Just in time for Radiohead’s 20th anniversary of OK Computer's release, Reddit user Jordan117 might have just figured out where the record’s cover photo was taken—and the way he did it is seriously impressive.
Take a peek into his sleuthing below!
In his search, he was curious just as other fans about where this artwork originated, and after seeing a map released from the OK Computer-era, he saw an opportunity to figure out exactly where this image was taken:
It doesn't show that much more, but you can tell that the area is urban, hilly, and probably American going by the signage and right-driving traffic. Unfortunately you can't quite read the lettering, but hopefully it was enough for an expert to make use of. So I headed off to the forums at AARoads.com, a haven for “roadgeeks” who love discussing interstates, construction, road trips, etc.
I feared the question was hopelessly obscure, but in just six hours I had my answer, courtesy of poster Mapmikey: the eastbound junction of I-84 (a.k.a. the Yankee Expressway) with I-91 in Hartford, Connecticut, just before it crosses the Connecticut River.
And Mapmikey explains that it only took 10 or so minutes to figure out the location—a seriously impressive feat.
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…
Even though he clarifies that he has never seen the album cover before:
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…
And once he had Mapmikey’s response, Jordan117 shared links to the location via Google Maps, and suddenly it all makes sense. We give mad props for this sleuthing, and if we have any other Google Maps-related inquiries, we’ll be sure to go to Mapmikey first.
Radiohead are celebrating the 20th anniversary of OK Computer with a special reissue. The archival set, OKNOTOK, is set for a June release. Check out the album artwork and track listing here!
What are your thoughts on the discovery? Let us know in the comments below!