Tuesday, 24 April 2012

São Paulo by Ty Wilkins

São Paulo by Ty Wilkins

Ty Wilkins is a graphic designer from Texas, among his fantastic designs is the one above of São Paulo. For more click here

Friday, 20 April 2012

Subliminal broadcasting of the shape of São Paulo

São Paulo, a rhombus-shaped state

If you have lived in or visited São Paulo you will almost certainly already know what the state of São Paulo looks like geometrically. A quick look at a map of Brazil will show you Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states to the north, Paraná to the South and Mato Grosso Do Sul, inland. In between is a lozenge-shaped state called São Paulo.

But most often you will have seen this shape, not on a map but in the city itself, on signs, roads and vehicles. Apparently independent symbology is actually derived from the shape of the state and once you become conscious of it, its omnipresence becomes apparent.

Below are some day to day examples, there are, of course, many more:

No smoking signs in the shape of São Paulo
São Paulo state flag flying in the shape of São Paulo

Decorative pavement tiles in the shape of São Paulo

Police cars embossed with the shape of São Paulo

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Satellite Photos of São Paulo versus other large cities

São Paulo is supposedly one of the 10 largest cities in the world in population terms. Some say 4th largest, some say 7th largest and I'm not questioning it's immensity but these statistics are never definitive as they always boil down to how you define the central districts, city delimitations and metropolitan regions.

An alternate way to measure size is to look at urban footprints from space which gives us a rough and ready comparison, if not of population then at least of how far the concrete sprawl reaches. Below is São Paulo's satellite footprint:

São Paulo's 18,850,000 residents as seen from above
In terms of municipalities you can see Guarulhos, Itaquaquecetuba, Susano, Moji das Cruzes, Sao Caetano do Sul, Santo Andre, Maua, Ribeirao Pires, Diadema, Itapecerica da Serra, Cotia, Jacarei, Santa Isabel, Itapevi, Barueri, Carapicuiba, Santos, Praia Grande, Embu and Osasco.

And if you know the area well you will be able to identify Serra da Cantareira, Parque Estadual da Cantareira, Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, Tiete River, Taiacupeba reservoir, Guarapiranga resevoir, Represa Billings, Reserva Estadual and Represa Pedro Beichi.

Interestingly the spread of the city is very expansive despite large parts of it being highly verticalised. To contextualise here's a comparison with other large cities all shown on the same scale: Madrid, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Mexico City

Madrid, 4,072,000 strong but a small village compared to São Paulo
São Paulo's nextdoor neighbour is also a giant with 13,170,000 residents

Shanghai from above (population 16,650,000)
Mexico City, 20,450,000 and Latam megalopolis

Friday, 6 April 2012

VIDEO: Julian Moura-Busquet's The Biggest City in Brazil


Whilst clearly being a personal vision of São Paulo reflecting his own unique experiences,  Julian Moura-Busquet's video, The Biggest City in Brazil, manages to capture some of the day day Sampa moments that anyone who lives or has lived in São Paulo will connect to. They are hard to describe textually and perhaps best left to images or video. As Julian, says, "São Paulo is an incredibly diverse concrete jungle. It is a very interesting place but I think one has to live here to understand it"

Most people would agree with that caveat and perhaps we can go further and say that even if you live here it is quite acceptable, given its immensity and diversity not to completely understand it. Therein lies the essence and fun of living in São Paulo.

His video below is categorised thematically but this doesn't stop it portraying the chaotic and diverse feel of the city. It is also interesting to see the categories he has chosen, (the city's relationship with football, how the streets double up as urban canvas, the heaving transport, etc) from a potentially endless choice:

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cute words in portuguese Part 6 - tá ligado?

One of the acid tests of mastering a foreign language is your level of understanding of local slang. In most cases, especially if learning through traditional classroom methods, slang tends to be absorbed after formal language.

And yet, it is often the most interesting part. One of my favourite street expressions in Brazilian Portuguese, is "tá ligado?".

It is in fact a contraction of "você esta ligado?" which literally means "Are you switched on?" which in turn means "Do you understand?" or " Are you listening?"

It's roughly equivalent do the slang phrase "know what I mean?" in the UK or perhaps even the famous "innit?" and like its English counterparts it's best said not written.

Tá ligado?

"Tá ligado", often overused in Hip Hop circles

More cute words in Portuguese here

Sunday, 1 April 2012

8 bit São Paulo on Google Quest

Google Quest screenshot

Google never misses an April Fool's day and 2012 is no exception .

Today we were tongue-in-cheekingly told that in Google's pursuit of new digital frontiers, it has realized that it may have left behind a large number of users who couldn't access Google Maps on their classic hardware. Surprisingly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was unsupported, despite its tremendous popularity with over 60 million units sold worldwide. 

Introducing, Google Maps Quest, a complete 8 bit map product which as the Google engineers tell us allow you to "search for famous landmarks and sites around the world. Take an epic journey with 8-bit Street View. Get detailed directions to avoid dangerous paths, and battle your way through a world of powerful monsters and mystic treasures."


And what does São Paulo look like on Google Quest? Well, below is São Paulo's 8 bit NES Map:

São Paulo in 8 bits

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