(Failing to) Find the Olympic Flame Online

Yesterday, I went out on Rue St-Denis to see the Olympic Flame pass by for the second time in my life, and I hope to see it again at some point. I also hope that next time it will be much easier to find out where to go to find the flame.

The 106-day torch relay for the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver is a big deal here in Canada. It is on the news every day and is travelling 45,000 kilometres making a great loop around the country. Right now, with the games approaching but not right on our doorstep, the torch relay is the most important part of the olympics to me, probably to many Canadians. However, when I went looking on vancouver2010.com to see where I could find the torch I was thoroughly confused. It is easy to find out about every sport that will be played in 63 days time, but learn about the torch relay happening right now I had to dive deep into a pop-down menu, then take a guess at which icon would lead me to a map or description of the torch route.

These are the choices I had:

Which icon gets us to a map of the torch route?
Which icon gets us to a map of the torch route?

And this is the right choice:

Apparently this means "Map"
Apparently this means "Map"

The map should have been simple to read, after all, it’s a map with a route drawn on it. Just zoom in to see what’s going on near you. Well, good luck, when you zoom in too much the route disappears! It turns out that you have to choose your “community” then you can see a detailed map of what’s happening in that community. I’m not sure why this is, and it’s quite confusing. Once you’ve got your community selected, you may have to select different routes in your community, (the relay is less like a relay around the country and more like a travelling roadshow with some stops where people get out and run than I had thought), and you can see what time the flame will be in different places, in the HTC timezone, whatever that is.

I hear the games are over budget, but it would be a wise investment to put a direct link on the vancouver2010.com homepage to the map. There are lots of links to videos of previous days, and in truth they do sometimes link the Latest News block on the page to the map, but for me, when I went to the site, I was looking for a more permanent link to the torch relay information. After all, the torch relay is on for 6 times as many days as the games themselves.

I was lucky, I found where the torch would be, and was there at the right time, (for me HTC was Eastern Standard Time, but I don’t know if it is everywhere, maybe it just means Local Time). I hope everyone else who is looking for the map can find it.

In case you’re having trouble, here’s a link to the map.

And here is the torch, (I didn’t have a camera with me, so this is from Flickr:
The Torch in Montreal