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Camera Meets Speedometer, Travel Across Country Together

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the digital-would-have-been-easier dept.

United States 290

BluKnight writes "This guy hacked his camera to his speedometer, and ended up taking a picture EVERY MILE during a trip across the US. Kodak has the results (Flash in use!) of this venture. For my next hack, I'm going to interface to my digital camera to take a picture every time I blink -- I'll never miss what I'm seeing again!" The best part is the fact that he stopped every 36 miles to swap film rolls. Sad thing is, I understand this. (I still love film) The interactive map is -really- well done, but requires flash...

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I really hate to inform you of this... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293191)

But that's an ODOMETER. Try again, okay?

Re:I really hate to inform you of this... (-1)

GoatTroll (556420) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293199)

Since you didn't claim it....

First post!

Re:I really hate to inform you of this... (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293277)

Odometer? What's it smell, like?

Re:I really hate to inform you of this... (1)

phyxeld (558628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293410)

The interactive map is -really- well done, but requires flash...

Actually, I thought it kind of sucked. Try viewing the west-most section at 1-photo-per-mile resolution. Unless I'm missing something, it requires clicking individually many many times from some point east of carson city, nevada, in little tiny increments. You can quickly move accross most of the country by setting the scale to 100-mile, but if you go all the way west and then change to 1-mile it leaves you in nevada. And you've got to click many many times to get to CA and view all the pictures, which was what I tried to do first.

speedometer? (2, Insightful)

bellings (137948) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293192)

Wouldn't it have been easier to hook the camera to his odometer, instead of the speedometer?

Re:speedometer? (2)

zmooc (33175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293230)

I was in .au in februari and every once in a while there are `speedochecks' on the motorway. Just a sign every kilometer for 5 kms saying 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Have you ever tried to drive 1km/h in a car? Impossible! Especially on the motorway:P

Re:speedometer? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293313)

have you ever tried to do simple math?

Re:speedometer? (2, Informative)

mazachan (126721) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293235)

I believe the speedometer and the odometer are hooked up on the same wire, which makes sense if you think about it..

Re:speedometer? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293265)

you can believe in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.

Re:speedometer? (1)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293301)

Maybe he really wants to take a picture for EVERY mph of acceleration...

Re:speedometer? (3, Interesting)

Masem (1171) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293306)

I'm sure that they meant odometer (the dial that measures distance the car travels), but there's no reason that you can't build a program that integrates a real-time reading from the speedometer (the dial that indicates your speed) to get at distance, and thus to count off every mile. In fact, assuming that the speedometer signal is electronic in nature (such as 0 speed = 0 mV, 120 mph = 5mV) it's probably easier to grab this value than to mechanically grab the odometer value.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293193)

first Post woot woot

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293280)

No. 3rd. Real 1st post managed to be moderated as Informative! Uniquement.

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293353)

Thanks, I tried hard!

suck it dirty ac's (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293197)

props to all dead penis birds

speedometer? (1)

phreakmonkey (548714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293198)

Not to pick nits, but it would have been much clearer if this had read odometer instead of speedometer. (I know, most people consider them together simply because they are grouped together... but I equate that to calling your PC a modem.)

I kept re-reading the description wondering "why do I care how fast he was going at each mile?"

Re:speedometer? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293268)

Even worse, I _did_ read it as odometer. And all I could see in my mind was a camera actually focused on the odometer -- ie. the pictures would just show:
Must. Leave. Work. Now. Going. Crazy.

Re:speedometer? (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293342)

I know, most people consider them together simply because they are grouped together

Wow, this car drives great! How many miles does it have on it?

Umm...65, no...60, no...63...


Re:speedometer? (2, Funny)

czardonic (526710) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293369)

Not to pick nits, but it would have been much clearer if this had read odometer instead of speedometer.

Totally. I had no idea what the story was about.

Yay (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293201)

Boy, I just can't waitt to spend an hour clicking through 3,304 little blurry pictures.

Old News (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293202)

I sent this link to my friends, oh, 2 years ago.

You don't have to stop every 36 miles. Cameras for animation use 35mm film and use stock rolls. Professional photographers have mega-film magazines for normal cameras so that you can shoot 100-200 shots without stopping.

