Wednesday, September 19, 2007

'ON THE ROAD' IS 50: A Digital Moment

I thought wouldn't it be good to reread 'On The Road' and draw a detailed pencil map of the journey as I went along and use this as part of my postings. I'd got some miles along the journey, making notes and consulting my Times Atlas when I decided to check a few things on the net and discovered the Google Earth 'On The Road with Jack Keroauc.' A true digital moment of wonder - AHA! I put the pencil aside.

Produecd by Dorseyland, who describes him-or-herself as 'Master Educator' (who could disagree), the site is titled 'A jazz journey through the remarkable life of American novelist, poet, boddhisattva and bebop saint Jack Kerouac in 158 placemarks'. How cool is that.

Here you can not only follow in detail Kerouac's steps across the vast land that is America on his first legendary coast to coast experience, each stop carefully flagged with accompanying pop-up box of text but you can also pull back to a certain altitude and actually see the string of little K flags stretching back, across and over the curve of the earth. A beautiful piece of work demonstrating the huge potential of this software. Already Dorseyland is getting valuable feedback, which has meant shifting the flags. In other words its a wikimap. There are also a simple set of valuable links. Great work.

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