The Wilderness Downtown Video Highlights the Best in HTML5

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

While Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs is busy writing on the walls against Flash and supporting HTML5 video for iPhone and iPad, search giant Google is full mood to leverage the next-gen web standard. Google misses out no opportunity to highlight HTML5 on any occasion it gets. They launched an experimental new music “video” to leverage HTML5 that appeals to one’s emotions by creating a tailored individual experience.

The project is called The Wilderness Downtown. It’s a work by writer/director Chris Milk, renowned for his previous works leveraging the web for artistic purposes, specifically the Johnny Cash Project.

According to Google Creative Lab’s Aaron Koblin, the project on web allowed the users to craft an experience that is not only personalized, but also personal for each viewer. It takes user down the memory lane to the streets where they grew up.

He elucidates,

The project was built with the latest web technologies and includes HTML5, Google Maps, an integrated drawing tool, as well as multiple browser windows that move around the screen,

The Wilderness Downtown is a Chrome Experiment, which is available on the website and has its own homepage. It’s a music video built for the web with the help of Google and HTML5 technologies. It can build a unique experiment for each viewer.

The page asks users for address of the home where they grew up. Next it uses the Street View and aerial imagery for that address to integrate the location with the video.

Best experience is for places where this imagery is available. It needs a modern browser, meaning not Internet Explorer for the web page to run to its full potential.

As the video starts playing, you can see multiple windows opened some of which contain actual footage while others show imagery from Street View and Google Maps.

It’s necessary to experience the entire thing, but it might be fairly taxing on your computer. To ensure that the video runs smooth, you are recommended to close down unnecessary applications and browser tabs.

Further, Google recommends Chrome browser to watch the video, but it also runs on other browsers as well.

The imagery is panoramic, super imposed with animated birds and trees showing up on streets where you grew up.

The main idea behind the video is to showcase the potential of HTML5 in terms of rich media, from animation to image processing, video, audio etc. In addition it flaunts of interactive elements such as Canvas-based window in which you are supposed to write message or draw something in.

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