I had a problem. My in-laws were coming.
I don't mean their visit was a problem, but rather, I was having trouble drawing up directions to help them get around Honolulu.
There are plenty of Hawaii maps out there, to be sure... some of them even accurate. But considering our state government's somewhat lax maintenance of street signage, I wasn't satisfied with telling my in-laws to just "take H-1 west." I wanted to show them which way to go. Specifically, I wanted to explain to them this interchange, where you have to take what looks like an exit to actually stay on the interstate.
As soon as I took a few photos of various spots along H-1, though, I thought to myself, "Why not take photos along the entire freeway?"
Of course, by the time I'd started taking road photos in earnest, my in-laws had already come and gone. But my project has taken on a life of its own, and now I've seized upon the ridiculous notion of photographing every major road in Honolulu. First, the Interstates. Then, major highways. Then, perhaps, major streets that tourists would want to get familiar with (Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, for example). And after all the photos are taken, what if there was a way to present them in some clever way, allowing visitors to navigate around, taking a virtual drive (or walk)? It might be pretty useful. Or at least moderately amusing.
At the rate things are going, Honolulu might very well be completely mapped via satellite and rendered in 3-D by Microsoft or Google before I get anywhere close to finishing Phase I (or defining Phase I, for that matter). But, whatever I can get done, however long it takes, I'm happy to share this work-in-progress with other road geeks out there.
Ryan Kawailani Ozawa
October 7, 2004