COMPARISON TO SLOW TV

As mentioned above, canalboating provides an instant comparison of Slow Web to Slow TV. Here is the trailer:

Now it seems the jury is still out on just what Slow TV intends to achieve (or maybe that is intentionally left open?), but one might guess it is something like "relaxed information", free from all forms of targeted advertising, and that might be boooowied (that lovely American pronunciation) by the fact that the 17 hour Ghan viewing WITH ads seems to have killed Slow TV at birth in Australia, all in just one week.

The comparison Slow Web app is Hotelboat App, but remember this was our first attempt and many aspects have been improved since then. If you select Trip 22 the Map shows the section from Bath to the Dundas Aqueduct and if you select the Description 22 tab there is a mouth watering description (provided by the boat owner) that virtually insists you open Google Earth to see more, including:

"An interesting and winding set of locks takes us onto the Kennet & Avon Canal, and we continue to cruise along the side of the Avon valley at a high level. We leave Bath through the charming Sydney Gardens and catch glimpses of the magnificent crescents of grand houses, all constructed from local Bath Stone. The scenery is marvellous as the canal clings to the side of the valley, crossing it on magnificent stone aqueducts at Dundas and then Avoncliff."

Then if you select the Fly-Over (top left of Frame) the same section covers just 20 seconds of the 3 minute video (with music from the Bill Gates Garage Combo from PS3).

So the main differences between the Genres quickly becomes evident. Firstly the Slow Web is COMPLETE, ie both the Maps and Fly-Overs cover ALL of some 1,000 miles of tours on offer as well as some 500 locks but, secondly, one is able to home in (ie INTERACTIVE) instantly on just one at a time. This contrasts to the Ghan where the "real time" mode was not complete as even the 17 hour version only showed one third (mercifully?) of the full journey.

On the other hand, despite the efforts of the Bill Gates Band, the description of "relaxing" is probably not shared with the Slow TV mode - and in any case we then dropped the music. However while later exploring some possibilities with Pub Walks we layered Beethoven's 6th over a Pub Walk for Anchor Inn with the River Wey in the UK substituting for Beethoven's "little brook" in Heiligenstadt.

Whatever, music was never about to be a main feature of our "thing", but to augment the Maps and Fly-Overs, Panoramas WERE. The passion for creating the "perfect" 360 deg Panorama was one of the main reasons for the trip, even though it took 5 minutes with the tripod just TAKING the necessary 12 photos, let alone the stitching etc later on. Then there was the new development of the iphone taking fairly good auto-stitch 180 deg panos in a matter of seconds. So as well as the full 360 deg panos we also developed the "double-180 deg" pano as seen below for the same pub as the Beethoven Walk.

The idea was for people walking a trail to stop for a moment at the best locations and take 180 deg panos for both sides of the track with their mobile phone, then email them to us to include in our app.

As a variation on that idea we tried combining these partial panoramas into an MP4 video together with a Fly-Over and here is an example

However the Trekker euphoria at least for the UK National Trails meant this method might only be used while waiting for someone to lug a Trekker Cyborg along the path in question.

Then that whole marvelous Trekker rollout for the UK National Trails went "bottoms up", coinciding with improved technology in 360 degree cameras and the initiative by Google for the "man-in-the-street" to sort of "take over from Trekker" so in just 2 years we have gone full circle (pun intended) from:

The idea was for people walking a trail to stop for a moment at the best locations and take 180 deg panos for both sides of the track with their mobile phone, then email them to us to include in our app.

To:

The idea is for people walking a trail to pop a pano camera on their head and take 360 deg panos as they are walking and Publish to Google Street View (which people like us can then showcase in our apps).

As detailed above under "Some Good News" we are now going where Trekker/Walk Unlimited failed to the South Downs Way as far as a recovery point for the UK National Trails and for our own photography as Camo Rama Mossman Gorge is "under construction".