We’re driving in the last foothills before the Sahara Desert starts in earnest. We were on this twisty stretch of asphalt only wide enough for one car. You had to pull onto the gravel shoulder to let the very occasional oncoming vehicle–mostly trucks and the old beige Mercedes that are the region’s taxis–pass you by.
As I sometimes do, I wondered if this was the first time that song had ever been played over this particular piece of terrain. Had anybody ever driven these 5.25 kilometres while John K. Samson sang:
Depluralize our casualties, drown the generals out in static
We turn and watch our city sprawl and send us signals in the glow
Of night windows
And then I thought about how most phones are also music players, and about the increasing appearance of GPS in mobile devices. And then I imagined a web service like Flickr’s maps.
Instead of recording where photos were taken, this service would capture where songs were played. And because songs happen in time, instead of captured moments, the site would display the paths that that music took over the Earth. Here’s how that might look:
This seems like a natural add-on for Last.fm or a similar music social network. Maybe somebody has already done this?