Google’s Night Walk in Marseille in a beautifully rendered illustration of the possibilities of storytelling with data and the open web.

Using a combination of Google’s Maps, Street View, Youtube and Search services, Night Walk takes the viewer on a narrated tour of the Marseille neighbourhood of Cours Julien, famous for its street art. Google’s own data is enriched by audio recordings from Julie de Muer and narration from Christophe Perruchi, based on their Promenades Sonores project.

Google’s Street View is generally perceived as a privacy-shattering gimmick, but here, coupled with evocative audio and a uniquely vibrant neighbourhood, Street View transcends its somewhat voyeuristic image. As you explore the streets, immersive ‘photospheres’, panoramas, video excursions and pre-defined Google searches provide layers of additional narrative perspective.

I actually found myself looking for flights to Marseille, I found the work so evocative!

For Pararchive, Night Walk suggests…

  • a perspective on where personal collections, items from the open web and archival artefacts can be weaved into immersive experiences
  • that such mashups are truly native to the web and can only exist in networked form.
  • when mashups are composed from loosely coupled, but tightly orchestrated pieces, how can such collections persist in archival forms or degrace gracefully and meaningfully when the network are in flux?

in the meantime, take a stroll around Cours Julien with Christophe over at…