Use This Map to Find the Best of Slow TV From Around the World

Illustration for article titled Use This Map to Find the Best of Slow TV From Around the World

Photo: Nick Fox (Shutterstock)

We’re living at a time when the news cycle moves so quickly, that what would previously have been major stories are swiftly pushed to the side to make room for the next piece of breaking news. (Although between a global pandemic, a new presidential administration, and the upcoming impeachment trial of the former president following that time he incited an insurrection, there genuinely is a lot going on.)

Though everyone has their favorite relaxing strategy, some have found that tuning into some “slow TV” can be particularly calming—especially in situations when you’re just looking for something to stick on in the background while you work or read. But if you’re not sure where to find it, you’re going to want to bookmark the Slow TV Map. Here’s what that is and how it works.

Slow TV 101

So, what’s “slow TV”? Here’s how Alan Henry described it in a 2016 Lifehacker article:

Things like long train rides through the countryside, relaxing views of canal rides, crackling fireplaces, quiet video of people knitting, and so on. They’re all things you can put on in the background while you work, focus, or just relax…The airing of a completely ordinary event from start to finish.

According to Recomendo—where we found out about the Slow TV Map—the long-form genre was officially born in 2009, when the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation aired an uninterrupted seven-hour train journey.

How to use the map

The Slow TV Map works exactly how you think it would: It’s a map of the world that allows users to zoom in on a region and select different slow TV videos that were filmed in that location.

There’s also a filter at the top of the map so you can search for videos filmed on different modes of transportation, like boats, trains, airplanes and bicycles. You can also select the duration of the video: from 30 minutes to more than 10 hours. Examples include a bike ride through the Julian Alps of Slovenia, a drive on the coastal highway in Turkey, and a sailing trip to Borneo.

Though the map bills itself as “a relaxing virtual trip,” this isn’t one of those situations where you have to use your finger or mouse to click around the inside of a museum or the different parts of a landmark. These are simply videos to put on in the background to enjoy—no additional effort required.

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