Help, Troubleshooting and FAQ

Designing a Vectorial Elevation

The "Participate" link will load a webpage that allows you to make a light design and send it to Vancouver. The page requires the Google Earth Plug-in which is available for free download from this link Once it is installed the page takes up to a couple of minutes to load the first time you run it.

Selecting searchlights

You may select and deselect individual searchlights by clicking on their checkbox or directly on them in the virtual world. You may also select all the searchlights on a building by using the drop down menu. Finally, you may select all, none or invert your current selection by clicking the appropriate buttons.

Pointing searchlights

Click and drag your mouse pointer over the red cross target to change the direction of the selected light beams. Using the height bar you may also change the target's height. The order and disorder buttons change incrementally the current direction of all searchlights. There are a few predetermined patterns —pyramid, grid, zigzag, columns, etc.— that may be applied to selected searchlights.

Navigating the 3D world

You may select one of eleven preset camera locations including the point of view of the project's four webcams. This will quickly let you see your design from several perspectives. The "fall" button will bring the camera down to the floor and level the point of view.

Live video

The four project cameras can be viewed live through flash streams, visit the “Watch Live” section and download Flash software if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send a design at any time or only at night?

You can send a design at any time and the system will automatically queue it and show it at night.

Will designs appear immediately?

There will be a daily first-come first-serve queue. Every 12 seconds a new design is displayed in the sky. The system will estimate when your design will be rendered and also send you an email once your personal webpage documenting your design is made.

How visible will be the piece? Will the rain or snow stop the show?

The visibility depends on the weather, on a clear night the piece will be seen from a 15Km radius. On an overcast, rainy night the lights will look particularly bright but they won't be seen from very far.

What about the environmental impact of this project?

Please read the environmental section of this website.

What are the best vantage points to view the piece live?

Sunset Beach, Vanier Park, Burrard Bridge and on a boat or ferry under the lights.

How can I find a design?

At the bottom of all the pages of the site you can search for a design by its unique ID code. Alternately you can enter any search term, like a name, a location or word, and the system will find any matches in the archive.

Are the comments in the web pages private?

No, all comments sent through this system are public and may be read by any visitor. In addition, messages are stored in a permanent public archive so please do not send confidential or private information.

Why do you ask for my email address? Will I get spam?

The email addresses are needed in order to notify senders when a design has appeared in the sky. Even though all comments are public the email addresses are NEVER revealed to anyone. You can ensure that we will not give your address to any spammers.

How can I make sure I never get an email from this project?

If you receive an email from this project it is because you or someone else entered it while they were sending a design. Please write to if you do not want to receive messages from anybody and we will ensure that no email is ever sent to you.

What will happen after February 28, when the piece is finished?

The site will remain operative and people will still be able to make designs. However, the searchlights will not be operating and thus the system will just show the designs from the archive that are most similar to the submission.

Will the project happen again?

As the project is set-up again in different cities the interface will still be available through address so please bookmark that page.


The archive page does not show the appropriate images

The images documenting the first designs sent to the system may be missing. If time allows we will resend these submissions to the queue so that the final documentation is perfect. Please visit your web page in a few days.

The programs do not load:

Make sure that the Google Earth Plug-in (for Participation) and Flash (for watching live camera streams) are installed in your browser and enabled in the preferences.

The video loads very slowly

The video from the four webcams should update several times a second in high-bandwidth connections (cable, ADSL, etc). This update rate decreases if there is less bandwidth available or if there a lot of traffic to the website.

My design did not appear in the sky

Depending on the number of designs sent before your submission there may not be enough time for your message to appear. The system will alert you if this is the case and ask you to try again the next day.

The 3D view is slow!

Things that affect the performance of your computer include: the processor speed, the connection speed (especially as the programs load textures), the video card and the operating system used. This page has the minimum and ideal configurations needed:

The program loads partially and then freezes

Sometimes the programs fail to load completely into memory. First try to reload the program by clicking on the "refresh" button of your browser. If that doesn't work try emptying the cache (the temporary memory that the browser uses to store frequently accessed documents). To do this visit the "preferences" or "options" settings in your browser and "delete or empty the cache", which is also called "delete temporary Internet files". Once you have done this quit the browser and open it up again...fresh copies of the programs should reload and work perfectly.

What operating systems and browsers are supported?

We have tested the programs in Windows XP, Vista and 7 and in MacOSX Leopard and Snow Leopard. Supported browsers are Google Chrome 1.0+, Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox 3.0+, Flock 1.0+ and Safari 3.1+.

Retrieve Designs:
Participant Feed:
Last :
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Montreal Canada
Andrew Emond, Vancouver
Someone Somewhere