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September 05, 2012

The Google Control-Z Machine: Lost Art

In another place I'm involved with a project to photograph Pittsburgh murals via bicycle. It's astounding how many murals, of such high quality, there are in Pittsburgh.

There's a lot of ways to find a mural. JRA (just riding around), Google, google maps, google images, the BikePgh folks have been very helpful. One mural has been impossible to find: Loud Silence, by Tarish Pipkin. Turns out, not only does Google offer your very own satellite imagery, it also offers time travel images.

If you go to Google Maps and place yourself in the intersection of Penn Avenue and North Fairmont Street, this is what you see: (click to embiggen in new window)


But if you Google-Walk a little bit uphill along N. Fairmont (toward the red-and-silver truck) and then look over your figurative shoulder, you see the ghosts of yesteryear:

"Loud Silence" by Tarish Pipkin, Penn Avenue and North Fairmont St. Click to embiggen in a new window.

I think that's very interesting. If Google (and people) survive long enough, it might be that legacy information is (at least) as profitable as realtime information.

It's a shame to have lost the mural, though.

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