Street View and The Wilderness Downtown

Monday, August 30, 2010 at 9:45 AM


Some of us now live far away from the places where we grew up, and I’ve often found something quite evocative and wistful about looking at photos of the streets where I used to live. A few of us decided to capture this feeling of nostalgia in an interactive music experience that we developed for the web.

The music experience, called “The Wilderness Downtown,” was created by writer/director Chris Milk, with the band Arcade Fire and several of us at Google. Drawing upon Street View in the Google Maps API as well as features made possible by HTML5, we created what we hope is a unique and deeply personal experience of traveling
down the streets where you grew up. All this is set to Arcade Fire’s new song “We Used to Wait” off their newly released album “The Suburbs.”


“The Wilderness Downtown” was made possible by recent developments in modern web technologies and modern browsers, and was built with Google Chrome in mind. As such, it’s best experienced in Chrome or an up-to-date HTML5-compliant browser.

You can launch the project and learn more about it on our Chrome Experiments site at www.chromeexperiments.com/arcadefire. Enjoy the trip down memory lane!

Posted by Aaron Koblin, Google Creative Lab