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National Boards => General Highway Talk => Topic started by: Jordan117 on May 08, 2017, 02:48:40 PM

Title: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: Jordan117 on May 08, 2017, 02:48:40 PM
My all-time favorite album is Radiohead's 1997 tour-de-force OK Computer, not least because of the evocative album art, which features a ghostly highway junction:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61SYxGXYCkL.jpg)

I've always wondered where exactly the image came from, but figured the photo was too fuzzy to identify. Luckily though, the album's upcoming 20th anniversary has brought a wealth of vintage concept art (http://imgur.com/a/Un2EE), including early versions of the album cover which show more detail (click for full size):

(http://i.imgur.com/EB0wjKR.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/EB0wjKR.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/WAEOm8D.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/WAEOm8D.jpg)

Unfortunately the resolution isn't quite good enough to decipher the sign lettering, but hopefully there are enough clues for someone here to locate it. I'm hardly an expert, but it does look like an American freeway, with traffic driving on the right and familiar-looking signage. And that hilly/urban terrain... perhaps Los Angeles? Any other good guesses?
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: formulanone on May 08, 2017, 03:44:50 PM
I've also wondered this one for a long time...that third photo seems to show an North American-style BGS and gantry, with a shield. It's an elegant-appearing interchange, admittedly.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: Duke87 on May 08, 2017, 07:51:18 PM
The sign on the right appears to have a centered exit tab, although it's difficult to really tell.

I'm not totally convinced it's in the US. The wide right shoulders coupled with basically no left shoulder seems to be an atypical design feature for an American highway.

Also, for anyone assuming it must be in a country that drives on the right - bear in mind that the image could be mirrored.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: AMLNet49 on May 08, 2017, 08:33:53 PM
The layout of the signs is definitely American as far as I can tell
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: Mapmikey on May 08, 2017, 08:54:49 PM
I have figured it out...

I-84 EB at I-91 in Hartford...

https://goo.gl/maps/ML8XSqJ56RD2

Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: formulanone on May 08, 2017, 09:07:20 PM
I have figured it out...

I-84 EB at I-91 in Hartford...

https://goo.gl/maps/ML8XSqJ56RD2

Seems to be an exact fit.

(Saved for next visit to Hartford.)
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: Jordan117 on May 08, 2017, 09:10:32 PM
I have figured it out...

I-84 EB at I-91 in Hartford...

https://goo.gl/maps/ML8XSqJ56RD2

Wow, I am extremely impressed! Never expected it'd be a relatively small town like Hartford. Thanks!

How were you able to track it down?
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: froggie on May 08, 2017, 09:17:30 PM
Quote from: Duke87
I'm not totally convinced it's in the US. The wide right shoulders coupled with basically no left shoulder seems to be an atypical design feature for an American highway.

Are you kidding?  That's SOP for older freeways in several states, especially in the Northeast.

Mapmikey's right.  This is I-84/I-91 in Hartford...vantage point appears to be from the Hilton, looking eastward.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: Mapmikey on May 08, 2017, 09:20:16 PM
Took about 10 minutes.  The middle BGS has a two word control city with just a single letter as the first word.  The BGS on the right has a two word city but two actual words.  I figured that it was east of the Mississippi because of the (IMO) tight footprint of the interchange.

So what interstate junctions in the east might fit the that BGS criteria?  E Hartford and New Haven.

I'm pretty decent at puzzles and also have a fair amount of experience taking older road photos and figuring out where they were...

I'd never seen the album cover before.  Full disclosure - I have driven I-84 east through here one time...it was dark and it was 2001 - but that wasn't any help here...
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: kurumi on May 09, 2017, 12:06:04 AM
Good work. I didn't even see the signs until I knew where to look... and yup, that's I-84, US 44 and I-91 on the BGS panels.

This thread is now featured in /r/radiohead (https://www.reddit.com/r/radiohead/comments/6a2puq/a_roadgeek_forum_just_helped_me_track_down_the/).
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: chays on May 09, 2017, 12:30:28 PM
Good work. I didn't even see the signs until I knew where to look... and yup, that's I-84, US 44 and I-91 on the BGS panels.

This thread is now featured in /r/radiohead (https://www.reddit.com/r/radiohead/comments/6a2puq/a_roadgeek_forum_just_helped_me_track_down_the/).
Mapmikey, you should head over to that link that kurumi posted.  They are singing your praises, it would be quite the ego boost!
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: HazMatt on May 09, 2017, 01:26:23 PM
Huh, that's one of my favorite albums and I never even thought about the cover photo.  Excellent job!
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: jp the roadgeek on May 09, 2017, 02:27:35 PM
Funny thing is I just found this in The Modern Lovers' Roadrunner video.  The very first shot was taken about a mile east of here, 20-25 years earlier, and in the opposite direction.

Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: inkyatari on May 09, 2017, 02:28:23 PM
Here's the interchange at a similar angle...

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.7696894,-72.6733952,66a,35y,99h,65.14t/data=!3m1!1e3
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: SectorZ on May 09, 2017, 04:37:31 PM
I've had this CD since 1997, and had family down in greater Hartford all my life, and never realized this. I can concur this is absolutely the junction in question.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: jp the roadgeek on May 09, 2017, 06:24:19 PM
Don't see it on their website, but WFSB (the CBS affiliate) just mentioned this on the 6:00 news and might have something on it at 11:00 :-o
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: Mapmikey on May 09, 2017, 06:57:15 PM
Good work. I didn't even see the signs until I knew where to look... and yup, that's I-84, US 44 and I-91 on the BGS panels.

This thread is now featured in /r/radiohead (https://www.reddit.com/r/radiohead/comments/6a2puq/a_roadgeek_forum_just_helped_me_track_down_the/).


Mapmikey, you should head over to that link that kurumi posted.  They are singing your praises, it would be quite the ego boost!

I took a peek and it's nice people are happy about a mystery being solved.  Pretty sure others in this forum would've gotten it too...


modified to fix quote
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: jakeroot on May 09, 2017, 07:21:09 PM
Location of Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ artwork revealed? (https://goo.gl/VuZuWW) -- from NME (New Musical Express):

Quote from: NME
The actual motorway depicted in the cover of Radiohead‘s ‘OK Computer’ artwork may have been revealed by fans.

Radiohead recently announced a 20th anniversary reissue of ‘OK Computer’ for 23 June. The album’s cover was designed by the band’s long-time visual collaborator Stanley Donwood along with frontman Thom Yorke.

Ahead of the 20 year milestone, a fan recently posed a theory to Reddit (as seen in the Imgur GIF below) that the classic album’s artwork is based on a highway interchange in Hartford, Connecticut, between Interstates 84 and 91.

The user suggests that the original photo may have been taken from the window of a Hilton hotel that the band stayed in after a show in Hartford during August 1996 – one of the last live shows the band played before returning to the UK to record ‘OK Computer’.

Mapmikey is officially the most famous user on this forum.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: formulanone on May 09, 2017, 07:37:55 PM
And thus, "roadgeek" infiltrated the public lexicon.

Mapmikey's discovery and the OP's thread seem to be spreading in some positive ways.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: Duke87 on May 09, 2017, 08:07:18 PM
Took about 10 minutes.  The middle BGS has a two word control city with just a single letter as the first word.  The BGS on the right has a two word city but two actual words.  I figured that it was east of the Mississippi because of the (IMO) tight footprint of the interchange.

I'm impressed you were able to garner that much detail. Here I was looking at it swearing there were only two signs on that gantry, the gap between the right and center signs is pretty well obscured by a shadow figure's leg in both images.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: MikeTheActuary on May 09, 2017, 11:37:12 PM
And thus, "roadgeek" infiltrated the public lexicon.

Roadgeek was in Radiohead fans' lexicon since the release of "In Rainbows".

(Look at the cover art.)
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: formulanone on May 09, 2017, 11:43:49 PM
And thus, "roadgeek" infiltrated the public lexicon.

Roadgeek was in Radiohead fans' lexicon since the release of "In Rainbows".

(Look at the cover art.)

You'll have to help me out on this one.  :confused:

My download didn't come with cover art, and I'm crap at remembering lyrics.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: RobbieL2415 on May 09, 2017, 11:45:39 PM
My all-time favorite album is Radiohead's 1997 tour-de-force OK Computer, not least because of the evocative album art, which features a ghostly highway junction:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61SYxGXYCkL.jpg)

I've always wondered where exactly the image came from, but figured the photo was too fuzzy to identify. Luckily though, the album's upcoming 20th anniversary has brought a wealth of vintage concept art (http://imgur.com/a/Un2EE), including early versions of the album cover which show more detail (click for full size):

(http://i.imgur.com/EB0wjKR.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/EB0wjKR.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/WAEOm8D.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/WAEOm8D.jpg)

Unfortunately the resolution isn't quite good enough to decipher the sign lettering, but hopefully there are enough clues for someone here to locate it. I'm hardly an expert, but it does look like an American freeway, with traffic driving on the right and familiar-looking signage. And that hilly/urban terrain... perhaps Los Angeles? Any other good guesses?