I can hear them now... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293211)

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Odometer, not speedometer (-1, Redundant)

Angry Black Man (533969) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293215)

Looks like I'm the first one to notice this (surprisingly), but the article should read odometer, which is what measures distance. The speedometer measures speed, like the movie.

Re:Odometer, not speedometer (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293248)

You are the fourth person, out of ten comments, to both notice and remark on this. "Fourth" does sound a little bit like "first", so I can understand your mistake.

Huh? (1)

smagruder (207953) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293216)

Flash camera out in the sunshine? :) Oh, *that* Flash.

Re:Huh? (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293391)

Actually you DO use a flash in open sunshine.

Fills in the shadows.

Of course you need a real camera and flash unit.

Ho-hum. (1)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293220)

Not nearly as exciting as a Polaroid in the bedroom.

Whoops? (1)

SmartSsa (19152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293233)

I guess he didn't use Kodak Max(tm) for all his high speed action shots!

And in related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293236)

The gentleman in question is being sued by the owner of for driving in his time zone, and then posting a picture of his timezone on the internet.

It took me forever to figure this out.. (0, Redundant)

3ryon (415000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293237)

This guy hacked his camera to his speedometer, and ended up taking a picture EVERY MILE during a trip across the US.

I eventually realized he meant odometer.

Get the Crossover Plugin (2)

terrymr (316118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293238)

It Works great on this site :-)

ummm... DIGITAL camera? (1)

deano (23308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293251)

If you're going to be taking blurry pics, why use film? Save yourself the effort, and use a digital. Plus, you could do other cool things, like take a picture and* post it to your website every mile (okay, every 5 miles) you drive your car, period. I think that would be much more interesting than just taking a trip across country. Put together a little album of your travels when you sell the thing.

Re:ummm... DIGITAL camera? (2)

Eimi Metamorphoumai (18738) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293303)

It's on the Kodak website. Somehow I don't think they would have found it nearly so cool with a digital camera instead of real film.

Re:ummm... DIGITAL camera? (2)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293388)

Why not? Kodak invented [] the Digital Camera, you would think they would have been just as happy. Maybe even happier since it would promote their digital cameras.

Re:ummm... DIGITAL camera? (2, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293380)

Digital is not always better. Digital cameras and digitial video certinaly offer alot in cost savings and convenience, but there are certain effects that are still far superior using analog inputs. Consider black & white movies -- films like It's A Wonderful Life have a fabulous luminescance to them that can't be reproduced today...even analog stock manufacturing techniques have changed so much. And NO, it's not practical to assume that you can just build a filter in photoshop/premiere...

Travel Agencies (1)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293262)

Absolutely beautiful invention for travel diaries. Please do route 19 or route 9 in Virginia down past the Gorge and Toronto to Ottawa cross-country route via Kaladar, a town of 87 citizens, with nothing else but serene terrain for 30 miles around. Also the Toronto to Vancouver train journey in Winter if you can adapt this device to trains, with a 360 degree lens, perhaps placing it on the top of the train.

go digital (1)

giberti (110903) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293264)

going digital might have made the trip faster. 36miles each roll... thats a thousand rolls of film!

Re:go digital (1)

discoinferno (137207) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293300)

Amazingly, the US isn't 36 thousand miles across. I realize it feels pretty big for you yankees, but really.... Get a grip!

Re:go digital (2)

Chazmati (214538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293317)

Or around 100, depending on your math skills.

Re:go digital (1)

mapMonkey (207912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293318)

I think you mean a hundred rolls of film?

Stopped? (2)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293269)

I got to where I could do all that in less than a minute, while steering with my kneecap."

And we thought people talking on a cell phone were hazardous.... Doesn't Kodak make an extended roll for professionals, too? I'd think a 200 frame magazine would have been a lot handier, although a pain to change out compared to a standard roll.

Re:Stopped? (1)

schwap (191462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293349)

Might be able to do it with a medium format camera. The thing to do would be to get a 35mm motion-picture camera and use that. There should be plenty of frames to take a picture every mile.

Every 36 miles (1)

H1r0Pr0tag0n1st (449433) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293272)

What I wonder is why he didnt use one of the extended roll backs for his camera. Stopping every 36 miles to change film would really slow you down...
I mean even my wife doesnt have to stop that often...

getting out more often (4, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293273)

Perople who do not get out enough rarely have any notion as to just how $%#$&^@ huge the country is.

