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The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


“Here Be Dragons” syndicated
|| 3/19/2007 || 3:45 pm || Comments Off on “Here Be Dragons” syndicated || ||

The Washington Post story by David Montgomery “Here Be Dragons” has been syndicated.

It was on the front page of life/arts/style section in the Waterloo, Ontario’s “The Record” this morning as “When Maps meet Art” (you can download the pdf here). It was also a feature story in yesterday’s Sunday edition of Southern Oregon’s “Mail Tribune” as “Terra Incognita” and Thursday’s “Canton Repository” as the original title.

Of note is how much content is changed and/or lost as other news editors slim down the story to make it suitable for publication. I’m sad to see how the Dr. Livingstone, I presume reference has been removed. It’s also quite interesting to see how the various media outlets use the maps I supplied the Washington Post.

Here Be Dragons by David Montgomery
|| 3/14/2007 || 1:25 pm || Comments Off on Here Be Dragons by David Montgomery || ||

Front page of today’s Washington Post Style Section:

Here Be Dragons
Through Nikolas Schiller’s Eye, Aerial Maps of Familiar Places Become Terra Incognita
By David Montgomery

He is sly, this rebel cartographer. He makes maps that look like quilts, masks, feathers, acid trips. You can find America in these maps — you can probably find your house in these maps — if you can find the maps at all, since their creator has posted them to an online underground.

Nikolas Schiller, 26, is the god of this alternative reality. Making maps at a frenzied pace of one every two days for the past 1,000 days, he has done everything he could to keep himself off the map of the World Wide Web.


My Artist Talk At The Old Print Gallery
|| 10/16/2010 || 12:08 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

background map: Park La Brea Quilt #2

Yesterday, Friday, October 15th, I gave an artist talk at the Old Print Gallery in conjunction with my exhibition. The screen grab above is from a special opening slide that I made for the talk. Its the first HTML page that I have used the auto-refresh tag. It was designed to cycle through different maps every 10 seconds before the lecture began. I might add this feature to the front page of the website now that I see that it works. The talk lasted a little over an hour and included a brief Q & A at the end. Thank you to everyone who came.

Below are the “slides” that I used for my presentation and most are hyperlinked to their original entries:


YouTube Video: Last Weekend in 25 Video Clips
|| 8/5/2009 || 12:39 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

I made this YouTube video yesterday evening after I downloaded all the photos and video I took from last weekend’s excursion to the to the Shenandoah mountains. The 25 video clips are played in sequential order, starting with me getting into my friend’s vegetable oil-powered Mercedes Benz, driving out of Washington, DC, driving through the country, seeing a spider eat a moth, lights projected on trees, a spider with eggs crawling through the grass, chasing a butterfly among lilies (probably my favorite scene), insects devouring a large dragonfly, a few clips of the band Stripmall Ballads performing, caterpillar at night, lightrope on a rock, an American Goldfinch bathing in a creek in the middle of the road, and driving back home.

All in all, I had a great time. I just wish I still wasn’t tired from hiking up and down the length of the property!

Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop
|| 1/21/2009 || 4:30 pm || Comments Off on Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop || ||

Back in July of 2007 I found that Google was censoring the imagery of downtown Washington, DC. This discovery lead to an article that was featured on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post. In the time since, Google has not updated the imagery, even after the release of Street View for Washington, DC.

The other day they finally decided to update the imagery of Washington, DC. I believe they did this because there were millions of people coming to Washington for the inauguration and they would have been showing them outdated imagery on their maps. Now that the imagery has been updated, you can almost see the message on my rooftop that I installed in the summer of 2006. Since the imagery has a somewhat low spatial resolution, its slightly difficult to make out the words “No War,” and it kinda looks like “No W@R.” Below is the photograph that appeared on the front page of the Style Section of the Washington Post in March of 2007 which shows me standing next to the now-visible rooftop sign.

“The mapmaker on his Washington roof with a message that he hopes will someday be reflected in both government aerial photography and the art he creates from that imagery.” (Photo by Michael Williamson — The Washington Post)

Gregorius XIII – Pont(ifex) Opt(imus) Maximus / Anno Restituto MDLXXXII
|| 8/12/2008 || 2:27 pm || Comments Off on Gregorius XIII – Pont(ifex) Opt(imus) Maximus / Anno Restituto MDLXXXII || ||

“Pope Gregory XIII / Year of Restitution 1582”
Minted in 1582 to celebrate the creation of the new Roman calendar,
which later became known as the Gregorian Calendar

The other day I was reading about the Gregorian Calendar and stumbled across this coin that was created the year of the calendar reform. It features a portrait of Pope Gregory XIII on the front, and on the back this is dragon eating it’s tail surrounding a ram’s head. The dragon is called an Ouroboros, which I named my recent time lapse video, and as I mentioned before, it represents the cyclicality of time surrounded by the Egyptian Sun God Amun, who’s name means “the one who is hidden.” I find this symbology very interesting because what we consider today to be pagan symbols were used to mark the creation of their perfect calendar— the calendar we use today.

