A random thought crossed my mind a few time ago (after I bought a GPS-enabled PDA): what about taking some random photos from our city (Cluj-Napoca, Romania)?
I also told about this to my sister and brother, and they both liked the idea and declared they want to participate, at least at the city level first. We decided to this periodically, when we would all have some common free time and the weather would be good enough for taking photos. What do you think, are we crazy enough?
We have already choosen the first random position within the border of the city (as specified by the I-Go map that I have installed on the PDA); the random latitude was chosen between N46.73219° (N46°43’55.9") and N46.83262° (N46°49’57.4") and the longitude between E23.53636° (E23°32’10.9") and E23.70173° (E23°42’06.2"). If you wonder how we generated the values, we have manually extracted non-fixed digits written on some folded paper sheets from a cap, until the values were within the correct intervals and inside the city borders when checking the position on the map; when one digit was out of the interval, we restarted from the beginning of that number to make sure all points in the city have the same probability of being chosen; finally, of course, we decided to make sure we don’t cross any property borders trying to visit the chosen spot, but we will be able to verify that only at "runtime"; in those cases we will take the photos from a point still accessible from the public domain, but as close as possible to our destination.
The first extracted location is… surprise! I don’t want to tell you yet. 🙂 But I can tell you that we want to visit it and to take some pictures from there on Saturday, November 8, 2008. Please expect to be able to view the pictures in a new album on this space by Saturday evening or at least the next morning; I will create a new blog entry (linked to this one and linking to the photo album) to inform you about the chosen random location (using the latitude/longitude position, street address, and/or other details around the spot). Just have some patience!
PS: If you are from another city, do it too for that city, if you want. It would be very nice to have such photos from all around the world! If you are from Cluj-Napoca too, then… what the heck, you can also do it too, we are not competing, do we? In any case, however, don’t cheat when chosing location points, as we want to see interesting or not interesting, strange or not strange, beautiful or not so beautiful, but always real and random places (and don’t either do artistic work on the computer before posting the photos)!
Update: We decided that each 5th visit to be randomly chosen within our county (Cluj), instead of only within the city. Then, each 10th visit will be within our country (Romania), each 50th visit will be within our continent (Europe – in fact are limiting that to the European Union), and (if we really reach to that point) each 100th visit will be somewhere random in the whole World! (For international locations we will use a different algorithm for chosing random points, as roundness of the Earth cannot be ignored at that level anymore, and we will go only until a point where it’s safe, and that we will be able to use transportation of all kinds; for International locations, we will not accept unsafe or visa-requiring countries, or regions and we will not accept seas or oceans as random points.)
Update: Evetually we decided to use computer-generated random points for all locations (including the city-level ones), as the algorithm is easier to use and we are usually lazy.
Update: Here is the map (virtual toor) containing all the random spots chosen until now (and updated every month, after each visit), with details about the locations and with "More info" links to their associated photo albums!
PS: I just found our that other people already had the same idea about random trips.