Joey Lee and Benedikt Groß who produced the Big Atlas of LA Pools profiled on GIS Lounge have a new Kickstarter campaign that debuted today. Called Aerial Bold, the two are teaming up again to use remote sensing to build a typeface made up of letters found on earth. Joey Lee explains, “We plan to build the first global map and typeface of the earth. We’ll go through the global satellite imagery database and use some of our own image processing algorithms to find the alphabet shapes that are formed from the topology of buildings, roads, trees, etc.” Or, as the host of their Kickstarter video states, the project hopes to “turn topography into typography”.
As with most Kickstarter campaigns, there are different goodies available for those offering different monetary amounts: from a simple thanks at the $1 level, to a continental breakfast if you kick in $1,000. The typeface and the source code from the finished project will be made available to others to use for their own geographic for those willing to support the project at the $70 tools, algorithms, and code level.
While the project on its face seems similar to what GeoGreeting offers, Lee explains that the greater value of the projects is in developing computer algorithms to search for the letters: “Sure, our project is looking for letters, but the methodology/process is really the biggest contribution and the dataset will be open and far more extensive. By showcasing the pipeline, we want to motivate nondomain experts such as artists, designers, and citizen scientists to make their own datasets rather than relying on those others are producing.” Furthermore, the typeface will be available for use in other applications such as a font in word processing software, something not currently available.
The Aerial Bold campaign is live until November 13, 2014 and hopes to raise $10,000.
To learn more and help support this project visit: Aerial Bold: Kickstart the Planetary Search for Letterforms!