Posted by: Bill Lord | September 18, 2010

Wilderness Downtown

Wilderness Downtown

Earlier this week I put a call out to my PLN on Twitter for an inspirational video to show at a the digital conference (about which I blogged yesterday.)

I had two suggestions made to show. The first was the video clip of the Mythbusters, Jamie and Adam, painting the Mona Lisa using a huge paintball gun!This was suggested by Danny Nicholson (@dannynic)

The other suggestion was made by Nick Jackson (@largerama) which is something of which I had no knowledge. The website is called Wilderness Downtown and was created to show the capabilities of the Google Chrome browser and how recent developments in web technologies and browsers have allowed for a completely new breed of use to be designed. It comes from the makers of the Johnny Cash Project

It is accessible at

The whole package was designed to accompany the song “We used to wait” by Canadian band Arcade Fire. Viewers begin the experience by providing their childhood address. The video experience then unfolds in multiple windows, taking viewers on a tour of their hometown to the tune of the track. Users can also write a note to their younger selves in a tree branch-inspired font that is incorporated into the video.  It is truly wonderful as you watch the main character running on an unidentified street which then uses images from google earth and street view to bring the location of your choice into the video.
It moves through the eight different pages in random order combining moving video, animated birds moving across all screens, the ability to draw on a screen, aerial shots of the location and use of the street view.

Wilderness Downtown

So why is it significant? I think that it is significant because it presents something that has been known for many years in a new and different way. If you take that the study of multiliteracies consider is the way technology and multimedia is changing how we communicate. This is another step forward in showing pupils what is possible and could lead to highly innovative work using already used applications. Could the use of frames lead to children completely rethinking the way in which they use something like PowerPoint? How often do we see poorly construcuted presentations by children who have not been shown high models of presentation? This could inspire children to greatness.

Here are some interesting blog posts on Wilderness Downtown.

Street view and the Wilderness Downtown

The Making of the Wilderness Downtown

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