Definitely I-84 at I-91 in Hartford, CT.  You can even see the sign gantry for Exits 52, 53 and the pull-though shield.
GSV for reference: https://goo.gl/maps/Fe9jRZT1syn (https://goo.gl/maps/Fe9jRZT1syn)
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: jakeroot on May 09, 2017, 11:46:54 PM
Definitely I-84 at I-91 in Hartford, CT.  You can even see the sign gantry for Exits 52, 53 and the pull-though shield.
GSV for reference: https://goo.gl/maps/Fe9jRZT1syn (https://goo.gl/maps/Fe9jRZT1syn)

I think this has been well-established by now. :-D
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: MikeTheActuary on May 09, 2017, 11:47:14 PM
And thus, "roadgeek" infiltrated the public lexicon.

Roadgeek was in Radiohead fans' lexicon since the release of "In Rainbows".

(Look at the cover art.)

You'll have to help me out on this one.  :confused:

My download didn't come with cover art, and I'm crap at lyrics.

There was an official cover/booklet in pdf.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2e/In_Rainbows_Official_Cover.jpg

Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: jakeroot on May 09, 2017, 11:50:21 PM
And thus, "roadgeek" infiltrated the public lexicon.

Roadgeek was in Radiohead fans' lexicon since the release of "In Rainbows".

(Look at the cover art.)

You'll have to help me out on this one.  :confused:

My download didn't come with cover art, and I'm crap at lyrics.

There was an official cover/booklet in pdf.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2e/In_Rainbows_Official_Cover.jpg

So what exactly is going on? Not sure what the connection is between "roadgeek" and this album cover (though I do like the album cover regardless).
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: MikeTheActuary on May 10, 2017, 12:02:47 AM
So what exactly is going on? Not sure what the connection is between "roadgeek" and this album cover (though I do like the album cover regardless).

The font.  It's Roadgeek 2007 Mittelschrift (an attempted clone of a German highway sign font).
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: formulanone on May 10, 2017, 12:16:48 AM
So what exactly is going on? Not sure what the connection is between "roadgeek" and this album cover (though I do like the album cover regardless).

The font.  It's Roadgeek 2007 Mittelschrift (an attempted clone of a German highway sign font).

Interesting...I would have just pegged it for a Arial/Helvetica or something in the "basic" sans-serif font family.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: kurumi on May 10, 2017, 12:27:38 AM
This is blowing up now: Spin, NME, Reddit bestof... Mapmikey basically doxxed a freeway interchange, but for good instead of evil.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: kphoger on May 10, 2017, 12:45:33 PM
When should we expect Mapmikey to be canonized?
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: bing101 on May 10, 2017, 08:30:53 PM
http://www.avclub.com/article/people-have-discovered-real-highway-cover-ok-compu-255094?utm_content=Main&utm_campaign=SF&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing

And now av club has an article on this.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 11, 2017, 04:08:42 PM
I have figured it out...

I-84 EB at I-91 in Hartford...

https://goo.gl/maps/ML8XSqJ56RD2

Nicely done!

I have been through  there a few times, but not enough to be able to make an identification like that.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: formulanone on May 11, 2017, 04:15:45 PM
Mental Floss (http://mentalfloss.com/article/500824/fans-discover-mystery-highway-cover-radiohead%E2%80%99s-ok-computer) has also published a similar article.

Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: jakeroot on May 11, 2017, 05:18:34 PM
Mental Floss (http://mentalfloss.com/article/500824/fans-discover-mystery-highway-cover-radiohead%E2%80%99s-ok-computer) has also published a similar article.

I like the fact that mapmikey's original comment has gone from "The middle BGS has a two word control city" to "The middle BGS [Big Green Sign] has a two word control city" to "the [green sign in the middle] has a two word control city". "Roadgeek" might now be in the public lexicon, but "BGS" certainly isn't.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: froggie on May 12, 2017, 09:44:49 AM
BGS is also a misnomer.  Most roadgeeks use it, but it's also not proper terminology.
Title: Re: Can anyone identify this mystery interchange?
Post by: kphoger on May 12, 2017, 11:52:15 AM
BGS is also a misnomer.  Most roadgeeks use it, but it's also not proper terminology.

Correct.  Most engineers I've talked to have never heard of "BGS," even ones who design them.