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Google Earth Screenshots Reveal Our Planet's Beautiful, Pattern-Like Designs

An artist virtually flies the globe via Google Earth, capturing its most eye-popping aerial views along the way.

  • <p>In <a href="http://earthpatterns.tumblr.com/" target="_blank"> Earth Patterns</a>, designer Lauren Manning acts as a kind of curator, scouring thousands of miles of Google Earth's satellite images for the most striking examples of nature’s patterns.</p>
  • <p>“When I first got my iPad, I realized I had no idea what to actually use it for,” Manning writes in her artist statement.</p>
  • <p>“I watched some Netflix, played Draw Something (but it felt like cheating on a big screen) and then discovered that Google Maps looked really cool on a retina display.”</p>
  • <p>She became an expert screengrabber, proving that as an artist, Google Earth puts the abstract expressionists to shame.</p>
  • <p>Whether it's the aptly-named sequin farms of Saudi Arabia, boats speckling a Spanish harbor like aquatic constellations, or squiggly networks of rivers in Northern Russia, these images plumb the aesthetic potential of a technology first developed for the CIA.</p>
  • 01 /20
    | Huelva, Spain 37.400902,-6.801896

    In Earth Patterns, designer Lauren Manning acts as a kind of curator, scouring thousands of miles of Google Earth's satellite images for the most striking examples of nature’s patterns.

  • 02 /20
    | Huelva, Spain 37.243448, -7.283292

    “When I first got my iPad, I realized I had no idea what to actually use it for,” Manning writes in her artist statement.

  • 03 /20
    | Guayaquil, Ecuador -2.348379,-79.867913

    “I watched some Netflix, played Draw Something (but it felt like cheating on a big screen) and then discovered that Google Maps looked really cool on a retina display.”

  • 04 /20
    | Parts Unknown

    She became an expert screengrabber, proving that as an artist, Google Earth puts the abstract expressionists to shame.

  • 05 /20
    | Sequin farms Al Jawf, Saudia Arabia, 30.382210,38.519508

    Whether it's the aptly-named sequin farms of Saudi Arabia, boats speckling a Spanish harbor like aquatic constellations, or squiggly networks of rivers in Northern Russia, these images plumb the aesthetic potential of a technology first developed for the CIA.

  • 06 /20
    | Texas Gulf Potash Pond, Monticello, Utah 38.474758,-109.681363
  • 07 /20
    | Ashoro-Gun, Hokkaido, Japan 43.389113,144.015741
  • 08 /20
    | Iran 30.524935,48.241890
  • 09 /20
    | 52% Al Jawf, Saudi Arabia 30.257029,38.315665
  • 10 /20
    | Austbo, Norway 65.843361,12.209230
  • 11 /20
    | Bering Sea, United States 65.827814,-169.006312
  • 12 /20
    | Iran 30.565301,48.250238
  • 13 /20
    | Añelo, Neuquén, Argentina -38.358888,-68.803983
  • 14 /20
    | Province of Kamchatka, Russia 51.781578,157.631233
  • 15 /20
    | Kau Nature Reserve Conservation Reserve, Wittenoom Hills WA, Australia -33.459802,122.270408
  • 16 /20
    | Kau Nature Reserve Conservation Reserve, Wittenoom Hills WA, Australia -33.459802,122.270408
  • 17 /20
    | Portimão, Portugal 37.146293,-8.529732
  • 18 /20
    | Huelva, Spain 37.215753,-7.381525
  • 19 /20
    | Huelva, Spain 37.400902,-6.801896
  • 20 /20
    | Central Borneo, Indonesia, -2.085011,114.626198

If you’ve never spend time virtually globetrotting on Google Earth, make it your next procrastination outlet—it’s usually a lot more awe-inspiring than Facebook. But for those of us who don’t have time for digital travels, there’s Earth Patterns, in which designer Lauren Manning acts as a kind of curator, scouring thousands of miles of Google Earth's satellite images for the most striking examples of nature’s patterns.

"When I first got my iPad, I realized I had no idea what to actually use it for," Manning writes in her artist statement. "I watched some Netflix, played Draw Something (but it felt like cheating on a big screen) and then discovered that Google Maps looked really cool on a retina display." She became an expert screengrabber, proving that as an artist, Google Earth puts the abstract expressionists to shame. Whether it's the aptly-named sequin farms of Saudi Arabia, boats speckling a Spanish harbor like aquatic constellations, or squiggly networks of rivers in Northern Russia, these images plumb the aesthetic potential of a technology first developed for the CIA. Marvel away!

[h/t Swissmiss]