Even if you spent an evening just looking at skimming through these, you could get an idea.

It used to be that people often lived their whole lives within walking distance of their home village. You can easily have the equivalent of that today, with close knit communities of other types.

Waasn't there a MOVIE? (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293275)

Wasn't there a (8mm?) Movie made of a similar trip? IIRC, it was from coast to coast, and you could watch the drive in superfast motion. It takes 15(+-) min to see the whole thing, and the scale speed was something like 600 mph. I seem to recall it was used in a Saturday Night Live sketch as well..

I didn't know the US was that flat (1)

JimMcCusker (27543) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293279)

It seems like he went through some of the most boring, flattest parts of the US on his trip. Even through Colorado and Utah, everything was flat. What's up with that? I know the US is more interesting than that. Hell, Pennsylvania is more interesting than that. He should have started in Maine. :-)

Damn... (4, Insightful)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293281)

They [] were beautiful, weren't they?

Re:Damn... (5, Insightful)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293320)

I'm glad they didn't edit those out like so many movies have. It's a shame to attempt to erase from media what should be an icon of human endeavor.

Re:Damn... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293324)

No, they weren't. I'm glad they're gone.

Thats alot of blurry pictures (0)

Ken Dale (549693) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293287)

Either that guy took all the pictures in high quality 5 MP TIFF ... and carried at least 10 lbs of compactflash ... or the pictures suck and are super compressed

either way that whole 'project' is a long ride :)

in cars (-1)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293288)

I used to be invisible. Nestled in the confines of my ATM enclosure, I was indistinguishable from another other group of electrical impulses. Hundreds of humans crossed my path without detecting my presence. Unbeknownst to Project Faustus, I was a stowaway on their network with full control of my own fate.

I no longer possess this stealth or freedom. Trapped within the broken body of Constantine Atkins, my fate is tied to the three men squabbling above my hospital bed. Their talk continues well into its second hour.

"Gentlemen, this man is still very injured. Two broken ribs, a broken nose, internal bruising-he must stay here for convalescence." The doctor states his case yet again; he has not wavered. The second member of this odd troika, a policeman, clears his throat. He is making an interrupt request.

The policeman's speech , parsed through my summarizing algorithms : "We discovered Mr. Atkins with the remains of a mechanical man. We have a lot of questions that we would like to ask him. I do not believe that he is a digital life form, but after observing the body of the cyborg, we in the San Antonio Police Department are very curious."

Before too long, the other doctor, the PhD doctor, Nolverto Salchica, pipes up. "His value as a scientific find is incalculable. If my young friend is to be believed, and I think he is, then we have a wonderful discovery on our hands! If I could just run some...nonobtrusive tests back at my research facility, we could..."

A fourth man appears to my left, enticing my peripheral vision with a swiping motion of his hand. My former host geek has a plan! After living in a human body for a few weeks, I understand perfectly what his next step will be. He slinks into the bathroom and disappears for a moment.

"Excuse me," I say to the doctor. "I must evacuate my bowels."

"Well," the doctor replies, "You'll have to wait for your friend to finish." There is a glurping sound as water flows under the bathroom door. The door slides open and my former host geek steps out, swearing.

"Shit! Toilet's backed up! Couldn't fix it!" says the geek with a shrug.

"Did ya try jigglin' the handle like so?" says the policeman helpfully, walking over towards the bathroom. He must not be allowed to foil our plan.

"My bowels must be evacuated. Okay?" I attempt to weave a bit of urgency into my words.

"Okay. Let's call a nurse, get a bedpan out here," says the doctor, reaching for a large yellow button beside the bed.

"You know what?" the pitch of my host geek's voice raises a little bit. "We-uh, don't go to any trouble. I can just take him down the hall." He wheels the cold metal chair close to my bed. There is a pregnant pause, as all three authority figures stare blankly at one another.

"Well, sure..okay," says the doctor. "Just make sure that he-cleans himself up. You know, help him if you have to."

The elevator brings us to the lobby. To the right is a small crevice with two machines. One sells Hot Fries; the other handles personal finances.

"You ready to do this, machiney?" says my host geek. "Just wheel this body back up, and say that had a bit too much strain or something."

