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Wonderful, Weird and NSFW Google Maps

February 22, 2012 at 1:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

There are a lot of people doing a lot of direct technological innovation with Google Maps. As a matter of strict "what are they adding to the service," Google engineers have recently loaded on maps of airports and even maps of malls and maps of the London Underground.

People who don't work for Google are also innovating with the application, including adding it as a built-in feature in new travel apps apps.

Then there's this other group of people—for the sake of convenience, let's call them hipsters—who are finding uses for Google Maps that are a little more artsy. 9-Eyes.com is a collection of weird, wonderful, strange, and occasionally NSFW images. The site is a project of Montreal artist Jon Rafman (Flickr; Twitter; Facebook; see the kind of comprehensive coverage you get here at Jaunted?). There are other projects linked from his main page, including this one titled "Kool-Aid Man in Second Life." It's exactly what it sounds like.

As for 9-Eyes.com, the images are compelling for a whole host of reasons. Some of them are just straightforwardly weird, while others go so far as to border on the artistic. There's an entire class of images that are visual artifacts of the way Google compiles data—doubled images, stretched images, distorted images—that one could, if one was pretentious enough, spin as almost a new aesthetic. Here's a delightfully weird photos to get you started, and here's one of the doubled images. It's not easy to stop scrolling, once you get started.

The hat-tip on this one goes to Guardian Travel desk web producer Benji Lanyado, whose Twitter stream is quite the list of travel tips.

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