Artist Creates A Real Where's Waldo Adventure For Online Satellite Imagery

from the good-luck-finding-him dept

A few years back, a bunch of publications ran misleading stories claiming that the department store Target was trying to make use of tools like Google Maps/Google Earth that used satellite imagery to advertise on their rooftops. That wasn't the case at all. The image of a Target rooftop in question was near an airport, and there are a number of stores that have painted large advertisements on their rooftops for passengers in landing airplanes to spot. However, the concept has inspired some artistic thinking. Reader Joseph B writes in to tell us about how one artist has now purposely hidden a rather large image of Waldo of "Where's Waldo" fame on an unidentified rooftop in Vancouver. The real trick, though, is figuring out not just where this Waldo is, but when he'll actually show up in Google Earth. Of course, this whole thing has ticked off folks who are upset with the suggestion that it's somehow Google taking all of these satellite photos (no, Google doesn't own a satellite... yet), rather than 3rd parties who license the photos to a bunch of companies. In the meantime, while this is a bit silly, it's kind of cool to see people thinking about different ways to create artwork, display it and interact with it, thanks to new technologies like Google Earth.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2008 @ 10:36pm

    The downside to the new media . . .

    More people sharing and creating news means more stupid people sharing and creating news.



    The ticked off link is a perfect example. Aside from people making comments/decisions on things they are completely ignorant on (my boss comes to mind, or media stories about technology in general, or the US Government . . .) you get people who are whining that so and so doesn't get recognition for doing "all the work" on a powerful service for free because they wanted to in their spare time.

    Guess what? What you do in your SPARE TIME is what you do FOR FUN. You don't see people EXPECTING to be rewarded for building and painting Warhammer miniatures by Games Workshop, don't EXPECT people to care if you do whatever on Google Earth.

    Google Earth is a pretty handy tool and it makes some things more versatile. That said, I've used it maybe twice. It's nice to have, but its rather specialized so it isn't really a big "care meter" of any kind.


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  • identicon
    Anne, 15 Apr 2008 @ 12:15am

    Oy Vey

    We as Westerners are a people with far too much time on our hands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jake, 15 Apr 2008 @ 4:21am

    Not Totally New

    Some BBC technology program did this a while back with a Space Invader Sprite in a field.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Not Really Satellite, 15 Apr 2008 @ 6:46am

    Just a point of clarification... The "satellite" imagery in Google Maps that is high enough resolution to find Waldo or a rooftop advertisement actually comes from airplanes, not a satellite. Most of the aerial photography they use for the US comes from USGS- or state-funded orthoimagery projects. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthophoto

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jezsik, 15 Apr 2008 @ 7:51am

    This reminds me ...

    A couple of years ago I was flying into a large northern US airport, possibly Milwaukee. On a commercial building rooftop was a large, hand-painted, sign. It read "Welcome to Cleveland1" or some other city. After a few moments of confusion I had a good laugh. I wonder how many people, looking out the window, saw that sign and had a minor panic attack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dane Bramage, 19 Apr 2008 @ 4:41pm

    Found the rooftop

    I live in Vancouver, and found the rooftop.

    Just waiting for Waldo to show up on Google Earth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adventure Ardennen, 4 Feb 2009 @ 11:27pm

    Adventure Ardennen

    Junior Travels is een uitstekende buitensportorganisatie die al ruim 25 jaar ervaring heeft in het organiseren van reizen voor scholen en groepen. Wij organiseren met veel succes survivalkampen, werkweken, survivalweekenden en dagen vol spannende buitensportactiviteiten in de Ardennen, Zuid Frankrijk en Oostenrijk.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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