Interactive Memory Map

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I was doing some experiments with Google Earth Satellite, thinking about how to create a map/personal timeline that works in conjunction with MakeyMakey and Isadora. I am planning to display places on Google Earth that are associated with eras in my life. (for example, my childhood home, the town where I went to college, the Japanese countryside where I spent summers, etc) I would search for these places on Google Earth and make pre-made screen recordings where I use the arrow keys to “walk” around these places in first-person point-of-view. Then I would edit these recordings to create a composite video with  layers of video clips overlaid onto the footage that evoke certain memories or feelings associated with each particular location.  The idea is to draw the viewer into my personal past so that you almost get the sense that you are sharing my memories. However, because I don’t want it to just be about me and my own history, I want to expand my scope by adding audio clips of things that were going on in the world during that era in my life.  (maybe brief snippets of news reports, or sounds that might evoke certain events. The result will be a combination of small-scale individual history and broader-scale world history.  Each location would have its own distinct imagery and audio, and will be exported as a separate video. Then the videos will be loaded into Isadora.  The setup is simple: mouse watcher connected to float counter, which is linked to a transition effect like solar or fade-in, which is linked to movie player and finally, to the projector.  The makeymakey wires will run from the left-click to various metallic points on a timeline/map which I will create out of bristol board, paint, and small trinkets to symbolize each place.  I will attach the alligator clip to several lengths of thin, copper wire.  Each wire will be run to a single metallic point, and each point represents a location.  Earth will be attached via copper wire to a metal figurine which can be moved around by the viewer and placed onto the metallic points as if it were a piece on a board game.  When the metal figurine makes contact with the metallic point, that’s what triggers Isadora to click and progress to the next location. I feel that because the timeline is (for the most part) chronological, it is fitting for the set-up to just have people move through each clip one after another (as opposed to having just a map with no timeline, where you are not prompted with an order in which to examine the locations.  The timeline ensures that people know they are supposed to go in order, from one point to the next.  Right now, what I struggle with is trying to make the google earth footage seem less “tacky”.  First of all, there’s a lot of lag when I try to maneuver around an area in satellite mode. The images stretch and flatten as I move the arrow keys.  Another problem is that I can’t seem to decide whether or not I want Google Earth’s “persona” to be a part of this project.  Is it going to snap people out of it to see logos, labels, icons, or cursors on the screen? If it’s going to seem tacky, I might have to figure out a way to eliminate that Google Earth “feel,” if that makes any sense. I still have some experimenting to do, but I think I have a solid grasp on how I want this project to pan out. Right now, my biggest problem is the lag I mentioned earlier. I will upload some pictures as soon as I figure out a couple more things.

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