure you that every reward level above $15 will include some extra surprises to acknowledge your unique roles in making this enterprise a success!
To summarize, for international mailing to any of the following countries:
-UK and Ireland
Add $5 to your pledge for rewards of $15 and $20.
Add $10 to your pledge for rewards of $65 and above.
THESE ADDITIONAL FEES ARE FOR INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING ONLY
If delivery is within the U.S., no action need be taken. As always, I thank all of you for your support and I look forward to getting your input as this project progresses. Cheers.
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- (29 days)