Earth Art with Google Maps

When we look at maps or satellite pictures, we usually have a pretty good idea of how our world looks and what it should look like. And what we see on pictures of the Earth from outer space echoes our understanding of this by showing forests, mountains or fields. Familiar stuff. But the planet is vast, and so is the array of satellite pictures from obscure and scarcely visited corners of our world—and all of them can be found on Google Maps, if you look the right places. And so I did, and I collected the 19 abstruse satellite views found below.

Move your mouse over any map to see the location.

Don’t worry—you can scroll through the page freely without accidentally zooming.

“Earth Art” is about showing beautiful natural art from above by looking at incredibly unusual landscapes in places with extreme climate. And, because of technology, you don’t even have to leave your seat. But unlike GoogleSightseeing.com, this isn’t only for the obscurity: it’s for the art.

So follow me to where there’s no Street View and enjoy the abstract art of nature seen from above!

Update, April 22nd: Want more? As a celebration of Earth Day, there’s a brand new set of 37 Earth Art satellite images out: Earth Art pt. II!

69 comments

Atro wrote at March 13th, 2010, 11:53 PM

You're missing Australia and Africa. But Canada and Alaska are really well represented, I must say.

Andy Graulund wrote at March 14th, 2010, 1:03 AM

Yep—there's a lot of unexplored places left. I'm definitely going to do this again some other time.

hellen wrote at March 14th, 2010, 6:51 PM

is that your photo? :wow:

we want to see more!

Andy Graulund wrote at March 14th, 2010, 8:57 PM

No, no, these are not my photos.

They are satellite photos taken straight from Google Maps, the online maps web app. I just explore the map a lot and find a lot of remote places that look really cool.

hellen wrote at March 14th, 2010, 9:00 PM

i wasn't talking about those

i was talking about the tiny photo next to your name

i know you from dA, but never seen any photos of you :D

Nyssa wrote at March 14th, 2010, 6:11 PM

Nice collection there, Andy. Would like to see some more! :)

Payam wrote at March 14th, 2010, 7:32 PM

This is awesome! I can't wait to see more places :D

eli wrote at March 17th, 2010, 3:51 AM

This is lovely! But do the Everglades please!

Maarten wrote at March 17th, 2010, 2:57 PM

A nice example of Satellite art! Read more on Satellite art (Satart) here: http://satartmovement.blogspot.com/

Lukas wrote at March 17th, 2010, 9:27 PM

canada is the shit im proud of where i come from eh! hahaha….love the space

fred wrote at March 17th, 2010, 9:56 PM

Hey, I just stumbled thru here… cool selection! What is the font for the header where it says earth art?
Could you drop me a mail for that? Cheers

Andy Graulund wrote at March 18th, 2010, 9:57 AM

Hi Fred, thanks! The typeface is Bistro Script Web, as found on Typekit here.

facu wrote at March 18th, 2010, 12:00 AM

Very Cool, Good Work! Thanks for share it.

Lucy wrote at March 19th, 2010, 4:51 AM

This is really cool and beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing it with us! I can't wait to see more. Makes me wanna do yet another long hour filled google maps time

procrastinator wrote at March 19th, 2010, 7:51 AM

wow! Are you sure those aren't manipulated on photoshop? i think i can detect some stamp-cloning there.

Bruce M. Sauter wrote at March 19th, 2010, 11:11 PM

It's all in the perspective…thx for the great view.

James wrote at March 21st, 2010, 12:43 AM

Andy, when will you stop being so *awesome*?!

nikia wrote at March 21st, 2010, 1:35 AM

This is really amazing, so beautiful!!!!! You could see God's creative hand. Thanks for these spectature pictures.

miguel wrote at March 21st, 2010, 11:59 AM

anyone's gonna say "FRACTAL" before involving on it the Allmighty :-)?

Jamie wrote at March 21st, 2010, 2:21 PM

You can use this script to generate arbitrarily detailed maps:

http://www.jportsmouth.com/code/Stitch/stitch.html

Vasca wrote at March 22nd, 2010, 1:35 AM

Wonderful pictures, cannot argue with the master plan.

Thanks

Patrick wrote at March 22nd, 2010, 5:17 PM

Very cool.

I wonder, though, is the rust colored splotch on the first Yukon River picture some sort of man-made pillage? It doesn't look natural.

Thanks for sharing.

Andy Graulund wrote at March 28th, 2010, 11:55 AM

I think it's simply a slightly false-colour image. But it does look cool regardless!

Dian wrote at March 22nd, 2010, 5:24 PM

Andy, I'm no artist. But how could I capture these and generate my own photos?
Thanks!
— Di

Andy Graulund wrote at March 28th, 2010, 11:52 AM

Hi Dian!

Go to Google Maps, turn on satellite view and zoom in on some interesting area. Then click the "Link" button in the top right.

HaroldFredShort wrote at March 22nd, 2010, 6:20 PM

Try the salt ponds around the southern end of the San Francisco bay:
http://maps.google.com/?ll=37.496193,-122.196293&spn=0.010266,0.024462&t=h&z=16

HaroldFredShort wrote at March 22nd, 2010, 6:22 PM

The link above only got part of the address, copy the whole URL into your browser.

Andy Graulund wrote at March 28th, 2010, 11:57 AM

Indeed, that's a very interesting place too; especially considering its proximity to the highly modern and civilised buildings in that area.

And, the bug in the link parsing has been fixed, and so now your link works. :)

Julia Ireland wrote at March 23rd, 2010, 10:27 AM

Brilliant Andy, thanks v.much for sharing this, I love to look out of the aeroplane window at the world but invariably clouds and wings obscure the view! This is way better, the patterns and shapes you've highlighted here are amazing to look at, there is so much out there to see, stuff you ordinarily wouldn't, spectacular…more please!

