Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Poetry of Google Maps

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) is using Google Maps to encourage geo-tagged poetry. Poetry 4 U allowed users to submit short poems (140 characters or less) about places in Melbourne and attach them to a Google Map.

The submitted poems can be viewed on the Poetry 4 U Google Maps. Currently the site has two maps, the Swanston Street poetry map and the New poetry location map (for poems based around the Melbourne city circle tram route).

This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;

(From Composed Upon Westminster Bridge - William Wordsworth)

The poet Robert Frost said that "All literature begins with geography". Poetry Atlas believes that this is true and also believes that nearly everywhere on Earth, at some point, has had a poem written about it.

The Poetry Atlas has therefore created a Google Map to try and geotag as many poems as they can and also find poems for as much of the world as possible. If you know about a poem that isn't on the map you can e-mail it to Poetry Atlas and they will add it to the map.


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