One of the most amazing things about the Internet has been its ability to make the world a much smaller place to live in. Every day we transmit and receive data which will travel around the globe in mere seconds but because of its transparent nature we are somewhat removed from the whole process, sitting in front of a screen…
Why do I mention this you may wonder? Is this an extract from the introductory chapter to my dissertation or is it something much more grandiose?! The answer is actually both (kind of)! Through my research for the former I have discovered a tonne of interesting information about geographies of information-based societies (the Internet being the biggest example), in fact much more than I’ll ever have time to digest properly. In relation to what I said in the first paragraph about feeling disconnected from it all I found a particularly cool website which lets you control a live webcam overlooking a busy street in Kyoto, Japan. It somehow makes you appreciate the scale and extent of the Internet more than just looking at a static web-page.
You can move the camera up/down, left/right and zoom in/out. What I find incredible about this is that although it may be on the other side of the world you can get a glimpse into that place in real-time as if it were just around the corner. There’s nothing particularly interesting to see, just cars going up and down the road and people going about their business – it’s just one of those neat things which are fascinating to think about when considering the distances involved.
If you want to have a play with the camera yourself you can do so here. Don’t worry that all the text is in Japanese, just click on the ‘Start Control’ icon and you will be put in a short queue before being able move the camera around.