Mapping Memory: Web Designer as Information Cartographer

    Having just read http://alistapart.com/articles/mappingmemory I felt inspired to post a link to it after having read the first article in a long time which resonates with how I work, and what I do.

    I have a lot to add to it, but as ever it's not something I can ever seem to easily put into words. It's inspired a lot of memories of why I do what I do, and the parts I'm very interested in. It reminded me of many projects I've worked on over the years, not just the mapping projects but also developing intranets, managing large swathes of dense information, creating extendable publishing structures, managing multi-media information sets and more. And it more reminded me of things I have thought of but have not done and should.

    Though for the meantime its on with today's work, rather than distracting myself from it. Still it is these forms of inspiration that drive us to produce anew, so I shouldn't berate myself too much.

    A Short Walk...

    Headphones rigged with PCB camera

    Headphones rigged with PCB camera

    27/07/2003

    27/07/2003

    Back in late 2002 I built a little rig to allow me to record what I was seeing as I walked through London. I was interested in being able to unobtrusively and passively record what I was seeing as I went around. I mounted a small camera in a set of cheap headphones, and wired it to a DV camera in a bag. To the casual observer I was just a bloke wandering around with a big set of headphones on.

    I was planning to record my walking journeys around London, the routes I had learned and taken, the back-streets and places I knew, that made London personal to me. The intention was to display the videos alongside a map of the route, allowing people to virtually follow the route. I made a basic version of it but never got round to publishing 'A Short Walk', it was a bit to far ahead of the available technologies - bear in mind that Google Maps launched in 2005, APIs for mapping tools were not common, and so I was hacking streetmap.co.uk to try and make something work,,

    Recently whilst developing a new website for Deveron Arts and The Walking Institute I was trying to work out how to get across the concept of 'Human Pace' they were looking for, and rememberd this project. I managed to dig out a few of the of video file which I created and used them to show the principle I was thinking of, and which they have now realised.

    But coming back to it I found a charm I'd forgotten tin the videos, so I've attached what I have here. Unforutnately the DV tapes of other (probably more interesting!) walks seem to have got lost over the years; I recall one night walking down a street to find a couple waltzing in the middle of the road, for instance, but can't seem to find the recording.

    Some of the ideas I had from this have evolved and emerged elsewhere, such as in discussions and work with Julie Myers, and into the interactive version of somewhere's 'Barging Through London Again' I created for the Floating Cinema website. The mapping of the shots of the video to the specific places.

    In our current era of Google Glass, Streetview, GoPro and Hyperlapse this all seems kind of basic, and the videos are pretty lo-fi, but I'm posting them for my memory.

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