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Portugal at World Expo 1998 by Vitorino Ramos

Images – Portugal (1A – top left, original input satellite image below), geodesically stretched by one of my Mathematical Morphology algorithms, in order to represent real travel times from each of the 18 regional districts in Portugal, to the rest of the territory.  From the 18, three capital districts are represented here. As departing from Lisbon (1B – top right), from Faro (1C – South of Portugal, bottom left), and from Bragança (1D – North-East region, bottom right). [World Exposition, Lisbon, Territory pavilion, 1998].

Recently one of my colleagues who knows I love maps, pointed me to an old TV show “Câmara Clara“, a cultural TV show by RTP2, at one of the main public Portuguese TV stations. Main reason for my interest was his current theme: Maps. My second reason was their guests: Joaquim Ferreira do Amaral (an ex-Minister with a passion for maps) and Manuel Lima, which wonderful work on information visualization I know for a long time (on one of my past posts I referred to one of his ongoing working sites: visualcomplexity).

For my complete and positive surprise, their interview ended with some new examples, being one of my old works referred (from 57m 12s up to 60m 26s on ). It’s a long story on how I ended doing these kind of maps. Part of it, it’s here. During 1998, the World Exposition was in Portugal, and I got invited to present a set of 18 different maps from the Portuguese territory. So I decided to geodesically stretch the travel distances from any of the 18 different capital districts, to the rest of the territory, in order to represent travel Time not Distance, or Distance as time. For that,  I have coded new algorithms based on Mathematical Morphology (MM), taking in account every road (from main roads to regional, check some images below), from which I applied different MM operators.

Unfortunately, many of those maps are now lost. I did tried hard to find them from my old digital archives, but only found those above, which represent the departure from Lisbon (the Capital), Faro and Bragança. So, if by any reason you happen to have some photos from the 1998’s World Exposition in Lisbon, inside the Territory pavilion, I would love to receive them.

Os Portugueses e a Arte dos Mapas - Câmara Clara 131 - Maio 10 2009Video (LINK) – “Câmara Clara” TV show by journalist Paula Moura Pinheiro dedicated to maps (nº 131), at one of the main public Portuguese TV stations (RTP2), broadcasted on May 3 2009, in Portuguese.

A sketchy summary of this TV program went on something like this (the poor translation is mine): At the year Google promises to launch his first and exhaustive world-wide open-access digital cartography of the African continent, Joaquim Ferreira do Amaral, passioned by the Portuguese World Discover History and collector of historical maps, joins as guest with Manuel Lima, the Portuguese information designer that recently Creativity magazine has considered one of the top bright minds along with Google and Amazon founders, debating the importance of “navigating” reality with a map. From the Portuguese cartographic history, know to be the best in the XV and XVI centuries, up to the actual state-of-the-art in this area, from which Manuel Lima is considered to be one of the top researchers at global scale.

Original + Layers Portugal at World Expo 1998 by Vitorino Ramos

Video lecture – In this new RSA Animate, Manuel Lima, senior UX design lead at Microsoft Bing, explores the power of network visualisation to help navigate our complex modern world. Taken from a lecture given by Manuel Lima as part of the RSA’s free public events programme.

Network visualization has experienced a meteoric rise in the last decade, bringing together people from various fields and capturing the interest of individuals across the globe. As the practice continues to shed light on an incredible array of complex issues, it keeps drawing attention back onto itself. Manuel Lima is a Senior UX Design Lead at Microsoft Bing and founder of, and was nominated as ‘one of the 50 most creative and influential minds of 2009’ by Creativity Magazine. He visits the RSA to explore a critical paradigm shift in various areas of knowledge, as we stop relying on hierarchical tree structures and turn instead to networks in order to properly map the inherent complexities of our modern world. The talk will showcase a variety of captivating examples of visualization and also introduce the network topology as a new cultural meme. (from RSA, lecture link).

A Pedro Cruz experimentation with soft bodies using toxi’s verlet springs. The data refers to the evolution of the top four maritime empires (Portugal, Britain, Spain and France) of the XIX and XX centuries by land extension. The visual emphasis was on their decline. Each circular shape tends to retain an area that’s directly proportional to the extent of the occupied territory on a specific year. At crucial, critical times in history, his visualization approach then follows a cell mitosis like split. Historical data came from Wikipedia. More on his project.

Fig. – Gregor Aisch visualized Guttenberg‘s dissertation, highlighting the plagiarized portions. The dark red represents complete or masked plagiarism, while the lighter red represents different categories of plagiarism. Longer bars are for normal text, and small bars represent footnote lines.

On Monday, Feb. 28, Germany’s defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, resigned after admitting that he plagiarized his PhD dissertation. It followed an unprecedented outpouring of anger from Germany’s academic community when it was shown that half his doctorate was written by others. Further analysis showed more than half the 475-page paper had long sections lifted from other people’s work. Once touted as a future chancellor, he was variously branded “Baron Cut-and-Paste“, “Zu Copyberg” and “Zu Googleberg” by the German media as the scandal developed. At least 23,000 academics signed an open letter to chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to sack him (source:

Video – “Journalism in the age of data” is a 50-minute documentary by Geoff McGhee on information visualization, data as medium, and its use in journalism. Produced during a 2009-2010 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.

Pensar por imagens é talvez o único processo eficaz de que a inteligência dispõe para perscrutar os altos problemas da filosofia, da
ciência e da arte
” ~ Manuel Teixeira-Gomes, Escritor nascido em Portimão. 7º Presidente da Rép. Portuguesa, in Carnaval Literário, 1938.

Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays? For more, watch the full version with annotations and links at

[...] People should learn how to play Lego with their minds. Concepts are building bricks [...] V. Ramos, 2002.

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