Skip

Global Warming?
March 7, 2011 7:45 PM   Subscribe

Clement Valla uses Google Earth to zoom in on bridges and roads in a way which makes them appear warped.
The images are screenshots from Google Earth with basic color adjustments and cropping. I am collecting these new typologies as a means of conservation – as Google Earth improves its 3D models, its terrain, and its satellite imagery, these strange, surrealist depictions of our built environment and its relation to the natural landscape will disappear in favor of better illusionistic imagery. However, I think these strange mappings of the 2-dimensional and the 3-dimensional provide us with fabulous forms that are purely the result of algorithmic processes and not of human aesthetic decision making.
posted by gman (21 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Salvador Dali, the melting bridges.
posted by andykapahala at 8:12 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I saw Salvador Dali too, but my first thought was that the Coyote should be sproining back up at any moment.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:15 PM on March 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I find the assumption that this will be fixed kind of odd. This error is pervasive throughout Google Earth – it results from using terrain data to build the 3D mesh, then placing the satellite photos on it as a texture. Fixing it would require 3D meshes for every object that stands off the ground, from trees to buildings to bridges. That is unlikely to happen soon, at least with any degree of accuracy.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:32 PM on March 7, 2011


Fixing it would require 3D meshes for every object that stands off the ground

Fixing it for everything, yes.
But the Golden Gate Bridge, for instance, is a pretty obvious starting point. They've already corrected the mappings to basically every building in NYC.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:38 PM on March 7, 2011


But the Golden Gate Bridge, for instance, is a pretty obvious starting point. They've already corrected the mappings to basically every building in NYC.

I don't have Google Earth handy here, but I'm pretty sure the golden gate bridge should be 3D by now if you turn on the 3D buildings layer. Boring bridges here in Portland have 3D models. But you may still see the screwup underneath it instead of just water. They'll need to airbrush that out or something.
posted by floam at 9:00 PM on March 7, 2011


That is cool.
posted by rtha at 9:06 PM on March 7, 2011


I just looked at the GG Bridge and it is both 3D and still weirdly fucked up. Below the 3D rendering of the bridge is the road as if it ran on under the water - it makes the bridge look like some sort of surrealist double-decker bridge. It's very cool.
posted by rtha at 9:12 PM on March 7, 2011


Pretty  neat !!!!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 9:48 PM on March 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Pfft.. Those aren't warped bridges. This is.
posted by crunchland at 9:53 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since we don't need to pay for bridge upkeep anymore (you know, because taxes are theft), this is literally how they look now.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:55 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am collecting this plate of beans as a means of conservation -- as Chef Boyardee improves his facsimile of food, these strange bits of protein, floating in a primordial soup of unknown provenance, will disappear in favor a closer approximation of something you would want to eat. However, I think this stuff is pretty tasty.
posted by sanko at 10:22 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you poke around the rest of Valla's site, you'll see that he's doing some very interesting things with Amazon's Mechanical Turk, paying people small amounts of money to create bits and pieces that he combines into a finished work.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:32 PM on March 7, 2011


So, shortly after August 1, I noticed this in Google Earth, and loled hard. Then I felt really bad.
posted by cthuljew at 11:39 PM on March 7, 2011


At some point, they'll use their road data to alter their terrain maps. It's hard though if you think about it, because what do you render underneath the bridge? Going from a height map to a system that can even handle the concept of "underneath" is hard.
posted by effugas at 12:29 AM on March 8, 2011


crunchland: "Pfft.. Those aren't warped bridges. This is "

Pfft ... this is.
posted by bwg at 1:03 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh, looks like screenshots from Sim City.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:02 AM on March 8, 2011


I am collecting this plate of beans as a means of conservation -- as Chef Boyardee improves his facsimile of food, these strange bits of protein, floating in a primordial soup of unknown provenance, will disappear in favor a closer approximation of something you would want to eat. However, I think this stuff is pretty tasty.

see: Daniel Spoerri
posted by oulipian at 4:33 AM on March 8, 2011


Bummer, server is 503 hosed..
posted by k5.user at 6:52 AM on March 8, 2011


If you've never looked at Venice in Google Maps 45 degree view, I suggest you do so now.
posted by Acey at 11:24 AM on March 8, 2011


I don't even know how to adequately express how stupid this is.
posted by General Tonic at 2:18 PM on March 8, 2011


Venice in Google Maps 45 degree view

Oh that is weird!
posted by sleevener at 2:18 PM on March 8, 2011


« Older Freedom from information   |   And You Thought Orwell Wrote Fiction Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post