Monday, April 2, 2012

A Spectre's Haunting Albert Street.

Do you know where Apeldoorn is? Know anything about it? Nope, me either. Well, that's not entirely true. I do know that it was the location of the 2011 Track World Championships - last year's equivalent to what is happening in Melbourne this weekend. I know that Perko won the Keirin, Howard and Meyer won the Madison again and Anna Meares won pretty much everything. I know a whole lot about a bunch of foreign athletes who landed on a town, went around in circles really fast, then went home. I have no idea about how they interacted with the town, how the town was different that day, or how they were a little bit different after being there.

So I took it upon myself to make the international competition feel a little more local. I asked on a variety of messageboards and other internet-based social networking devices for people to let me know the locations that they had sighted any of the national teams here for the Track World Championships. And they did. In droves. And I put them up on Twitter, with the hashtag #trackworlds. That means anyone who searches that hashtag on Twitter, perhaps looking for Chris Hoy's flying 200 time, will also discover 'facts' like this:

I took some advice from Tom Waits ("Every song needs a city, a street name, and weather") and applied it to Twitter, throwing in some local knowledge for the fun of it. Sometimes people told me what the teams were up to, but mostly they just gave me the location of the sighting, and I paired it with a nearby landmark.

Eventually, because I'm on school holidays, and am not sleeping particularly well, I put it all together in a map. Well, only after a thirty minute tutorial from Blakey and Nick J.

View 2012 Track Worlds Spotto in a larger map

You may, of course, suggest that this is all a little stalker-ish, and you'd have a fair point, but I never really meant it that way. As such, I didn't ever post where teams were staying, where they were training, or anything legitimately important. And besides, a majority of those facts are made up for comedic purposes. So it's ok, right?

Anyways. I hope that someone goes looking for details on how to spell Simona Krupeckaite and finds out that the New Zealand team are alleged to have been making race car noises around the Grand Prix track. Then, as well as a little bit of a LOL, they'll know something else about this city. That I somehow love so much I can barely leave.

For more tweets, check out here. I'm pretty much done with the game though. The real racing starts tomorrow. And I'm getting excited.

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