GAME BOY CAMERA SPOTMAP
Spotmap was made to explore some ideas I had about cartographically organised information on the Internet.
The Brighton and Hove spotmap was my first website; it’s an early example of an interactive map on the Internet. The map was online for about two years until 2002 and was accessed just 4684 times predominantly by users of Windows 98. In June 2011 spotmap was excavated from the depths of an old hard disk and polished up to ensure the links were in good working order. It’s almost exactly as it was in 2001.
What’s black and white with two shades of grey?
I enjoyed the limitations of the Game Boy Camera and the small 128x112 pixel images kept the website ‘snappy’ on a dial-up modem connection. GPS waypoints were used to record the locations of the images and to help draw and scale the map. I also carried a pencil and notepad to correlate the default image and GPS waypoint names because it was faster than thumbling with all the fiddly menus and buttons. The time spent having to navigate through the jokey software and individually selecting and uploading each image over a pathetic parallel port connection was akin to those vacuous moments in the darkroom waiting for a faint image to appear on the soaking paper.
Game Boy Camera images with a magnifying lens
Inevitably the camera, the GPS receiver, and the phone/data transmitter became a single pocket object. The hassles of recording a photo with a GPS location, uploading, processing, mapping, and then publishing it online can now be taken care of with just a few clicks from behind the lenses of millions upon millions of cell phones worldwide. Having said that I’ve yet to use my mobile phone to publish any geo-tagged images on the web, but at least I'm still enamoured with pencils.
Colour experiments were conducted in March 2001 using Quality Street candy wrappers as gel filters. Whilst the camera and subject remained still a sequence of images were taken with red, green, and blue filters over the lens. The three RGB images were then put together in Photoshop.
R,G,B, Tartan Top
R,G,B, IKEA Cups
R,G,B, GPS Receiver
The publication of this material by no means supports the kitsch of adding facade effects and nostalgic filters to contemporary digital images.