Picture of the Day: The People of Google Earth

By Rebecca J. Rosen

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San Francisco artist Jenny Odell is working on a series featuring places on Google Earth with everything but the people removed. She explains, "Given the current limitations of resolution on Google Earth, I can only use imagery from the handful of places where angled imagery is available at the most zoomed-in level. The angle reveals each person's shadow, which is often the only thing that identifies a particular shape as a person at all. Occasionally we may see a leg thrust out in the act of walking; there are suggestions of tennis-playing movements. Otherwise the people exist on the very limit of the recognizable, dissolved into pixels." Above, Dolores Park in San Francisco. The small line of people at the image's center is the queue for the restrooms.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: Jenny Odell.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/12/picture-of-the-day-the-people-of-google-earth/249907/