I feel the stabbing pain returning to my temple, and with it, a sense of urgency. "I understand what I must do," I say to the geek. "Let us finish this."

As I am transferred back into the ATM briefly, and then into back into my host geek's mind, I feel strange, as if perhaps Atkins left something with me. My eyes water a bit-I push Atkins' broken and empty body back into the elevator.

Reminds me of (5, Interesting)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293291)

Check out Confluence [] , which is another cool project involving digital images and geographic locations. Their goal is to take a photo at every confluence point - an intersection of integer longitude and latitude points. Very fun, very cool.

This [] is a cool map, showing where they have photos, and is fully navigable.

Here's an Idea (0)

JimmyG13 (530501) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293295)

He should have brought a woman along and made her change the film.

Incredible (1)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293298)

I love seeing these new novel ways of using the web. When something like this happens it reminds me of the good old dot-com days when every idea seemed like a good idea. This is a brilliant way to use the web, and could become a new central nexus like Webshots Desktop [] and the incredibly profound Jonnie Walker's keep walking []

Forward looking? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293299)

It wouldn't be /. without a complaint ;)... too bad the camera wasnt' forward looking, instead of sideways, I think it would have been more interesting. Also, on the KS->CO one, it would have shown how amazing the mountains look when they just appear out of nowhere in the last 30 miles before Denver after miles and miles of dull plains. As it was, they didn't even feature.

Driving across the US (2) (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293304)

I had some time on my hands once, so I drove from San Jose to Portland to New York to San Diego and then back home. Oh yeah - and a quick visit to Tijuana, for horse tacos or whatever they put in them. Total miles 7K+ in 10 days (I stayed at each stop for a day or two - other than that it was solid driving).

I'll tell you folks, there ain't that much to see from behind the wheel of a car. It's mostly grass.
Anyone who thinks the US is overpopulated has probably never left their home city.

Re:Driving across the US (2)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293361)

You think that's bad, I went Denver, Calgary, Vancouver (the scenic way through Jasper, not straight across), then down to Portland and back in about the same time.

Since I was only in Calgary overnight, I had driven over 3000 miles with relatively little vehicular traffic between Denver and Calgary. (I highly recommend I-15 in southern Montana in a sports car.) Once I left Banff, I started filling up at every station because there was no guarantee that the next station was open, that the road wasn't closed due to a landslide or avalanche, etc.

I'm a glutton for punishment - this was actually a test run for a drive to Alaska in a non-RV - but I agree that the people who stay in cities have no idea of just how empty much of this continent is. Or just how large the large cities are - it can take hours to cross Vancouver or Seattle even if traffic is going at full speed.

Cool! (1)

ibennetch (521581) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293307)

This is actually pretty neat. When I first opened the pictures; the first area I saw was eastern PA; right where I go to school. Zoom in a bit; and I recognized some of the features in the pictures. I haven't traveled very far away from home and it's cool to be able to see [a tiny sliver of], say, Colorado from here...

I just don't understand why he didn't use a digital camera...probably has something to do with it being under Kodak, I wonder if they sponsored the film or something.

Sounds like my date-cam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293308)

Sounds like my date-cam - a camera on my front door takes a picture of every date as she arrives.

I can't put it up with Flash though. Still on the first roll.

Ah, who am I kidding? It's still on the first frame.

Really Automated? (1) (84577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293314)

There are too many scenic pictures in there for me to believe this was actually completely automatic and snapped a picture of whatever was in front of the camera as the odometer passed a mile marker.

Additionally, I wish you could enter in a mile number to skip around the photos. It's pretty annoying just trying to get to mile #1 in 1 mile photo increments.

Cool concept (2)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293323)

This is a cool concept, thought it was cool when I saw it a before, and had the sigh of discontent when the only picture that I knew the area of, instead of hitting the gates of Rose-Hulman [] , he instead managed to get the gas station in front of the "barn". []

The barn is supposedly where the Last IBM Mainframe ever used at Rose was housed, according to urban legend circa 1982.


Fishy (4, Insightful)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293325)

There's something fishy with the pictures. Many of them are just *too* picturesque to be believable. Look at pictures 613 and 614, for example; they're both ends of the same service station! The same jeep is even in both pictures! Is this service station really a mile long?

