ASCII Street View was actually the juxtaposition of another project. The goal of that project was to liberate an iconic digital artform from behind the screen glass, in this case ASCII Art, and have it exist in a physical space. This resulted in an installation where an artist could paint projection mapped ASCII brush strokes on a physical canvas. Once we completed that project, it was natural to try the opposite - viewing physical space through the lens of purely digital artform. There's no better online representation of the physical world than Google Street View. It was a perfect fit.

Launch the campaign
Published
January 2013
Topics

The Story

ASCII Street View was actually the juxtaposition of another project. The goal of that project was to liberate an iconic digital artform from behind the screen glass, in this case ASCII Art, and have it exist in a physical space. This resulted in an installation where an artist could paint projection mapped ASCII brush strokes on a physical canvas. Once we completed that project, it was natural to try the opposite - viewing physical space through the lens of purely digital artform. There's no better online representation of the physical world than Google Street View. It was a perfect fit.

Transforming images into text is often a slow, juddery process. But with powerful new tools – thanks to WebGL and three.js – the construction of our painting project was relatively painless and fast.

The Technology

The Results

The most common response to visiting the site is "I'm in The Matrix". To us, that's the most significant sign that we hit our goal. The site was picked up by most major technology and digital art publications, gained heavy traffic, and even resulted in a client win.

40

total cups of coffee drunk

10

total hours of missed sleep

2

team members working on this project

Launch Date July 30, 2012