Pete and I finished the first-ever virtual live-streaming broadcast cross-country road trip on August 18th. It took us 9 days and 40+ hours of driving on Google Maps to complete the trek. I got food poisoning from Burger King and Pete almost lost his mind, but we persevered and made it to Richmond, VA from LA.
Fancy us; we were interviewed by NPR Weekend edition for our “vacation.” For the NPR audio interview go to http://bit.ly/GMRTNPRA. And for the NPR article see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111921898.
We’ll be back up this Friday, August 21st at 2pm PST to take a tour of Richmond, and we’re slated to take a trip up to Maine soon. Stay tuned.
Like so many of you, my friend Pete Baldes and I wanted to take a road trip together this summer, but he lives in Richmond, VA and I live in LA. We tried and tried to make our dreams of the classic American cross-country journey come true, but because of finances, schedule conflicts, and time constraints, we just couldn’t make it work. You know how it is. But then we had an idea: What about a virtual road trip that exploits the wonderful technologies of Google Maps and ustream. We could definitely make that happen.
So on August 10th, 2009, at 3pm PST, we’ll leave my house in LA and drive together to Pete’s place in Richmond. We’ll “virtual drive” across the country by continuously pressing the Google Maps arrow keys eastward, and we’ll broadcast the entire experience live on http://www.googlemapsroadtrip.com . This means you’ll be able to not only see and hear us as we travel, but also join us in a real-time chat room. Just think of it as an invitation to hop in the backseat and ride along with us for any part of our adventure that you like. We’ll take your suggestions on what to see and where to go as we trek this great nation, and ideally we’ll all get to know each other a little better.
We’ll stop for a shake at McDonalds in Flagstaff, get dinner at Olive Garden in Roanoke, play mix tapes, get in the inevitable argument, visit historical sites and old friends, stop at crummy motels for the night, etc… Just remember: This is real-time, so when we stop to eat, we’ll actually eat, and when we stop to sleep, we’ll actually go to bed, and if you’d like us to visit you, we’ll actually call you as we near your house, and you can virtually take us around your hood.
This is everything that we’d do on a real road trip, except we don’t have to leave the house, pay for gas, or worry about getting speeding tickets.
If you have suggestions on what we should see along the way — or if you would like us to stop and visit you — please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to spending some quality time with YOU on our road trip! Can’t wait!
Marc & Pete
p.s. The chronicles of this epic road trip will also be available at http://www.thefastertimes.com/travel