Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Paul Theroux's 1976 visit to Santa Ana, El Salvador - repeat on 2015 Google Street View

Paul Theroux’s The Old Patagonian Express was published in 1979. Today it’s as much historical document as travel guide. Part of that history is experiencing the semi-conscious neocolonial attitudes of 1970s Theroux, though that’s probably his personality as much as the times.

There’s a lot he disdains, but he liked Santa Ana El Salvador. At one point he claims it wasn’t on his map; for him it was a pleasant surprise.

Today you can retrace his journey with very limited version of Google Street View. You can’t navigate in the usual Street View way, but you can visit the primary plaza and you can browse user contributed images.

I wonder how long it will be for Santa Ana to go full Street View. On the one hand it’s amazing what’s there now, but it’s noteworthy that Santa Ana is still a bit mysterious.

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