In my opinion, the Ouroboros represents the Milky Way and the Ram represents the sun, and by creating a perfect calendar the sun & the cosmos were finally set in perfect harmony. Except one thing, and in my opinion, the most important part of it all, the perfect calendar removes the importance of natural precession. As in, as the dragon devours its tail, it slowly moves in a circle, and that circle represents the earth’s slow precession backwards through the zodiac. By keeping the months standardized, the natural movement of the Earth is not accounted for in our modern calendar because the Gregorian Calendar standardized the timing of the Paschal Full Moon so all Christians could celebrate Easter on the same day. With that sense of natural drift removed, the understanding behind the Earth’s natural movement around the sun and the origins of why ancients used the Zodiac was diminished.

A good example of this natural drift is the removal of 10 days from October in 1582. Part of this was due to the Julian calendar‘s natural error, but in my opinion, a partial correction in regards to natural drift. In the last 426 years at an average drift of 1 degree every 71.6 years, the earth has precessed approximately 6 degrees since the calendar’s creation. If each sign in the Zodiac is 30 Degrees, then the earth has moved 1/5 of its way through the age since the calendar’s creaction. Interesting stuff! What’s really funny is what I posted here exactly one year ago today.

Related Calendar Entries:


Welcome Robots and Strangers
|| 3/14/2008 || 1:48 pm || Comments Off on Welcome Robots and Strangers || ||

Below is the text of an e-mail I sent out today:

One year ago today my ugly mug was on the front page of the Washington Post’s style section in David Montgomery’s article “Here Be Dragons.” To celebrate the one year anniversary of this 15 minutes of fame I did something I’ve been waiting a VERY long time to do– I removed the Robots Exclusion Protocols from my website. This means that in a few weeks you will be able to find the contents of my website with a simple search string from your favorite search engine.

Before 12:01am today, you could only search the contents of my website on my website. By preventing my website from being crawled by spiders (or robots as they are technically called) I also prevented anyone [strangers] from freely accessing the hundreds of maps that I’ve made over the last 4 years. Thus the paradox of making maps without being able to be found is now over, and in that respect I am liberating myself from the self-censorship experiment that I’ve been conducting these last few years.

Frankly, dear reader, its a very nice feeling. I am unaware of any website that has opened itself up to the robots with over a 1,000 different pages to index at once. I sincerely wonder what search words will bring people to my website from this day forward. Currently postmodern art is my number one search string (I am currently listed at #5)– and that was only possible because of the article that was published one year ago today. So with that said, today marks the beginning of a new phase in my life, and maybe yours– if you search for the right words.

Comparative Front Pages: Washington Post / Philadelphia Inquirer
|| 1/2/2008 || 10:58 pm || Comments Off on Comparative Front Pages: Washington Post / Philadelphia Inquirer || ||

Photograph of the Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers showing my map Jefferson Mandala

On March 26, 2007, the Philadelphia Inquirer published David Montgomery’s Here Be Dragons article. That morning I received a phone call from one of my best friends who happened to be in Philadelphia on business. He excitedly informed me that one of my maps was on the cover of a section in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I asked him to purchase as many copies as possible and about a month later I picked up the six copies from his house. My housemate let me borrow his camera to take an overhead photograph of the two newspaper articles side by side. When the housemate moved out a few months ago he gave me all of his photographs that he had on his computer and I found this photograph that I had forgotten about. What I found to be the most interesting aspect is the size of the map that was used in Philadelphia, the change of the article’s name, the movement from “Style” to “Health & Science.” I’ve tried to track down other syndications, but so far only the Philadelphia Inquirer has been obtained. The article itself has already been deaccessioned from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s website.

Related In The News Entries:


Découvrir Carte Est Mort!
|| 11/30/2007 || 7:43 am || Comments Off on Découvrir Carte Est Mort! || ||

“Crédit est mort, les mauvais payeurs l’ont tué.”
“Credit Is Dead – The Ill Payers have killed”
Unknown Artist – Paris, early 1800’s
obtained from the Baker Library of the Harvard Business School


Society is Enriched by Labor :: Socio Ditata Labore
|| 5/12/2007 || 4:22 pm || Comments Off on Society is Enriched by Labor :: Socio Ditata Labore || ||

“Antique Home”

Today I finally got around to looking through the David Ramsey Historical Map Collection. Like Archive.org, there was a lot to discover…

The above image is an assembled detail of a beautiful engraving on the title page of Atlas Nouveau, which was published in 1742 in Amsterdam (original cover after the flap). The detail contains the Latin phrase, “Socio ditata labore” and shows a scene of exploration. There is a slain dragon on the right side and on the left are soldiers bringing a woman to the new land. I couldn’t pass up this engraving! I do need a Latin translation, anyone know it? (A friend of mine was able to get a translation for me – below)

Behind the engraving is a tessellated detail from Home Quilt #5, which features the row house I’ve been living in for the last 3 years. The house was built around 1889, a 147 years after the Atlas was published. The source aerial photograph was taken in March of 2005, published in February of 2007, and revisted on March 29th, 2007, and finally today, a 265 year enrichment.

I also made a pop-art style tile that features the engraving in different colors.

From an e-mail:
Here is the report from my classicist friend in LA:

as for the latin, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as it stands – ‘socius’ is a friend, companion, (father in law in some contexts) – so it could be some sort of dedication, as in: ‘for my father in law, with enriched labor” – which, as I say, makes no sense. if, however, ‘societas’ has been mistaken for ‘socio,’ then it can read, as you say, ‘society is enriched by labor.’

Title Page & Notes:


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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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