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Around the World in X Wikipedia Articles #142

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kevandotorg opened this Issue Nov 6, 2015 · 10 comments

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kevandotorg commented Nov 6, 2015

Drifting west-to-east through clusters of Wikipedia's geolocated articles, starting and ending at London's Reform Club, and describing locations using fragments of the text available in each article along the way.

We walked to Prospect of Whitby. Unless I was mistaken, this was formerly known as the Devil's Tavern. Passepartout remembered it becoming the hostelry of choice of "Hanging" Judge Jeffreys. It seemed perfect for pirates.

Passepartout and I walked to Thames Tunnel. I could see that it was the first tunnel known to have been constructed successfully underneath a navigable river. Passepartout commented that they didn't modify their methods for soft clay and quicksand. James remembered it becoming the East London Line. It seemed quite suitable for goods services as late as 1962.

We hailed a cab to Rotherhithe Tunnel. Passepartout talked about significant congestion and tailbacks. To the best of my knowledge, this was formally opened in 1908 by George Prince of Wales (later King George V). Passepartout explained how it had been designed to serve foot and horse-drawn traffic between the docks on either side of the river. Things were never the same after the first of the four shafts is reached. We moved on, avoiding its poor safety features.

It turns out that a straight circle around the same latitude doesn't give many articles outside of Europe, so I might have to make it plot its own route based on the cities which contain the most geotagged articles.

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ikarth Nov 6, 2015

Excellent idea.

ikarth commented Nov 6, 2015

Excellent idea.

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dariusk Nov 6, 2015

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Oh, lovely!!!

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dariusk commented Nov 6, 2015

Oh, lovely!!!

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hugovk Nov 6, 2015

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Good idea!

And a good idea to plot its own route -- the earth's landmass doesn't give a neat latitudinal line of places of interest, so plotting like that is a bit like real round-the-world routes.

It'd be really nice to have an appendix showing a world map of the route taken. You could even include smaller maps of the places visited.

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hugovk commented Nov 6, 2015

Good idea!

And a good idea to plot its own route -- the earth's landmass doesn't give a neat latitudinal line of places of interest, so plotting like that is a bit like real round-the-world routes.

It'd be really nice to have an appendix showing a world map of the route taken. You could even include smaller maps of the places visited.

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maetl Nov 10, 2015

Great idea. I’ve been working on something very similar to this, though I didn’t explain it quite so coherently: #57

maetl commented Nov 10, 2015

Great idea. I’ve been working on something very similar to this, though I didn’t explain it quite so coherently: #57

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kevandotorg Dec 1, 2015

Code finished. Realised a bug towards the end where the heroes can't always course-correct quickly enough and won't always end up exactly back at London's Reform Club (of the final two outputs, one was fine and the other one ended with them at Clapham North tube station), but I suppose this adds some dramatic tension.

Will put the source and some output up somewhere tomorrow.

kevandotorg commented Dec 1, 2015

Code finished. Realised a bug towards the end where the heroes can't always course-correct quickly enough and won't always end up exactly back at London's Reform Club (of the final two outputs, one was fine and the other one ended with them at Clapham North tube station), but I suppose this adds some dramatic tension.

Will put the source and some output up somewhere tomorrow.

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kevandotorg Dec 2, 2015

And ah, another bug. The generation had seemed fine in partial test runs (with the story ending once at the Reform Club and a second time at Clapham North tube station), but hadn't turned up the possibility that the narrator could miss a city checkpoint if they were travelling too fast when they approached it. The whole novel takes over an hour to generate, so I hadn't been running it to completion as much as I could have been. When I ran the script to generate the final version of the novel on December 1st, it looks like the narrator missed the New York checkpoint when passing through, and kept circling the globe around the 41st parallel trying in vain to hit it again until the script ran out of memory and crashed.

That abruptly finished 108,850 word first edition of the novel is at http://kevan.org/nanogenmo/2015firstedition.html (1.2Mb)

Fixing the bug (to simply tick off checkpoints as soon as the narrator passed their longitude at all) produced a novel of 117,303 words, visiting 1611 locations and ending back in London.

That 117,303 word novel is at http://kevan.org/nanogenmo/2015secondedition.html (723k)

Source code is at https://github.com/kevandotorg/nanogenmo-2015

kevandotorg commented Dec 2, 2015

And ah, another bug. The generation had seemed fine in partial test runs (with the story ending once at the Reform Club and a second time at Clapham North tube station), but hadn't turned up the possibility that the narrator could miss a city checkpoint if they were travelling too fast when they approached it. The whole novel takes over an hour to generate, so I hadn't been running it to completion as much as I could have been. When I ran the script to generate the final version of the novel on December 1st, it looks like the narrator missed the New York checkpoint when passing through, and kept circling the globe around the 41st parallel trying in vain to hit it again until the script ran out of memory and crashed.

That abruptly finished 108,850 word first edition of the novel is at http://kevan.org/nanogenmo/2015firstedition.html (1.2Mb)

Fixing the bug (to simply tick off checkpoints as soon as the narrator passed their longitude at all) produced a novel of 117,303 words, visiting 1611 locations and ending back in London.

That 117,303 word novel is at http://kevan.org/nanogenmo/2015secondedition.html (723k)

Source code is at https://github.com/kevandotorg/nanogenmo-2015

@kevandotorg kevandotorg closed this Dec 2, 2015

@kevandotorg kevandotorg reopened this Dec 2, 2015

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kevandotorg Dec 2, 2015

(And ah, okay, "completed" is a label rather than just marking the issue as "closed", I wasn't sure.)

kevandotorg commented Dec 2, 2015

(And ah, okay, "completed" is a label rather than just marking the issue as "closed", I wasn't sure.)

@hugovk hugovk added the completed label Dec 2, 2015

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hugovk Dec 2, 2015

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This is good!

And have a label :)

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hugovk commented Dec 2, 2015

This is good!

And have a label :)

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tra38 Dec 2, 2015

I think I read more of this text than I did for any other entry, since there is a sense of narrative and it conveyed interesting facts. (Looking at the code also reveals a bunch of templates added to increase variety as well, which also helped.)

Some of those interesting facts seemed to be oddly-phrased though, which did destroy my suspension of disbelief, but that's okay. At least this novel is readable enough.

tra38 commented Dec 2, 2015

I think I read more of this text than I did for any other entry, since there is a sense of narrative and it conveyed interesting facts. (Looking at the code also reveals a bunch of templates added to increase variety as well, which also helped.)

Some of those interesting facts seemed to be oddly-phrased though, which did destroy my suspension of disbelief, but that's okay. At least this novel is readable enough.

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ikarth Dec 4, 2015

Occasionally odd phrasing aside, I do think the conversations are quite effectively readable. Well done.

This does seem to be the year for travel narratives.

ikarth commented Dec 4, 2015

Occasionally odd phrasing aside, I do think the conversations are quite effectively readable. Well done.

This does seem to be the year for travel narratives.

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