Sunday, June 29, 2008

BPN 1143 Geotagging meets online novel

Sometimes you wonder about applying applications. Geotagging looks obvious for indicating where you are living or indicating destinations. Another application is discovering neighbours on internet: who is doing what on the net. Through wifi I can see which neigbours have a wifi active, but I do not know what they are doing on the net. Perhaps I do not want to know this. But recently I discovered an appication which did arouse my interest somewhat: the application GeoURL links geotags, so that you know who is blogging in the neighbourhood and which company has a site.

But geotagging has gotten a creative sibling. It is now also a tool for novel writers. I recently saw two applications, an English language novel and an online German language novel. On the Penguin site there is The 21 Steps, a thriller by Charles Cummings that uses Google Maps as its storytelling medium. The thriller tells the story of Rick, a man with a checkered past who has to go from London to Edinburgh to smuggle a mysterious vial into Scotland. A series of satellite images from Google Maps is the red thread of location markers on the trip. The book hs become famous now. The 21 Steps has now been read over 150,000 times online which is more than all of Charles Cumming’s book sales put together. The 21 Steps is part of digital fiction series We tell stories: six authors, six stories, six weeks from Penguin; a real laudable project by a classic publisher.

The German author Christoph Benda looked in a different direction. He wrote the interactive book Senghor on the Rocks the German Language. The text of his novel has on every page a Google Map illustration, which shows the location where the story is playing and when the location changes, an animated illustration of the rote is shown. Day and night changes are shown in line with the story line; even the morning maps are lighter than the eevning hours. The online book will contain three volumes, of which the first one comprises no less than 421 pages. The roman has been published under a creative commons license. The background to the story is Senegal and particularly Dakar in 2001. Poet-President Senghor has died in Paris and Senegal awaits the awarding of the Football World Championships.

Blog Posting Number: 1143

Tags: geotagging

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