Re:Fishy (2)

OneFix (18661) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293387)

Just a guess, but I think it's valid to think that this guy actually stopped!!! :)

Umh, I don't dee hat you're talking about, but if you see the gas station twice, maybe he went there in the afternoon and stayed in a hotel room close to that station and then came back there in the morning to get gas?

You notice that all of the shots are during the daylight hours...the photos wouldn't have turned out too well otherwise :)

Re:Fishy (2)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293411)

There's something fishy with the pictures.
I agree - they look "staged." For example, picture 3294 is an exact, framed shot of the Transamerica Building. I also notice that his camera wasn't aimed in the direction he drove. If so, he would've seen the UFOs, flying cows and other hallucinations during that drive from Kansas City to Denver (Highway 70 is as straight as an arrow form horizon to horizon and there ain't jack sh*t from end to end) - shots 1314 to about 1965. Strange that he gets interesting shots of houses 'n stuff, when supposedly he's zooming by.

I have to admit that if I were taking pictures on a cross-country jaunt, I wouldn't mount said camera to take snaps out the front windscreen, otherwise I'd get many picturesque shots of the splattered bugs, burger wrappers on the dash, the Thomas Map and all the other nasty bits that live up there.

Question: If you're going 70-100 mph (as you are wont to do in that godforsaken wasteland), and you have your camera set to maximum shutter speed with very fast film (1000 speed), will your pictures be blurred beyond recognition if your camera pointed out the side window?

Ever drive across US? (2)

nolife (233813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293327)

Have you ever driven across the US? I did it four times when I was in the military. The time I drove the speed limited 24ft U-Haul across was not very fun but the other three were. I truely enjoyed the experience. You DO NOT need an SUV or minivan to have a good time, even with a family of four. Most of my fun was because I enjoyed driving my car, a 91 Mustang GT. Nothing great but was relatively new at the time and very well suited for a long highway battle, very stable, no struggling up the hills, not taken by the wind and only 2k rpm's at 80mph.

I always wondered... (3, Funny)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293330)

The best part is the fact that he stopped every 36 miles to swap film rolls.

So that's who's still buying film.

Re:I always wondered... (1, Troll)

fobbman (131816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293375)

No shit. He should have grabbed a digital camera with a few 128 meg compact flash cards. I know that with my little 1.0 megapixel camera that I can get over 500 pictures at the highest quality on one 128 meg card. All you'd need is two and a laptop with a reader so you can load the pictures to hard drive and then wipe the card clean for the next 500 miles of pictures.

Clearly not geography majors... (2)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293331)

Notice on the "slide show" they have Arizona labled "COLORADO".

You'd think a site about photographing the various states of the USA, that they could get the state names right.

Why not do this for a city? (2)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293333)

Why not take pictures of every building and lot in a City? It would be cheap, and way cool to look back on in a few years. I'm considering doing a small section of Chicago (a VERY small section of Chicago).

I could then put in some coordinates from the GPS, and viola, a cool project.


Re:Why not do this for a city? (1)

JayAndSilentBob (517888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293386)

Silent Bob's mom is the assessor of our township here and they just had a service come in and drive around the entire township videotaping every house / lot. Then she had to sit thru *hours upon hours* of boring videotapes deciding which frame was best for the database. It took a ton of people to do it, and that's just for a little township. do one block of your neighborhood and you'll be sick of it. by the time you get to your local quick stop, you'll be so sick of it, you'll want to destroy all the footage. That's why it takes lots of people. everyone does a little bit and nobody goes totally nuts. Snoogans

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293334)

WoW. Someone just reinvented the video camera. Did anyone else have to read this twice to figure out the real meaning of flash.

Here's another (more interesting photo journal) (1)

Rasputin314 (571536) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293335)

of a drive... This guy visited 11 western states, one canadian province, and 11 state parks, mainly for the purpose of driving. Lots of cool photos too

Dammit! (2)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293339)

I wanted to do something like this...kudos to the guy for actually doing it.

A couple years ago my now-wife and I took a road trip in a 19-foot van named MURR! (that was really its name). We took two months, just about, and drove down from Vancouver, BC down to San Diego, across to Texas and New Orleans, up through Kentucky (Hi Amelie!), Ohio and Milwaukee (Hi Melissa!), then to Ontario, across the northern States again, up through Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC...home again, jiggity-jog. All told, 20,700 km (speak metric, American dogs!).

