Google celebrated the 157th anniversary of Thailand’s first paved road, Charoen Krung Road, on Wednesday with a Google Doodle, a temporary alteration to the logo on its homepage.
Charoen Krung, or “Prosperous City” in Thai, was the first asphalt road in Bangkok. Construction began in 1862 and the road officially opened for travel on 17 March, 1864, marking a shift in the city’s urban landscape as transport shifted away from canal networks to paved routes on land. It was initially named Thanon Mai, or “New Road” before being renamed in 1868.
To help its users commemorate the road, Google has hyperlinked the Doodle to a page of search results for Charoen Krung Road. Going to google.com/doodles also allows users to read a brief summary of the road’s importance.
The doodle features a gif that flips between two pictures of Charoen Krung past and present. The first sepia-tinted image shows trams and horse carriages taking the road, and the other is a drawing of cars and street lamps in a modern colour palette.
The gif is framed in the shape of a typical Thai road name sign, with the artwork replacing the usual blue rectangle with the name of the road.
In addition to the doodle, Google Thailand has collaborated with Thai illustrator Pure Lokuttra to create a dreamlike postcard reimagining the Charoen Krung Road map. A list of 18 local stores, cafes, and restaurants – all partnered with Google – is listed at the back of the card, to stimulate the economy and generate income for SMEs in the area.
To see the doodle in motion and help celebrate the 157th anniversary of Thailand’s first road, please head onto www.google.com.