Sunday, December 20, 2009

Landscape Wonder from Norway's NRK

In honor of our little mashup of snow and ice here in Baltimore, we thought we'd post this gorgeous video. It is just ten minutes of a train ride through Norway, the place where snow really falls. The original was 7 1/2 HOURS long. It aired in Norway on November 27. It was watched, beginning to end, by 1.2 million Norwegians, one-quarter of the population.

The full length video shows every minute of the scenic train ride between Bergen on the Norwegian west coast, crossing the mountains to the capital of Oslo. You can download the entire video here. The NRK has also thrown open the door to the creative world. Designers and videographers are invited to edit it, remix it, share it, cut it, color it, digitize it. Whatever. (The Creative Commons license applies.)

The full-length video was a wild idea by the staff at NRK, the state run Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The wild idea turned out to be a wild success. Besides the size of the viewing audience, there were over 1,500 tweets (and still growing) posted (#bergensbanen). From our perspective, it seems like a orgy of landscape devotion. The NRK deserves some praise. That they invited people to simply observe the landscape of their country was a daring notion and a wonderful gift. No spectacle. No drama. No screaming, talking heads. Just the natural world.

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