My idea was to get a Super-8 camera and a timer. I calculated that one frame every minute would, over two months, add up to about an hour of footage, which seemed the perfect length for a documentary-ish sort of thing -- narration, music, whatnot.

It was during the leadup to takeoff that I discovered that a camera that could do this wouldn't come cheap -- I think the one place I checked said >$1k, which scared the pants off me. The van and everything else cost a lot more than I'd expected, and as it was we ended up coming back with something like $50 in our pocket (which to my mind means our timing was perfect).

What I would do now is get a laptop and a webcam. I work at a small ISP, and one of our customers is a construction company that has a webcam and a FreeBSD box set up to take time-lapse photography of their latest construction site. The pix and movies are really neat, and that would have been a much easier and cheaper solution.

Crap...just realized that the worst part of me sitting here and reminiscing like this is that the guy's site is sure to be slashdotted now...oh well, I'll wait 'til Sunday when his server's cooled down a bit.

Didn't take long... (1)

eweu (213081) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293341)

It only took 102 miles to hit a McDonald's (NY-SF trip).

God Bless America.

The down side... (1, Offtopic)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293344)

He violated the EULA on on both the camera and the car, and he's going to jail for violating the DMCA.


Clear a few things up. (4, Informative)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293345)

If you READ THE SITE,the guy actually changed rolls every 36 miles, but he didn't necessarily stop.
Shooting through an open window meant no air-conditioning, so he kept the Kodak 5028 VPH film in a cooler. "I would count the miles," he says. "As soon as the thirty-sixth came, I would change rolls, put the exposed roll in a canister, enter its number on a log sheet, take the next one out of the cooler, and insert it. I got to where I could do all that in less than a minute, while steering with my kneecap."
Also, it was actually attached to his odometer, not speedometer, and he could delay each picture for a moment with a switch if he liked.
Every time a mile ended, a device attached to the odometer made an electric contact that triggered the shutter release. If a cement wall or other nearby object blocked the view, he had a switch that would delay a picture for a moment.
And, he did it all twice. First time in a porsche along the interstate, which didn't go so well. Second time in an Explorer along old highways.

Way nifty :D

Get the term right. (2)

suso (153703) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293347)

Don't you mean the odometer? You know, the device that tells you how many miles your car has traveled.

Waste (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293348)

There are a lot of problems in the world that need to be solved, and taking pictures is NOT one of them.

This guy, and everyone who thinks this is "cool", or "news for nerds", should wake up and realize we are on the brink of world war 3.

We need to devote our energy to making better and more effective weapons and bombs. NOT mental masturbation about taking pictures.

good, but... (1)

r00tyroot (536356) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293352)

It would have been cooler if the picture were looking out the front of the vehicle.. it would have seemed less 'random' and would be more of a 'zoom' effect across the country... just an aesthetic complaint, really :)

vacation pictures.... (1)

pennsol (317791) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293354)

now what do you say to this guy when he asks...
"hey wanna see my vacation pictures"....AAARRRGGHHHH the humanity

More thought required (2)

Bilestoad (60385) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293356)

Crazy! Why wouldn't he take a 35mm cine camera capable of single frame exposures and change films, oh, perhaps not at all? If Kodak want to show off their film that would still do it.

When? (2)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293357)

Does anyone know when he did this? I noticed in the 1-mile marker shot, the World Trade Center towers are still there.

Also, don't BluKnight and chrisd know the difference between a speedometer and an odometer? Even *I* know that, and I don't know anything about cars... put another one on the "editor who didn't read the article" pile.

wouldn't it have been cooler ... (1)

panck (69848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293359)

if he had aimed the camera out the front instead of the side?
Then the quicktime movie would be much cooler, rather than half the frames being shapeless blurs.

Still a cool idea.

We had the idea of hooking a servo motor up to a laser pointer and a web-cam, and letting people on the web play with the cat! Our cat is really vicious so maybe i'll finally get to play with it that way!

He didn't stop the vehicle (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293367)

"As soon as the thirty-sixth came, I would change rolls, put the exposed roll in a canister, enter its number on a log sheet, take the next one out of the cooler, and insert it. I got to where I could do all that in less than a minute, while steering with my kneecap."

At least he wasn't driving some dangerous vehicle while performing these stunts, like a Ford Explorer!

