• 06.09.14

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.

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]

About the author

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering art and design. Follow her on Twitter.