Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Whole Damn Universe

(click here for an interactive presentation)

It's extremely reminiscent of the famous "powers of ten" short film that does essentially the same thing.

Actually, the powers of ten thing begins in a park near a baseball stadium in Toronto, Canada. Or is that Ontario? I reckon a little bit of sherlocking will yield a picture of the same area, 40 years after the film was made.

Well, OK. First thing I found was that my memory is defective. It's actually Chicago, and the stadium is soldiers field.

Trees have now grown, or have been planted where before there was only grass, and a some roads and paths have moved or been built.

50 seconds into the video, you can see a big road to the left, and yachts to the right. Towards the top right corner, a bit of quayside just out squarely, and that's still there, although the road has changed substantially. Also, the bit of road/path that curves around in the top right corner is still there to this day, although it's grown a parallel twin or something.

Here's a still from the film.

And here's how it looks in Google Earth today.

And narrowing this down was extremely easy. A minute in, and it was obvious that the atarting point was at the bottom of Lake Michigan. If my geographic general knowledge had been less attuned, I would surely have recognised the continent of North America, and then been able to zoom in, as the film zoomed out. Shooting fish in a barrel. Hitting cows ass with banjo. Etc.

There's nothing directly marking the spot where the film was centred, but either deliberately or serendipitously, there is a sculpture park nearby, with representations of planets and meteors. You can see a bit of it in the bottom left corner of the google earth image.

No comments: