YouTube Map Explorer is an unusual way to discover videos from around the world
If you’ve ever wondered what sort of videos people share with the world in Turkey, Jamaica or any other location that fascinates you, YouTube Map Explorer is a great way to find out.
The unofficial project lets you browse the vast ocean of content on YouTube by choosing where in the world you want to see uploads from. Click on any point on the world map and the app will surface a video uploaded by a user from that place.
You can adjust the radius of your search, from zero to within 30 kilometers. The videos are from random points in time, and you can’t choose to view only the latest clips — which would have made for a good way to find current happenings in each location.
YouTube Map Explorer is a lot of fun to play with. I looked up my hometown of Bangalore, India and found that my neighbors are interested in houses constructed out of shipping containers, noted scientist CV Raman’s spectroscope and aeroplanes doing barrel rolls.
Meanwhile, users in Turkey enjoy inhaling helium to sound like chipmunks and tuning in to the vocal stylings of Selim Gülgören. Jamaica’s proud of its Prime Minister meeting US President Barack Obama and is also — understandably — big on reggae.
The app is occasionally inaccurate in surfacing content because some videos are tagged in different locations than their origin by users. Also, you can’t drill down to street-level accuracy. Still, it’s a neat way to stumble upon interesting videos from places you’re intrigued by.
Update: Developer Stefan Bakocs got in touch to let us know that he didn’t allow drilling down to street level on the map to prevent stalking. He added that he’s working to introduce a feature that will surface the latest videos from any given location.