Python-calculated coinΒΆ

Tags: python, plone

The Netherlands issues a special limited-edition 5 Euro coin every year. They didn't have any really special occasion to commemorate on the coin this year (like the x hunderdth birthday of Van Goch for instance). Dutch architects are world famous, so they thought about architecture and invited architects and artists to design the coin in a competition.

Stani Michiels, python programmer and artist, designed a coin too. He wanted to put names of architects on the coin. That takes a lot of space. Listing them in a spiral that spirals inward works well on a round coin. But listing them chronologically or alphabetically does not fit well in that case, as all distances between architects should be equal in that case.

Well, how about ordering those names by number of hits on the internet? That turns out to be an exponential function, by the way. The number one architect (Rem Koolhaas) is much more popular than the number two. So the more inwards you get in the spiral, the smaller you can rightfully make their names. A python script searched for the number of hits on the internet and made the relative order.

On a Dutch coin, the Dutch Queen should be depicted. He managed that by varying the thickness of the letters' fonts according to a picture of the queen. Looked nice! He did it with PIL (python imaging library) and some custom python scripts: a programmed coin!

The other side of the coin also got a PIL and python programming treatment, combined with a good artist's idea. Dutch architects write lots of books, so he took the most famous ones. And he took a map of the Netherlands, split it open somewhere in the middle and arranged the books, programmatically, along the edge of the now straightened map. Afterwards he stitched the map back together again so that the books were now radiating out of a map of the Netherlands and perfectly filled the coin.

Stani explained this to a couple of other python programmers. By the reactions, many people liked it. I hope he will explain it himself somewhere once. As.... HE WON . And he programmed the design in python! The first python-developed coin.

(Old imported comments)
"One per address" by on 2008-09-15 23:37:09
Very sorry to hear that you won't be at the conference!
"Dutch cities too" by on 2008-09-15 13:41:25
The major Dutch cities are represented by birds in the sky - thus between the books, 'over' the map of the Netherlands - and the birds' size indicates the scale of the cities.
"One per address" by reinout on 2008-09-12 19:23:07
One per (Dutch) address only. Unless you want the silver one for 30 Euro. (And I won't be at the ploneconf this year, sadly).
"Cool, I want one!" by on 2008-09-12 18:19:39
If you can get me one I'll pay you triple at PloneConf DC, or compensate with Bier, etc. :-) logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

Weblog feeds

Most of my website content is in my weblog. You can keep up to date by subscribing to the automatic feeds (for instance with Google reader):