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MyBlock NYC: A Video Map of New York City

MyBlockNYC is a new media platform of video mapping that fits right in with Facebook and YouTube. Launched nearly 2 weeks ago, MyBlock has already generated quite a fan base.  It provides a way to connect more than to just people; it allows you to connect to a group or a place.  To learn more about this incredible media map, click here.

The idea was created by Alex Kalman and developed by himself and Alex Rickard.  Both are filmmakers and Bard College graduates.  Straight from Alex and Alex, “The goal of MyBlock NYC is to unify and harness the creative potential of our city’s occupants and visitors to give a better understanding of their own environment and then share this knowledge with others around the world.”  I suppose the best way to describe MyBlock is as a mix of YouTube and MapQuest.

My Block Logo

Today, more people have access to the tools necessary for video recording.  They have Flip cameras and iPhones, and an interest in filmmaking or going viral.  The makers of MyBlock have given the map a new perspective by using integrating videos continuously from New Yorkers.  The site creates a platform for an intimate NYC.  Every search is an adventure, through filtering by filmmaker age and location.  I think that what is most exciting for a first-time user, is the unique experience of contribution.  There’s also a lack of commercialism which lends to a more intimate experience.

Check out this hilarious example below:

MyBlock is NYC- it is an adventure or exploration, it is unique, spontaneous, and has something great to offer everyone.  The map is uniquely defined by the culture of the community.  When asked how many user MyBlock can expect by the end of the year, Kalman responded that, “All we can do is continue to provide a service to people.”  Uploading your videos adds voice to the map and defines the city.   Media, news, and film can only go so far.

New Yorkers have a responsibility to represent their cities.  And once you’ve left the city, you can always reconnect back to MyBlockNYC.  Each block is a creative adventure through NYC from the perspective of true New Yorkers.  Currently, 1,000 of NYC’s 90,000 blocks have been explored and have a clip attached to it.  I’m sure that number is about to explode.  I would not even be surprised to see a MyBlock Paris, ShangHai, or Los Angeles soon.

You can also look for an upcoming exhibit in MoMA’s upcoming show “Talk to Me: Design and Communication Between People and Objects,” opened July 24.  Senior design curator, Paola Antonelli, created an exhibit displaying MyBlock’s videos on a 40-inch touch-screen kiosk. If you’re a true New Yorker, MyBlock is a must.

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