Taken on the Road: American Mile Markers
A Web site’s map-based interface contextualizes the 3,304 photographs captured every mile from a car traveling from New York to San Francisco.
How wide is America? The way engineer and amateur photographer Matt Frondorf measures, the answer is 3,304 photos—one 35 mm shot for every mile. Featured on Kodak.com, American Mile Markers offers an interactive version of Frondorf’s unusual photographic tour of the U.S. He spent six days driving across the country with a camera hooked to his car’s odometer, automatically snapping a picture from the passenger side every mile along the way. Whatever occurred along that stretch of road—thunderstorms over cornfields, used car lots, herds of Herefords—was captured exactly as the camera saw them. American Mile Markers puts audiences in the driver’s seat on this journey with an interactive map and picture viewer for exploring Frondorf’s unique take on the road trip. Frondorf’s approach to taking pictures, which he calls “statistical photography”—a technique that envisions pictures as a collection, where the individual photograph loses much of its meaning when taken out of context—is ideally showcased in this site. To create an interactive, panoramic experience, the site uses an interactive “picture viewer” to let visitors cross the U.S mile by mile—or every 150 or 600 miles—by way of a photo strip, as they track their location with a zoomable map. They can also click on any picture to view a larger version and send a picture postcard. QuickTime movies offer a cruise control rendition of the trip, yet still allow visitors to stop or revisit any point of interest.
Press & Awards“Brand New Things,” Photo District News, Jenn Shreve, April 2004Yahoo!, Picks of the Year, January 1, 2001Macromedia, Site of the Day, November 21, 2000“Web Center Gallery: Second Story,” Adobe, Joe Shepter, July 2000“My Best, My Worst,” Critique, June 2000“Walkthrough: Kodak’s Picture-Perfect Site,” New Media, Jeff Burger, May 24, 2000MyMac Magazine, Online, Site of the Month, May 2000“Pictures of the Nation, Mile by Mile,” The New York Times, Michael Pollak, April 27, 2000
Mr. Frondorf’s highway snapshots of his coast-to-coast auto trip have been put on the Web, singly and in slide-movie form, and instead of inspiring a race to the door, they have turned the mundane into a picaresque work of art.World-3000, World’s Best Site of the Week, March 13, 2000
Second Story found a comprehensive interface to cope with an amount of over 3,304 pictures.“America, Mile by Mile,” The Washington Post, March 12, 2000
Check out this illuminating, strangely hypnotic site.Britannica, Site of the Day, February 3, 2000
Taken on the Road: American Mile Markers gives new meaning to those ubiquitous green signs lining U.S. highways from coast to coast.World Village, Family Site of the Day, January 19, 2000Macromedia, Site of the Day, January 10, 2000
Matt Frondorf hooked a camera to his odometer and drove across America, snapping a photo at every mile. Designers at Second Story used Macromedia Flash to transform his 3,304 photos into a virtual cross-country drive.Yahoo!, Picks of the Week, January 10, 2000“Showcase: Kodak,” Macromedia, January 2000The Scout Report, December 16, 1999Australian Broadcasting Corporation News Radio, December 13, 1999Kim Komando Radio Show, Kool Site, December 10, 1999USA Today, Hot Sites, November 16, 1999Project Cool, Cool Sightings, November 16, 1999VirtualKid, Geography Pick, November 1999“Showcase: American Mile Markers,” Macromedia, 1999
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