The 2010 card is a personalized “physical
that combines maps, photos, and business information:
The front panel of the card is a laser-cut map of the
streets around the recipient's address. Underneath is an
photograph that was taken around the same area. The
envelope features a map of local businesses along with
their Yelp ratings.
Berkeley (photo by Thomas Hawk):
Seattle (photo by Slightlynorth):
New York (photo by EJP Photo):
The map data was retrieved from OpenStreetMap
and transformed into an SVG using a custom XSL
stylesheet. To make this suitable for use with a laser
cutter, the SVG was rasterized and then vectorized
The resulting pattern was cut out of a 2-ply mat board.
For each card, a list of candidate
Flickr photos was
generated based on
proximity to the recipient's address, and
this list, an appropriate photo was chosen manually. (I
had initially tried to automate this but I ended up with
too many pictures of other people's food and newborn
babies.) The final photos were printed on
Business information from Yelp
was arranged using
code provided by the
library. The resulting text and line art was laser
printed onto a translucent vellum envelope.
The three pieces of the card (front, back, photo) were
assembled with linen tape with a hinge on the top edge.
After the card was placed into the envelope, the side
with the flap was covered with a large address label,
making the back of the envelope the front.
Approximately 85 cards were produced.