Monday, June 16, 2008

The First Novel on Google Maps

Senghor on the Rocks

Not related to Bloomsday at all but a literary event in its own right is the hugely impressive Senghor on the Rocks, 'the first full-length novel consistently illustrated with Google Maps'.

Every page of Senghor on the Rocks is accompanied by a corresponding satellite view of the current location in the story. When the location changes in the novel the map animates the route to the new location. To achieve this the developers created their own extensions to the Google Maps API, such as long-distance panning and a moveable and rotatable arrow on the map that indicates specific locations.

The novel is presented through the interesting visual metaphor of a book. Each page of text is illustrated with a Google Map. Clicking on the page on the screen will take you to the next page of the story.

Another interesting development in this map is that time in the novel is represented visually on the map. The map gets darker and darker during the evening and at night, and brighter than normal at noon.

If you like the idea behind Senghor on the Rocks you should also take a look at The 21 Steps, which is another attempt to illustrate a fictional story with Google Maps. If you speak German you will like Senghor on the Rocks even more.

I can't wait for the English translation guys (hint)!

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