Sri Lankan graphic design and Google Earth posts – a look back at blogging traditions


In its early years (2007-2009) this blog carved a bit of a niche for itself in 2 areas. One was documenting indigenous Sri Lankan commercial graphic design – specifically vehicle graphics. These are too heavily cross listed under various categories to bother counting. The other tradition was using Google Earth screen grabs to blog about the war and other events in the news. There are about 60+ Google Earth and Google Earth Sri Lanka related posts with a lot of overlap.

Its been almost 2 years since I put a post about Sri Lankan vehicle graphics or graphic design. The page dedicated to listing them stopped getting updated in 2009. The last post on vehicle graphics was in January of 2011! The Google Earth posts breathed its last in Jan 2012 with a post trying to prod 3 bloggers whom I felt could do it better.

A report by a special committee of voices in my head indicates that these “traditions” are dead and unlikely to return. The basic underlying cause is that my interests have changed. This over rides the usual excuse of blogging being de-prioritised in the face of life’s many merciless demands (an un-ignorable secondary factor). There’s a sense that I am careening towards spewing some sort of social commentary cowardly veiled in sloppy attempts at satire.

On the graphics side, there’s a practical issue. I’m no longer chauffeured around to risk taking photos from behind the wheel (what’s a point of buying all those Lamborghinis no?). Even if I did bring back my Rolls fleet, the stuff on the buses and the tuk tuks no longer impress me. Yes there’s an occasional good one but it hardly feels worth risking a fumble for the phone.

The report cites 2 possible causes. Either the aesthetics of Sri Lankan vehicle graphics have plateaued or something in my sensibilities have blurred the need to document such things. Due to excessive drunkenness the committee was unable to reach any conclusions (the report smells of cheap vodka and vomit). Anyway, its the kind of thing young people with old fashioned interests like blogging can easily do on twitter or that Insta-whatever thing.

The Google Earth (geo-blogging) posts were driven by the need to share my love of geography. Essentially by creating a link between the stories of a particular place with its location shown in a map like view. It was clumsy time consuming process. As it got easier with maps on Flickr and shared maps on Google, I moved on.

I am happy though that at least the geo blogging has evolved beyond anything I could have pulled off. Some of the new innovations are practically essential like traffic reports. Along with stuff like road quality apps – roadroid.com has road quality maps of Jaffna – they bring sharing of the physical to the digital realm.

The pinnacle of geo-bloging in Sri Lanka though is yamu.lk. Its practically mapping Colombo’s “restaurants, bars and places” in the guise of a “city guide to Colombo”. Quite frankly I’m in awe. Here’s why in a quick example : take their post on the The Castle Hotel and compare it to my cough of a post from 2007.  Yes, they are a business – but they show how a really useful geoblog post should be done. I hope they thrive. From the look of it they just might.

Annual leave at year’s end invites the decadence of contemplation. Similar to getting handcuffed in the toilet with a Dalmore 62 single malt (don’t ask). You just read the result in the tradition of “Janus posts” that is sporadically alive in this blog.

In the “Janusian” way of looking back, looking forward and where you stand, what are the living/dead traditions of YOUR blog?

Irrespective of what is past, I hope you will find sustainable happiness in new year.🙂

Now lets take a moment (nudism optional) to BANZAI! BANZAI! BANZAI!

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