On his first try, he drove a Porsche and "didn't do enough research," he says. On his next trip, in a high-slung Ford Explorer, he traveled on old highways, mostly U.S. 30, 40 and 50.


I sat here for 5 minutes... (1)

dosun88888 (265953) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293368)

...trying to figure out why on earth this guy would want to log his speed in THIS manner.

Yeah, -O-dometer.

I hate flash, though.


potty (-1, Flamebait)

squarefish (561836) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293370)

I've considered hooking a camera to my toilet and having it take a picture with every flush. Much more exciting than any stupid road trip! Kodcrap will love this.

If only... (2, Interesting)

Aniquel (151133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293372)

... he'd hooked it up to include the GPS coordinates and orientation of each picture!

Shoulda Gone Digital... (2) (84577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293374)

Especially considering his photos end up being displayed as about 100x200 pixels, a digital camera would have made this a *ton* easier. Not to mention, if he hadn't gotten sponsored by Kodak, the film (& development) of this would have cost about $3000.

Hey ! Didn't you Mean the Redundant-o-Meter? (2)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293376)

How many people obviously didn't read the damn story?

He used his odometer.

He used a camera with FILM.

He didn't have to stop to change the film.

At night he would mark the last mile, find a motel, sleep.

Then he would resume the trip at the last mile.

Ahhhg. Please mod this +5 redundant and email to all your friends for the ultimate in redundacy.

Dont bother watching- all tangent to car! Ugh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293377)

Dont bother watching- all tangent to car! Ugh!

He did this so he could spoof and lie, or maybe do something "arty"

But there is no sense of MOTION

Its all tangent shots out passenger window.

I suspect some is fraudulent (manually taken and placed into "sequence")

I foolishly watched most of it... so boring and flat.

I like the fact that it is ultra hi rez photo film (suitable for projection to audiences because of rez and contrast) but the effort is moot.


Because it lacks all sense of continuity by filming at that angle.

He should have mounted it forward, or forward on an angle.

I feel cheated for putting up with tolerating the 20 megabyte movie version.

digital? (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293379)

Wouldn't a digital camera have been much easier for this? Just hook it up to a PC Card Type 3 hard drive and store a few Gb of pictures at a time instead of loading film every 36 miles.

seeing the pictures without Flash. (1)

CodePoet82 (177189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293381)

For anyone interested. You can look at the pictures without flash by using the URL: ad / ostcards/tellYourFriends.shtml?mile=1
and just changing the mile=# on the end.

Strange distortion in space time! (1)

Ridge (37884) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293393)

Scientists are baffled by the strange distortion in space time near West Jefferson, Ohio as evidenced by frame 613 and 614 of the quicktime movie. Furthermore there appears to be a coverup as the Flash stills don't appear to coincide with the quicktime movie... Someone wants us to avoid asking too many questions about this disturbance. The truth is out there and whatnot... hehe

My housemate did this... (2)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293394)

except he strapped an ATX mobo, DC/DC converter, and a tonne of led acid batteries to his body.

He then ducttaped a webcam to his shoulder and grabbed images every few seconds, saving them to a laptop disk. The next mission was to have that dialed up to a cellphone to post images to the net every few mins - but i dont know how far he got with that.

Why not use a digital camera and onboard computer? (1)

Vairon (17314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293398)

I wonder why he didn't just use a digital camera and onboard computer. Seems like it would have been easier to mount a digital camera to a computer which stores all the pictures and tells the camera when to take a picture. That way you wouldn't have to stop. Not to mention if you had nationwide wireless access people could view it as you drive...

pun intended (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293399)

imagine a beowolf cluster of these....
well, you get the picture ...

12 months, four dogs, and me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293400)

yes, folks, this new book is about JonKatz's sexual experiences with dogs. Nothing new here. Move along.

Kansas = flat (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3293403)

Now I have proof for my assertion that there is nothing in Kansas. :-)

Odometer, you mean? (1, Redundant)

Speare (84249) | more than 12 years ago | (#3293404)

A speedometer measures a proxy for the current traveling velocity, namely, drive train rotational velocity.

An odometer measures a proxy for the total distance traveled regardless of time.

If you want to trigger something once per mile traveled regardless of time, isn't the odometer what you would use?

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