Utter Genius: Abstract Art Created By Manipulating Google Maps Code


Have you ever looked at something mundane and thought of looking at it from a different angle? Do you have a fascination with Jackson Pollock’s work? Well then this may tickle your fancy.

Image taken from mashable.com
Image taken from mashable.com

Believe it or not, that image is an actual location in the world. Don’t believe me? Read on then.

Shaun Utter, a programmer based out of Boston has developed a website that generates random Google Maps images. Sounds normal right? But wait, there’s more. In addition to displaying said random maps, the site also assigns random color and zoom settings to the map, thus creating a rather beautiful and eye catching piece of abstract art.

The site makes use of the Google Maps API to pull its geographic material from 26 predetermined cities from around the world.

The only catch here though is that you have to be really quick in what you see as each image stays on screen for a grand duration of four seconds, after which another image will take its place.

In addition, as the lines and shapes of the maps at different sizes vary from roads and building grids which may look repetitive in design, to mountains and off-road terrain which look completely random, the images give off a certain vibe of originality,

This type of art is referred to as Generative art and is more or less art created through automated means. It is also seen as a take on human-created abstract art. In comparison though, Utter’s creation is proof that simple code can create hypnotic and magnificent visuals, even though they lack direct human inspiration.

Though they can’t compare to the likes of Picasso, a number of these generative art pieces are appearing in museums. You can check out Utter’s work here.




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