March 20, 2008

Photoshopping Paris with Google maps

I'm sure you all remember the time when you discovered the wonders of google satellite maps and further on, google earth, how the detail on some of the cities was unbelievable but still with its limitations and somewhat bland colors.But I guess the lack of color detail is probably excused by all the distance to that satellite so it wasn't too bothering.

I recently discovered how great Microsoft's live maps are with this new feature called bird's eye view (you need to use IE and install some activex contol to see that but it's worth it). It actually allows you to see a decent view of streets and buildings because the shots are taken from planes rather than satellites. Away goes that flat uninteresting view of rooftop antennas (for Bucharest and Romanian city viewers in particular) and holes in the road (again Romania, but thank God that level of detail is not so good as to see those - one can only infer their existence from above an experience them while driving, from ground level). You can now see beautiful, high res images of building facades, streets, etc. For Europe try Lisbon and some Italian cities.

But this is not what I actually had to write about. As i was looking at a standard satellite view of Paris on live maps, I noticed it had a considerably higher quality and level of detail than what I was used to see before on google maps (haven't been using that recently). So I thought of making a comparison to check if it's just me or it actually looks better on live maps.

Not a small surprise it was when I noticed that actually the google version looked much better, waaaaay too much better, so good it had to be ... heavily photoshopped.... just take a look yourselves:
Or, maybe it was that day of the year when they put chloride in the Seine and planes spray the trees bright, almost fluorescent green, the special day of the year when Google satellite goes photo-shooting Paris. And because Microsoft is not so well set with the Paris officials, this is what came up on their live maps:
I guess the photoshop fairy hasn't visited this MS maps in some time. To me this looks much more realistic, the google one is just hilariously processed, I mean, comeooon.

Everybody knows how Paris is beautiful, but to have this kind of aggressive subliminal touristic campaign on g-maps? Well, I'd just say consumerism has gone one step too far. Can you imagine hordes of american tourists living the drama of their lives when they see that the crystal clear pool-blue Seine looks just like the heavily polluted river crossing their home town? And then, what happens to all the French, Parisian charm?

I've also found the photoshop paris border line, so here it is:

This place could become a tourist attraction itself. Can you imagine everybody trying to cross the line to have a more colorful life?


Sim said...

chiar ca e un contrast destul de mare :) interesant...

Ovline said...

Damn!I really trusted those maps. What's the next stop, road works and antena removing?