January 12, 2016 8:33 pm
Updated: January 13, 2016 4:17 pm

University of Regina professor cycling across Canada, virtually

Megan Smith uses a modified bicycle to travel across the country virtually.

Christa Dao/Global News

REGINA – A University of Regina professor is embarking on a cycling journey across Canada.

But there’s just one thing – she’ll be doing it all in the comfort and warmth of her own studio.

Megan Smith has developed a program that connects her stationary bicycle to synchronize with Google Maps Street View.

Each physical pedal translates to a virtual step in Google Maps.

It’s part of a research project she’s conducting about how to better engage with technology in a new and more physical way.

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“It’s one of our roles as artists to question technology and new technology and systems to document and photograph” she said.

“See what it is that I’m seeing in all of these layers of visual data that Google is providing for all of us.”

At a rate of 8 hours per week, Smith’s virtual journey is expected to take approximately 18 months.

Smith started her adventure on British Columbia’s west coast in Victoria and hopes to connect with communities as she travels through Canada.

“I’m able to access communities as I go along, maybe engage them in the project and see what they want me to document as I’m going through, bring attention to all these various places”

The fine arts professor says she’s planning to release the coding for anyone interested in building their own virtual world, as well as release do-it-yourself kits.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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