The Aerial Bold project was funded in November of 2014, but the ideation and preparation for the project started months before with the filming of the project pitch video and the development of proofs of concept. Follow along this timeline for the major milestones of Aerial Bold from the latest news to the beginning of the project:
When the Aerial Bold project was first funded on Kickstarter in November 2014, Penguin Random House took the opportunity to imagine a new alphabet book composed of aerial imagery and reached out to us. Over the next year, we worked together with the Penguin team to design and develop the story behind the ABC: The Alphabet from the Sky. The book is set to hit the shelves September 13th 2016. Order the book from any of your favorite booksellers!
Aerial Bold is selected to be exhibited as part of the "TL;DR" in Oakland, California. The TL;DR is the culmination of an art exhibition, digital arts workshops and artist talks to investigate the influential role and evolution of language and text in digital culture.
Aerial Bold is released to the public and the rewards are delivered to the Kickstarter backers.
Ankita - our machine learning master's student - finishes and sucessfully defends her master's thesis, "Character Recognition in Satellite Images using Machine Learning". As a result of Ankita's work, we now have the algorithms to automagically find letterforms in aerial imagery.
Aerial Bold was selected to be exhibited at the IEEE VisAp Conference in Chicago, Il, USA from October 19th - October 30th.
This is the first time that selected works from the Aerial Bold project will be shown in exhibition format.
October 2015 - March 2016
As a way to make the Aerial Bold dataset and project more accessible, the Benedikt and Joey built the Aerial Bold Typewriter App - a web application that allows people to write their own messages with the fonts and found letterform aerial images.
Three main font families emerged from the Aerial Bold Font: “Buildings”, “Suburbia”, and “Provence”. Each font being representative of the distinct letterform categories.
Dozens of iterations of deriving fonts from aerial imagery were attempted to best characterize the various styles.
With over 11,400 letter- forms crowdsourced into the Aerial Bold database, the authors rated every feature on their beauty and readability. These qualities were evaluated to help filter down the data- set for the training data and font making.
In order to visualize the letterforms that might be converted into the Aerial Bold font, Benedikt and Joey created a catalog of over 163 pages of letterforms.
With over 140 users of the The Letter Finder App, more than 11,400 letterforms were found all over the world.
In order to source a sizeable number of letters to train their automated letterform detection and classification algorithm, the authors launch the “Aerial Bold Letter Hunt” to crowd- source letterforms. The authors build The Letter Finder App to facilitate the search.
By October 2014, Benedikt and Joey decide to use the alphabet shaped letterforms found in aerial imagery as their vehicle to show how people - artists, designers, scientists, etc - can make data from aerial images. Looking to reach out to a larger community for support and bring attention to their efforts, the duo decide to start a Kickstarter campaign.
As part of the Kickstarter campaign, Benedikt and Joey work with David Leonard to produce the Kickstarter campaign video, detailing the reasons why the they need funding and support for the project.
2012 - 2013
Benedikt and Joey create The Big Atlas of LA Pools. During the process of developing the Atlas, they realize that satellite and aerial imagery are rich with stories. They begin to develop ideas around how to make the process of deriving data from satellite imagery more accessible.