Nikolas Schiller (born October 10, 1980) is an American blogger, a prominent digital map artist in the blogosphere, a vegetarian, Burner, and a cannabis reform activist who lives in Washington, DC. He is primarily known for developing Geospatial Art, which is the name he gave to his collection of abstract fantasy maps created from kaleidoscopic aerial photographs, and co-founding DCMJ, where he helped write Initiative 71, which legalized the cultivation and possession of small amounts of cannabis in the nation’s capital.
He was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. In 1999 he moved to Washington, D.C. to study geography and computer science at the George Washington University. In 2004 he created a blog called The Daily Render and unlike many people at the time, chose to prevent search engines from accessing the content. Over the next 1000 days he developed and published a unique type of map composed of kaleidescopic aerial photographs. In the lead up to the second inauguration of George W. Bush, he developed one of the first on-line maps of the planned events to use aerial photography. In May 2007 he created a site for image macros of his maps in the vein of the popular LOLcats meme with his website LOLMaps. During the summer of 2007 he created website showing a simulated I.E.D. experience using a “drive” down a street constructed with Google Streetview. At that time he also discovered that the aerial and satellite imagery of downtown Washington, D.C. was purposely out-dated for national security concerns. In the fall of 2007 he designed the record cover for Thievery Corporation’s 12″ single Supreme Illusion (ESL110), which features aerial photography of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In March 2008 he removed the robots exclusion protocols from his blog, which now allows his website to be accessed from all major search engines. In July 2008 he was assaulted on his doorstep by three men, but survived with only a bloody lip. As a blogger, he has worked with writers at Wonkette and the Huffington Post. He currently resides in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC.