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Nanogenmo 2020

November is Nanogenmo, or National Novel Generation Month, a cheeky variant on the more well known Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that during the month of November, you write code that produces a 50,000 word novel.

Most of the “novels” produced are of course unreadable. But it’s a great opportunity to play with natural language processing tools, and to try to produce something that is at least interesting or amusing. The challenge has been run annually since 2013, and there have been some really remarkable entries.

My contribution this year consists of driving directions from Google Maps, where the itinerary follows the mentions of U.S. place names from Mark Twain novels. The idea is that you can follow the fictional travels of Twain’s characters, while mostly sticking to today’s U.S. interstate system. Tedious to read, but a somewhat unusual way to experience Mark Twain.

I invite you to take a look at the many oddities from past Nanogenmos!

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