Serendipitor… The free phone app that combines Google Maps with psychogeography to take you on an urban adventure.
A while back I blogged about psychogeography exercises you could do in order to see some of the ways in which your geography shapes your emotion and behaviour, and break that pattern. For anyone who loves walking, geography/architecture and quietly breaking the rules, psychogeography is a fascinating activity.
I’m preparing for another psychogeography walk in London with Robert Kingham in July, but in the meantime here is a great phone app called Serendipitor. It’s free to download, and what it does is give you Google Map route instructions with added random.
You just enter your your location and destination, then you get the Google Map instructions on how to get there – with added instructions in your native language designed to break up your efficient movement and take you somewhere else, instead. So it might say “Continue down this road and take the first right after you pass someone wearing red”.
Some of the instructions have creepy undertones (er, follow someone? Great in theory, if you’re Harriet the Spy, but you’ve got a recipe for potentially making someone feel really uncomfortable right there). However, they are just suggestions and the idea of taking a walk guaranteed to make you end up somewhere you never expected is a really good one. You can do it for free, just when you’re feeling like it. You can also take photos along the way and, upon reaching your destination, email friends with your route and the steps you took.
Good luck, if you give it a go. May the odds be in your favour.