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Trippy Google Earth Animation Shows Patterns Humans Make Around the World


Viewed from above, so much of the world is made of patterns. In Ireland-based artist Páraic McGloughlin’s video “Arena,” he imagines swaths of land seen from Google Earth as a frenetic flipbook that shows how these patterns repeat themselves around the globe.

Roads track across the screen in perfect alignment and whole suburban housing developments expand and contract. To create the stop-motion movement of the landscapes where each of these features flows into the next, McGloughlin had to meticulously pick each frame from Google Earth.

“It was quite a monotonous process of searching for specific images,” McGloughlin told photography blog PetaPixel. “The animation itself was relatively easy, but the searching took time!”

McGloughlin isn’t the first artist to be inspired by Google Earth—others have turned its glitches and slices of humanity seen through the eyes of the Street View car into works of art. Google’s earth-viewing systems are, after all, just an elegant algorithm attempting to capture life on earth.

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