Monday, 7 February 2011

Postal Tracking - Where the Mail Goes from London


Inspired by Tim Knowles' work on postal tracking as well as the publication "The Englishman who posted himself", this had to be tried. Maybe one should not try this at home, however, we did. This project is run in collaboration with Studio-Bread in Vienna.

The tracker was sent from London to Vienna, where it arrived after many days, too many days actually. The battery was dead, but the tracker alive. And to much surprise it actually contained data. It did record for the time siting around various Royal Mail London sorting centres.

postalPack01
Image by urbanTick / GPS and parcel as used on the way from London to Vienna. Parcel created by Studio-Bread.

It came back from Vienna in a much more sophisticated little box, faster and with more data. Some places in Vienna, including the airport and presumably a postal sorting centre. And, one is stunned Royal Mail is organised to this extend, on the way back the tracker asses the same sorting centres. From Heathrow back in to London where it sits at the Clerkenwell sorting centre again.


Google Earth embedded, linking to a KML file. You can use the time slider to track the parcel. You can manually adjust the time window. Active tracks are shown in bright yellow rest is faded out. Zoom in to see the locations in detail. You can make your own Google Gadget HERE.

Apparently "Mount Pleasant is one of the world's largest sorting offices, covering an area of 7.5 acres. It's home to an expansive set of 23 miles of train tunnels which were built to deliver the post and did so up until May 2003. Though the railway is no longer used the tunnels, running 70 feet under the streets of central London between Whitechapel and Paddington, still remain. There are no visitors allowed" from LondonTown.

Royal Mail Sorting Office
Image taken from Londontown / Royal Mail Mount Pleasant Sorting Office (Clerks working in the Return Letter Office, Mount Pleasant, 1934).

Since this is not much here is a more inspiring clip as it was mentioned by radek in a comment on the last postal tracking post on this blog - thanks for the link again.

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