Wednesday, May 09, 2007

McKinleyville Landscapes – it's happening

I’ve been thinking about and working on my idea to create a photographic record of McKinleyville’s landscape and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not only doable, but I should be able to complete most of the project within a period of two to three months in my spare time.

That may sound wildly unrealistic, and maybe it is. But keep in mind that I’m not trying to photograph every street and building in town.

I’m focusing on Central Avenue, commercial properties, large undeveloped and under-developed properties, major intersections, parks, public facilities and major infrastructure.

It’s an open-ended project with no end in sight, but I'll probably pop open some champagne and hang a “mission accomplished” banner if I photograph Central Avenue from Airport Road all the way to the U.S. Highway 101 Mad River Bridges. (Those bridges will get special treatment, being that Caltrans will tear them down and replace them in the coming years.)

I snapped a ton of photos Tuesday during my regular course of business. I did the same today. I uploaded them, provided a brief description (sometimes just in the title) and “geotagged” them. So far, more than 70 photos are uploaded and I’ve got a bunch more in iPhoto waiting to be processed.

What you want to do is click on the link I’m about to provide. This will take you to the “map” section of the McKinleyville Landscapes Flickr page. When you get there, click on the “satellite” option on the right and let it load. Then zoom in all the way. You’re best off exploring the central business district, aka Central Avenue, simply because there are lots of photos right now.

You’ll see dots on the various properties. Those are the photos. You can click on them and they’ll open up. If you click around enough, you should be able to find a way to download them. That’s not something you’ll want to do now, but who knows what the future holds. So here’s the link:


This is just a starting point. My goal is to have medium-quality jpeg photos for all the major properties on the site within the next month or two. After that I can start collecting higher resolution photos and/or better photos.

The neat thing is that each “dot” can contain multiple photos. So when Coast Central holds a ribbon cutting for its new building, I can upload that photo onto the existing dot.

Should a building burn, be expanded, repainted, etc., additional photos can be uploaded to the same location on the map. There are all sorts of possibilities.

There are probably better and more sophisticated ways to do this project, but I need to take advantage of this current burst of enthusiasm I have for it. Right now this is interesting; two weeks from now I may get bored, take on another project (maybe a welding class?) and drop this like a hot potato.

I’ve been thinking about how people might use this McKinleyville Landscapes page. As I previously wrote, its purpose is to provide a historical photographic record. People could view it to see how the town has changed.

History may take five or 10 years to unfold. But with a fire, earthquake or over-turned tanker truck, history can happen in an instant. I recall when the Fig's building burned several years ago and I didn't have any file photos of what it looked like before the fire.

But the site may have other uses. For example, people who used to live here and moved away years ago might get a kick out of looking at the page and seeing how things have changed. Perhaps an out-of-town investor is eyeing a property and would view the page to see how adjacent properties look.

Actually, who knows? I’ll build the site up and then advertise it in my paper and website and see if there’s any reaction.


Blogger Rose said...

Phillip Vaughn may have before photos of Fig's building. Maybe even in progress shots, and before that, when it was just a square box.

9:08 PM  

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