Dee wrote at March 24th, 2010, 1:02 AM

The first one, of Sakha, Northern Russia, reminds me of the Gustav Klimt painting "The Kiss."

marylin wrote at March 25th, 2010, 2:55 AM

oe,,,,que flojos,,,,asi cualquiera hace arte

que viva el google maps

firma…marylin de puerto rico

carl wrote at April 1st, 2010, 1:20 PM

Really amazing, We've all used Google maps but missed seeing it from your perspective. Brilliant.

Sandro Amorim wrote at April 10th, 2010, 11:07 PM

Great idea! Beautiful!!!

fish wrote at April 12th, 2010, 1:34 AM

honestly I feel spoiled right now to be able to enjoy some of the most beautiful "earth art" with no effort whats o ever.

greg wrote at April 16th, 2010, 10:57 PM

wow- I love how in some images you can see how the earth surface gets stretched and scarred

jim wrote at April 16th, 2010, 11:59 PM

wow…i want to work at google.

Doug Arnold wrote at April 17th, 2010, 2:13 AM

Do you have the Everglades?

Thanks,
Doug

Andy Graulund wrote at April 19th, 2010, 4:40 PM

Hi Doug,

Photos from that area are indeed comin' up when the next "Earth Art" blog post is out! ;)

gata wrote at May 10th, 2010, 6:42 PM

You indeed have a very high artistic souls, I'm impressed with your brilliant idea, to manipulate images of the earth

Essay wrote at June 16th, 2010, 9:34 AM

OMG, it is really just amazing! I've never saw before anything like this. I think, Andy, you should make a patent for this kind of art :) And I'd like to have such wallpapers! Maybe I'll try to get it :) Thanks!

silver wrote at July 26th, 2010, 5:35 PM

I'm amazed at how geological images can look so organic, as if they are slices of organic matter under a microscope. Very interesting, thanks.

custom essays wrote at July 29th, 2010, 7:12 AM

Excellent service provided by GoogleMaps where ever you are you may locate the place you want to visit with few mouse click.

poker tables and chairs wrote at August 4th, 2010, 10:49 PM

What a place, it looks like a pictures from other planet.

partoba wrote at August 13th, 2010, 1:13 PM

You are really damn genius in art. How could you do turning satellite images into "paintings"?
Awesome!

camp program wrote at August 14th, 2010, 8:54 AM

Thanks for sharing such beautiful paintings of your on Google Maps.

Beautiful Earth wrote at August 26th, 2010, 3:08 PM

wow. Also am using this application. But where were those locations :D
Great work.

funny videos wrote at September 6th, 2010, 2:16 AM

Nice work Andy , pictures are really beautiful. Have you tried carribean, australia, indian ocean, srilanka , rain forests. Interesting work andy , keep it up.

xbox wrote at September 18th, 2010, 5:24 PM

WOW. So beautiful pictures , whole lot of them. It is a shame that we cannot see other planets through satellites, at least for the public. I am sure Andy you would have you hands full if that was the case. Good work , keep it up.
John

Watch Films Online wrote at September 30th, 2010, 1:49 AM

These pictures are simply breathtaking.
Thanks!

fort worth web design wrote at October 1st, 2010, 1:49 AM

This is such a wonderful site. Creativity and Presentation is really there.

Chexsystems wrote at October 3rd, 2010, 4:46 PM

Great art. It inspires emotion. Some pics are beautiful - some are a little frightening. I wouldn't want to wake up too a couple of those pics!

Tax Liens wrote at October 3rd, 2010, 4:50 PM

I would love to print out the fifth to last pic for my apartment!

frases celebres wrote at October 5th, 2010, 9:06 PM

Really amazing, We’ve all used Google maps but missed seeing it from your perspective. Brilliant.

antique auctions wrote at October 14th, 2010, 3:47 PM

Wow so beautiful! I love geographic images though.

admission essays wrote at November 16th, 2010, 8:12 PM

Yeah, I do agree with you. Though without knowing the topic and article one may think that this is not a geographical images but a stream in modern art. Nice work.

buy beats wrote at November 8th, 2010, 8:19 PM

absoultely fantastic pictures! I also liked the design of your blog, dark is beautiful!

pandora bracelets wrote at November 10th, 2010, 9:04 AM

I would like to see thumbnails in the mini posts

die bauchmuskel-bibel wrote at November 13th, 2010, 3:13 PM

amazing pics man. just imagine what remote planets would have to offer.

instant cash loan till payday wrote at November 17th, 2010, 8:04 PM

Hey,

Its wonderful. I haven't seen these places before. Still there are many places to explore.

Embroidered shirts wrote at November 23rd, 2010, 8:24 AM

It is a great technique adopted by Google to take a view of earth with the help of satellite. It is a great work done by Google. Really a marvelous and admire work.

Criminal Defense Attorney Minneapolis wrote at November 25th, 2010, 7:47 AM

Wow! It is wonderful. I have never seen yet this before. How great God is? He create this beautiful things.

I will explore this in Google Earth.

easy payday loans wrote at November 25th, 2010, 2:48 PM

Thats… Amazing…What look like pale yellow paint streaks slashing through a mosaic of mottled colors are ridges of wind-blown sand that make up Erg Iguidi, an area of ever-shifting sand dunes extending from Algeria into Mauritania in northwestern Africa. Erg Iguidi is one of several Saharan ergs, or sand seas

Essayweb wrote at December 10th, 2010, 12:19 PM

Nice view for the first time in my life i can see maps like this THANKS for sharing.

Shoot me a mention on Twitter if you want to comment on this post. Cheers!

pongsocket

Pongsocket is the visual blog and creative outlet by 23-year old Andy Graulund from Copenhagen, Denmark.

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