This Brooding Cityscape Is What Google Maps Dreamt About Last Night

It’s hard to be anything but grateful for our infinitely convenient mobile map apps, which can direct us through even the complex public transportation systems of cities we’ve never even visited before. But is it horrible to say–they’re all a bit dull?

A new project by Patricio Gonzalez Vivo remaps the world through the lens of the mathematical artist Ryoji Ikeda.

It’s a somewhat esoteric tribute for sure, reskinning the open-sourced maps offered by Mapzen with a the perceived artistic sensibilities of one creative’s work. But the oddworld mashup is stunning all the same. In urban areas, the 3-D topographical map becomes a city that never sleeps, shrouded in mysterious black, but with every office window light left on. The effect is sort of like mixing sharp CAD renders with the black and white landscapes of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. But zoom out, and the map flattens like a laser-cut pattern of the U.S., sliced in white, red, and black.

And this atlas-level view, coming at your eyes in maximum contrast, isn’t just gorgeous, it’s actually extremely legible. If you’re anything like me, it will leave you wishing that you could run Google and Apple Maps through this filter, if only to feel a bit more inspired on your commute to work.

[H/T: Prosthetic Knowledge]