On Google Maps, literally

by Suw on January 30, 2007

What more fun could one have on a hot*, sunny, Sebastopol day than making giant space invaders to be photographed by the Google photographers as they fly over the campus? Not much, I'd say.
Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to FooCamp and, whilst we were there, word had it that Google were going to be taking photos of the campus for their maps. So Tom Coates, Cal Henderson, Simon Willison, Paul Hammond, Chris Heathcote, Matt Biddulph and I put together a set of Space Invaders, oriented to the north (we hope) so that when it is displayed in Google Maps it'll look like the Space Invaders are actually playing in your browser.
I spent weeks last year, after I got back from FooCamp, randomly checking Google Maps to see if they had uploaded the images from their flyby, but no, nothing. Eventually, I gave up, assuming they'd been unable to capture a good enough image. But lo! News from Tom is that they have indeed got some cool images, and that they will be going live on Google Maps, Google Earth, etc., some time during February! How cool is that?

See those blobs? One of those blobs is me! It's hard to tell which one, exactly, but I'm definitely there.
And if you look at the the full-sized image, and zoom in on the O'Reilly lawn, you'll see the volleyball net as a thin line top to bottom. At the top right of that line you'll see a grey two-man** tent, with a beige one to its right and a blue one below that. That's my tent! Well, strictly speaking, it's Kev's tent, but hell, it's still exciting to think that the place where I froze my ass off on the first night (and was saved from freezing my ass of on the second night by the kindness of Stewart Butterfield who lent me a spare sleeping bag) should end up on Google Maps.
I'm so excited!
* Hot, when the sun was out and you weren't in the shade, anyways.
** If they are very slender and very friendly men.

Anonymous January 30, 2007 at 11:38 pm

Yeah, I followed the link from plasticbag.org; myself and my techie friend were especially impressed with the SpaceArt… Infact I wrote about it (http://screen-burn.neuropirate.com/serendipity/index.php?/archives/258-Space-Art.html) a couple of days ago.
Good job on creating something which will hopefully inspire a number of other interesting projects…!

Anonymous January 31, 2007 at 8:30 am

I saw this picture on Alice's Wonderland a little while back, but I didn't realise you were one of those responsible. I supposed I might have guessed though…

Anonymous February 1, 2007 at 11:20 pm

This could make for a fantastic ARG!
(er, unless it is already and I am just being really thick)
Congrats btw! :0)

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