Joyride (2011)

Joyride presents the perspective of a stolen iPhone, over five days, reconstructed with images from Google Street View.

After the phone was stolen, it continued to log its location thanks to a custom geo-tracking app. I determined the likely path between each latitude/longitude breadcrumb via the Google Directions API and then scraped all the Street View tiles along the way, stitching them together. The result, a kind of franken-data, is a reenactment of the thief’s journey (and reveals, among other things, his home). The video is an analog of the human interaction behind it, yet it remains a fiction woven by media platforms.

Data performance: Unknown thief. Getaway vehicle: Google. Victim: Sue Huang. Thanks: Jer Thorp, The New York Times Company Research and Development Lab.