casablanca: the google earth prototype

I am so glad someone wrote this up! I was watching Casablanca (1942!) again awhile back, and just loved the intro scene of the earth, europe, and the route from Paris to Casablanca. This blog ((E)Space&Fiction: spatial machinery of fiction) (cool name, right?) makes the case that it was the first proto google earth, and analyzes the technical specifics that presaged Keyhole, etc. Specifically:

  • the combination of the spinning globe with a zoom effect on a specific point: Paris;
  • the use of a “jump” effect similar to Google Earth to move from one place (Paris) to another (Casablanca); and
  • the perspective changes from the vertical view to an oblique perspective of the streets of Casablanca, similar to current street views.