If you’re ever in Hamburg, Germany, be sure to join the million annual visitors who stop by Miniatur Wunderland, the largest continuous train set in the world. The huge train set fills several large rooms and contains over 8 miles of tracks that move 900 trains through themed dioramas of cities and other locations around the world like Scandinavia, Hamburg, Bavaria, and Switzerland. If you can’t make it Hamburg, here’s the next best thing: Google just photographed the entire thing and shared it on Google Street View so you can explore it from the perspective of a teeny tiny person.
Google recorded 9 areas of the Miniatur Wunderland system from multiple angles, and you can drop in just like on Google Maps and explore everything at a 360° angle. Watch the video below to get a better sense of how this whole thing is setup. (via Visual News)
Earth View is a giant collection of 1,500 curated images that represent the most striking images found through Google Earth. You can can click or swipe randomly through the far flung reaches of the planet as captured from satellites as captured from the world. All the images are available as wallpaper images for mobile and desktop, and they even have a Chrome app that loads a random image for each new tab. See also: Aerial Wallpapers. (thnx, Xavier!)
Google’s Street View, made possible by their custom-designed panoramic camera, has become the eyes of streets large and small in almost every major city. So it makes perfect sense that they’re now pointing their panoramic lenses to the walls around the world by adding street art to their portfolio. Earlier this week Google announced the launch of their Street Art Project, a new initiative to document and preserve the often transient nature of street art. The project launched with over 5,000 high resolution images including work that no longer exists, like the 5Pointz murals in Long Island City or the walls of the Tour Paris 13. (via Laughing Squid)
The folks over at Teehan+Lax have just released a new tool (you’ll need Google Chrome and a pretty kickin’ internet connection) that lets you scrape public data from Google Street View to create sweeping hyperlapse videos. What’s a hyperlapse? Via Teehan+Lax:
Hyper-lapse photography—a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest—has been a growing trend on video sites. It’s not hard to find stunning examples on Vimeo. Creating them requires precision and many hours stitching together photos taken from carefully mapped locations. We aimed at making the process simpler by using Google Street View as an aid, but quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material. It worked so well, we decided to design a very usable UI around our engine and release Google Street View Hyperlapse.
The team turned their new UI over to one of their motion designers, Jonas, who made the stunning clip above. Incredible. Some other great examples of art made with Google Street View: Address is Approximate and this clip from Giacomo Miceli. (via it’s nice that)
I’m Google (direct link) is an ongoing digital art project by Baltimore artist Dina Kelberman that documents digital patterns through non-artistic photography found on Google Image Search. When I first started scrolling through her Tumblr I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at: frame after frame of airplanes pouring orange fire retardant on fires which slowly morphed into an orange kayak and then an orange bridge and on and on until I realized every single image shared a slight visual characteristic with the image before it. Via her artist statement:
I’m Google is an ongoing tumblr blog in which batches of images and videos that I cull from the internet are compiled into a long stream-of-consciousness. The batches move seamlessly from one subject to the next based on similarities in form, composition, color, and theme. [… ] I feel that my experience wandering through Google Image Search and YouTube hunting for obscure information and encountering unexpected results is a very common one. My blog serves as a visual representation of this phenomenon. This ability to endlessly drift from one topic to the next is the inherently fascinating quality that makes the internet so amazing.
I cannot urge you strongly enough to spend a few minutes scrolling through this impeccably curated collection of seemingly mundane photography that collectively creates something visually transcendent. (thnx, sara k!)
So it really is a series of tubes. For the first time ever Google has posted dozens of rare photographs inside and around its data centers revealing the absurd level of organization, energy and design that goes into powering some of the largest, most powerful systems plugged into the internet. My absolute favorite aspect is the color-coordinated design of their infrastructure as it correlates to the Google logo. What wonderful attention to detail. See many more photos of their eight data centers and Street View imagery of their Lenoir, NC data center at Where the Internet Lives. All photos by Connie Zhou.