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Amazing, Addictive, and Creative Uses of Google Earth and Google Maps Amazing, Addictive, and Creative Uses of Google Earth and Google Maps

Amazing, Addictive, and Creative Uses of Google Earth and Google Maps

by Meghan Neal

June 24, 2013

Google Maps and Google Earth are pretty awesome on their own—you can see the whole world on your laptop in the comfort of your living room. But what's even more awesome is the myriad way artists and developers are using these tools to create games, videos and photo series that are a delight to the eye. Here are a few to check out.
Google Faces
You know when you look up at the clouds and see an animal, or a human face? The phenomenon is called Pareidolia, and Google Faces, a project by the design studio Onformative, shows that machines can experience it too. 
Developers created an algorithm to comb through Google Earth images and with facial recognition software, detect the hidden faces on Earth. It doesn't work every time, but they've found some stunning examples already.





Daniel Schwartz, a computer science student in Berlin, created the "juxtapose" project, a series of images taken from Google Maps, shown side by side, but in contrasting seasons and weather conditions.

"The images arise from glitches which are created automatically when Google Maps’ algorithm stitches images of updated photos with prior recorded ones together in a grid-like view," he writes on his website.



Post-apocalyptic Glitches

Peder Norrby, the founder of Trapcode, a computer technology R&D company in Sweden, also curates a series (check it out on Flickr) of images showing Google map glitches that look like the end of the world. 



Melting Bridges

In a similar realm, this awesome series by artist and programmer Clement Valla, shows glitches in Google Earth that make it look like bridges are melting.





This addictive game took the internet by storm when it first came out. Geoguessr drops you someplace in the world, via Google Maps, and you have to guess where you are. It then tells you how close, or far off, your guess was. An amazing way to explore the world.



Address is Approximate

Director Tom Jenkins made a stop-animation short called "Address is Approximate" using Google Street View. It features "a lonely desk toy longing for escape from the dark confines of the office, so he takes a cross country road trip to the Pacific Coast in the only way he can—using a toy car and Google Maps Street View." Check out the video below. 



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