As a kid growing up in a small town in rural New Hampshire, I explored the roads surrounding my home with such frequency that I got to know them as well as I know the lines in the palms of my hands.
Now, like many of my 20 or 30-something peers, I’ve moved away from my childhood home and rarely get the chance to visit. But those streets are so clear in my memory I can still see the heaves and pot holes in the streets my sister and I used to play in.
Being somewhat nostalgic for childhood, as well as increasingly interested in the uses of HTML5 (I am in Internet marketing after all), I was excited to hear about Arcade Fire’s new experiment coinciding with the release of the band’s third, full-length album, The Suburbs.
The experiment, created by Google developers, writer/director Chris Milk and Arcade Fire, utilizes HTML5 capabilities to take you on a virtual tour through the streets surrounding your childhood home.
“Browsers and the modern web have indeed come a long way since Chrome was introduced, and we hope this project provides a glimpse at some of what the future holds,” wrote Google Creative Lab’s Thomas Gayno, on the Google Chrome blog.
The project, called “The Wilderness Downtown” is set to Arcade Fire’s, “We Used to Wait”, and includes an interactive amalgamation of Google Maps and Google Street View with HTML5 canvas, HTML5 audio and video, an interactive drawing tool and choreographed windows.
“These modern web technologies have helped us craft an experience that is personalized and unique for each viewer, as you virtually run through the streets where you grew up,” writes Gayno.
The resulting media experience is enthralling. It’s also creating some buzz around HTML5, which will soon (hopefully) be fully adopted by most web browsers. Google Chrome is currently at the forefront of the HTML5 frontier, but most other major web browsers are close behind.
Check out the accompanying graphic for an illustration of what HTML5 will change and improve in the language of the web.
Visit the Chrome Experiments blog for an explanation of the techniques used in “The Wilderness Downtown”.