Coder Takes Portions Of Google Maps, Turns Them Into Colorful Pieces of Abstract Art


The world is a kaleidoscope of colors, but sometimes, we can't help but see nothing but the drab grays and browns of city life.

However, one programmer gives us a whole new way to look at the world through kaleidoscope glasses with new pieces of computer-generated art he was able to create using code he took from the Google Maps API.

Boston-based coder Shawn Utter has created a website that displays random portions of Google Maps washed in different brilliant hues, turning what could have been an otherwise grayish, brownish and moss greenish picture into an interesting piece of colorful modern art.

Each picture is taken from one of 26 predetermined cities which Utter has not disclosed, and each of them painted in vivid colors outlining the roads and highways, houses and buildings, coastal areas and boundaries, mountains and other topographical features that make them pop out from the screen.

The art created by Utter is called generative art, which is art that is created automatically with the help of computer code and infused with visual effects using, in this case, an application of random colors and levels of saturation.

Generative art is not without its critics, who say it is not as "real" as art created solely by human hands. However, Utter's creation is as fascinating as any other piece of modern, abstract art can be.

His website, Random Google Maps displays all of these creations in one place, but one piece only has four seconds before the screen fades into another work of art.

It "generates a random map every four seconds," Utter says. "Each element of the map is a random color and is randomly turned on or off. The geographic location is randomly chosen from 26 predetermined cities and the zoom level is random."

Google has caught wind of the website and is officially stamping its seal of approval with a tweet.

Check out some of the random art pieces generated from Google Maps.

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