Documenting the Earth

A couple of days ago, while walking through Montmartre, I was thinking: wouldn’t be nice to take pictures of all the places we think are beautiful and put them on one big map, recreating the whole Earth by our photographs… well, it is already done. When you think you have an original idea, it turns out that you just have ‘sniffed’ it in the air.
Do you know Panoramio? It looks like Flickr, but its main function is to show you this big Earth map with all the photos put on it by the users. It is impressively fast and impressively complete, especially when it comes to popular places like Montmartre. What possible use could we make of it? Well, you could plan your holiday trip, but it might take some surprise element out of it or raise unrealistic expectations. You could take a nostalgic after-tour. What else? Nothing really.
Since the invention of the digital camera we have been documenting our world in an endless stream of images. Somebody thought of connecting them to places and Google came with a map. Like so many new web ‘services’, in which we connect things to one another (friends to pictures, pictures to friends, messages to places etc.) Panoramio is wonderfully useless. It is delightful. You can talk a walk on Montmartre during your lunch break or instead have a look at the sea beaches of, say, Sicily. Or at how your place of birth, left a long time ago, looks nowadays.
Something at once touching and purposeless is art.

Un commentaire pour “Documenting the Earth”

  1. c_a dit :

    A noter la carte sur Flickr que je trouve efficace, mais tant que tout le monde ne donne pas d’infos de geolocalisation…