The internet has fallen head over hulls for the Ever Given, the container ship whose massive length blocked the Suez Canal for six days last week. Salvage crews have finally managed to free the vessel, but the memes are still flowing online—thanks in part to Boston Public Library (BPL) staff member Garrett Dash Nelson’s Ever Given Ever Ywhere app, which lets you virtually wedge the enormous boat in a location of your choosing.
“People love to localize a national story, something that’s become totally familiar,” Nelson, a curator at BPL’s Leventhal Map & Education Center, told Boston.com. “They love to see it in their own world.”
The app lets you click around a satellite view of the globe to see the Ever Given situated in a variety of settings; you can resize and rotate the ship to ensure it’s perfectly positioned to block your neighborhood, workplace, or favorite world landmark. On Twitter, Nelson and followers have used the tool to wedge the vessel in sports stadiums, theme parks, and Las Vegas resorts.
The possibilities are truly endless. Boat jokes aside, Nelson sees the meme’s popularity as reflecting a greater truth. “It gives a kind of comic reality to this abstract thing, which is world trade and globalization. We all know that we live in a globalized economy pulled by these really incredible forces that stretch across geography,” he told Boston.com. “It can be hard to fully grasp, but then a big old piece of metal gets wedged in a canal. It’s a striking reminder that frictionless global geography is still built on real material circumstances.”
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