Ever wondered how Google Earth creates its images? It uses a process called texture mapping, pioneered in animation and video game technology, to overlay a flat satellite image over a 3-D terrain map. If you think of how a flat label is wrapped around a soda bottle, you've got the right idea.
Most of the time, this works well, but there's a glitch every now and then. The result is a crazy distortion of the landscape as 2-D and 3-D worlds collide. Brooklyn artist Clement Valla documents these surreal screw-ups on his website. Fortunately, Google Earth corrects them promptly, but these fleeting landscapes sure are fun.
1. Caution: Dip in Road
2. Use caution going up and down on the bridge.
3. I know the Golden Gate bridge is meant to have a little sway in the wind, but this is a bit much.
4. More “ribbon” bridges.
5. Mind-bending superhighway.
6. This one almost looks like a piece of modern art.
7. Yield to cars merging from the fourth dimension.
9. The highway is lightly draped over the trees.
10. This must be one of those “accident reduction” areas.
11. Some seriously low-hanging bridges.
12. Well, it’s one way to cross a muddy river.
13. Hope your tires have good traction for this bridge.
14. When’s the last time you had your brakes checked?
15. It’s either the most dangerous highway bridge or the most thrilling waterslide.
16. Things get a little topsy-turvy here.
17. Please, let flattened drivers pass on the left.
18. We’ll just take a little detour into this rocky precipice.
Credit: ViralNova | Postcards From Google Earth