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Ballard Geocoded
October 14, 2011 8:24 AM   Subscribe

A map of the locations in JG Ballard's fiction. Click a marker on the map to read the relevant text.
posted by jack_mo (18 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow..
posted by ReeMonster at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2011


Great idea, though I did spot that a couple of the China markers are misplaced (e.g. Szechwan Road in Shanghai placed in actual Sichuan province).
posted by Abiezer at 8:43 AM on October 14, 2011


Awesome. A few years ago I actually spent an hour or two googling for this exact thing, only for Three Men in a Boat. A script to automatically map a text would be pretty sweet and really hard.
posted by DU at 8:49 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


if it zooming out all the way to the main looping view when i type in "concentration city" is intentional, then i can dig this
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:54 AM on October 14, 2011


I've always liked Ballard's work. I just finished Millenium People, which finally got a statestide publication this year, but man, someone's a bit obsessive.
posted by dortmunder at 8:55 AM on October 14, 2011


What Abiezer said. I immediately looked at the markers closest to home and they got the first three numbers of the zip code right. After that, well, it's be a short drive or a long walk.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2011


Now someone do Stephenson.
posted by starvingartist at 9:02 AM on October 14, 2011


Is the Wirral there at all sir ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:07 AM on October 14, 2011


Sooner or later, Google will have it all indexed and will be able to quickly generate these kinds of maps in seconds with some Siri-like voice commands.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:20 AM on October 14, 2011


Yes, but only for authors who published under their real name and Sam Clemens can go piss up a rope!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:46 AM on October 14, 2011


So where exactly is Vermillion Sands? And I don't see any of his off-world stations on this map either... hmm.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:04 AM on October 14, 2011


Empire of the Sun was the first movie to make me cry. I was about 10-11 so it was proper grown-up emotions and all.

I read Cocaine Nights a couple of weeks back on a whim, after seeing it for £1 in a charity shop and loved it.

These two little tidbits, and now this awesome mashup, might just be telling me something.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 10:15 AM on October 14, 2011


Empire of the Sun was the first movie to make me cry.

The book is basically a paen to suicide... and is much better than the movie. I found "Crash" to be a laugh riot... a sort of pre-internet invocation of Rule 34. But sometimes reading his books is like getting trapped sitting next to an annoying alcoholic at a dinner party who thinks he's way smarter and hipper than he is.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2011


@ennui.biz
a sort of pre-internet invocation of Rule 34.
that is a little simplistic maybe
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:19 PM on October 14, 2011


Totally awesome. I fairly recently got his Complete Short Stories - a mammoth volume, over a thousand pages - and have delighted in dipping into them now and then. His novels are very hit and miss, however - I think it's the shorts where his genius really shines. But the Complete Short Stories deserves a place on every self-respecting - or, come to think of it, self-loathing - human being's shelves. Like Roald Dahl or Saki or De Maupassant, you literally can't go wrong if you're looking for a great story to read.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:25 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is the Wirral there at all sir ?

*pans*

*zooms*

Apparently not. In fact there's a whopping great geoliterary lacuna between Jodrell Bank and Dyserth where Merseyside ought to be.

A script to automatically map a text would be pretty sweet and really hard.

That would be amazing. I can sort of see a starting point: a friend of mine is working on a text comparison tool at the moment which would be great for extracting passages that contain location names by feeding it a bunch of novels and, say, Wikipedia's 'Lists of places in...' pages. No idea how you'd go from place names to points on a map, though.
posted by jack_mo at 3:43 AM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a pretty great idea, made even better that excerpts are included with the locales, like this evocative and instantaneously dream inducing sentence from Cocaine Nights:
Here on the Costa del Sol nothing would ever happen again, and the people of the pueblos were already the ghosts of themselves.

posted by Skygazer at 8:08 AM on October 15, 2011


Neat! I'm in New York now and thinking JG Ballard's negatopia writing would be a perfect accompaniment to my visit. Hit the map, boom!, Hello America is what I want. Sadly, not easy to find.
posted by Nelson at 8:50 AM on October 15, 2011


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