Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Will Hagle
Explore the sounds, streets and soul of Marseille on this immersive digital Night Walk with Google.
Night Walk in Marseille offers an incredible way to experience a distant city. The site, which was created using Google’s extremely advanced mapping technology, completely upgrades Street View experience to simulate walking through a designated path in the Cours Julien neighborhood in Marseille, France. Along the path, a narrator describes what you can see in your surroundings. The narrator points out barely-detectable graffiti, musicians performing and historical facts about the city as you walk along. In total, there are 34 “hotspots” along the walk, and the site challenges you to see them all. You can adjust your point of view in 360 degrees, so walking and looking up and around at walls and buildings is fluid and easy to accomplish. The site even allows you to venture off the guided path, exploring the city on your own. This truly gives you an intimate view of a real city.
The only major downside of the site is similar to Google Street View’s major flaw. Walking forward in the Google Maps world feels entirely unnatural. Instead of being able to move through the world as if you are a character in a video game, you have to double click and wait for a new series of (panoramic) photographs to load every time you move along the path. Still, what happens at each destination makes the entire experience worthwhile. The site also integrates YouTube clips and other elements that allow you to get a more detailed history behind the city’s street art and other aspects of the culture. There’s tons of historical information about Marseille throughout the site. All of the information offers a unique insight to a side of the city not typically seen by tourists. It’s honestly one of the coolest sites I’ve seen in a long time, and it should be explored by all.