It's that time of year where we launch into a frenzy of spookiness and (dare I say it) cheesy cliche. Halloween celebrates the darker side of our imaginations. We decorate our houses (and selves) in the accoutrements or the paranormal. We theme ourselves temporarily on social media (How many of you are now "Spooky Jen"?) and of course we create ghostly maps. Have a little look around and you will find them all over the place today, ghastly place names, most haunted houses and probably a live trick or treat tracker somewhere out there.
We're big fans of any map that is a bit more than a few markers and some information. Too many of them are just that. We like maps that engage, inform and also add something to a dialogue. We've said time and time again that maps are for much more than directions. Halloween maps are without doubt engaging so it's great that we have a festival that helps drive and celebrate them.
Now, you didn't think I'd let you get far without showing you one of our dark maps did you? And it is timely as this one was launched earlier in October. It's pretty damned dark as well because it is based on nasty things that ACTUALLY happened. This is not a map of fictional vampires, tenuous ghost sightings or contrived place names. It's a map designed to drag people into the darker history of a city. And it is much more than markers. It delivers a digital poetry trail through Portsmouth, illustrated with video and designed to engage the user both physically and mentally with the history unfolding around them.
We previewed Darkside last year. But now it is live and ready for action. Poets, film makers and map hackers (us) have worked in unison to breath life into this fascinating trail. You can visit the map right here and for you convenience I have embedded it below:-
I'll not bore you with the technical details as we covered that in the previous post. I just want to say how proud we are that Darkside is now live. We were privileged to be commissioned to develop it and love nothing more than a map that truly engages. Why not use a little bit of your Halloween to view the videos? The creatives have done an astonishing job and when mapped and themed this creates a fascinating historical artefact that we'd love to apply elsewhere.