Obsessions: October 26th, 2009

Interesting, for the urban spelunkers among us: Chicago has an abandoned underground tunnel system. This apparently began in the early 20th century as a way to string power and communications from block to block in the downtown area, but in true Chicago fashion it was surreptitiously expanded to include a miniature railroad line (which few knew about) moving supplies back and forth. And now it’s collapsing. Here’s an interesting origins site, and an article about the damage the tunnels have done.

Typotheque, creators of familiar typefaces such as Fedra and Fedra Sans, have unveiled licensing for use of their fonts online. The model is based upon bandwidth. There’s a video walk-through explaining new licensing requirements, including a full license (print and web), and separated pricing.

Here’s a beautifully created shaded relief map of the United States, free for public use, and offered in several editable forms. There’s also a ton of useful information on topographic elevation techniques, and explanations of different views of the maps.

EverybodyLovesSketch is kinda interesting: a simplified 3-D drawing tool allowing non-3-D designers to design meaningful 3-D models fairly quickly. If you look closely, there are a few interesting features putting beauty into your work in the background: Curves seem to be cleaned up and made more harmonious after they’re added to your work surface. Odd that this is not mentioned as a feature.

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