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Jer Thorp
Co-Founder, The Office for Creative Research
Co-Founder, The Office for Creative Research

Jer's posts

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Our new studio, getting finishing touches.

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Hundreds of dragonflies, swarming outside the window of the Hong Kong airport. I wonder what they're eating?

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My friend and fellow National Geographic Emerging Explorer +Steve Boyes  is in the midst of an 18-day expedition into the Okavango Delta - one of the world's richest wildlife areas.

We convinced Steve to let us build an API around the expedition, which allows anyone anywhere to access the data they are collecting - wildlife counts - along with position data and biometrics of the team members.

This is really exciting to me, as it connects us not only to the visual experience of the expedition, but also to the data that they've set out to collect.

We've put up a website - - where you can follow along with the progress of the expedition. We'll be adding more features as the expedition progresses, including sound and images, and interface to see trends and patterns among the wildlife sightings that are being recorded.

Data folks can connect to the API, which serves up GeoJSON in different flavours here:

Big thanks to +Brian House who build most (all) of the back-end and to Ian Ardouin-Fumat, who made the interface look as great as it does.

"-- may each point of Heaven be mapp'd, or projected, upon each point of Hell, and vice versa. And what intercepts the Projection, about mid-way (reckon'd logarithmickally) between?  why, this very Earth, and our lives here upon it. We only think we occupy a solid, Brick-and-Timber City,– in Reality, we live upon a Map. Perhaps even our Lives are but representations of Truer Lives, pursued above and below, as to Philadelphia correspond both a vast Heavenly City, and a crowded niche of Hell, each element of one faithfully mirror'd in the others."

- Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon

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I'm spending 2 weeks at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio center, as a PopTech/Rockefeller fellow. The grounds are 50+ acres, right on the tip of the peninsula. Olive trees, old fortifications, meandering pathways. 

I'll warn you all right now that I'll probably post a lot more photos.
Bellagio Center 2013
7 Photos - View album

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I wrote a short(ish) post about the API as a medium for artistic engagement.

Which would be a much sexier looking link, if I had included a photo.


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Want an animated GIF of that video you just uploaded to Google+?

I noticed in the Google+ notifications menu (the one with the bell icon), that you get clever little previews of your videos, as animated GIFs. Like this one:

I got this URL simply by right-clicking on the animated image in the notifications menu, and choosing 'Copy Image URL'.

Awesomely, you can change the size of the image to any size you want:

It seems like this only works for the ones in your notifications menu - I poked around a bit to see if I could find the URL from the main photo page or from individual video pages, with no luck.

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Swimmers hit the starting gate at the NYC Swim crossing of the East River.
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