Google Escher Effect - Paris, France

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Stitching together satellite pix and aero pics of cities can result in situations like this where the different aerial vantage points result in buildings' pictures being taken at different angles. Once stitched together, the taller buildings at the edges of each of the pictures appear to be leaning toward or away from one another at pronounced angles.

This has come to be known as the "Escher Effect", named after M.C. Escher, an artist who made pictures sometimes with optical illusions inspired by contradictions in perspective. Escher's illustrations of structures with impossible angles had the exact same "feel" as the image above, and his topsy-turvey pictures are widely known.

Check out more of my Satellite Escher Effect pictures.

UPDATE 4/18/2010: Google Maps Has Fixed The Escher Effect.

stuad70, moondoggie71, Juan P Mars, and 23 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. kitchenkam 113 months ago | reply

    Ok, thanks. No I am dizzy. It is all your fault, and I will send you my therapy bill. ... Just kidding, of course. Cool shot.

  2. stuad70 111 months ago | reply

    Like PPL's comment's It's all a matter of perspective

  3. Daniel Newman/Quakerninja 97 months ago | reply

    You you be kind enough to share this with my fellow posters at
    It is an Mc Echer just for kicks challenge, no prize but you get to have people tell you how great you are.
    Wow To bad Escher didn't have google It would have been nice to see what he could come up with. Great Idea. Stop by anytime-Newman

  4. Pipe da Matta 94 months ago | reply

    very cool!!! Escher rules...

  5. chrstphre 89 months ago | reply

    i can't really imagine that a group of people hand stitches all these pictures together, but neither can i imagine how a computer could do it...

    Who/What/How is the stitching done...???

  6. Si1very 89 months ago | reply

    I've seen cases where Microsoft Earth mapping systems are likely able to automatically stitch such photos together, since they've associated 3-d representations onto the environment, and can thus tell when/where streets run behind buildings seen in photographs like this. Their system allows them to avoid the Escher Effect.

    I'm not sure how the stitching is done in cases like Google Maps. I'll be sure to ask a Google Engineer the next time I speak to one!

  7. akiko@flickr 51 months ago | reply

    interesting !

  8. jahan18 48 months ago | reply


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