Have you ever explored Google Maps and thought, “That hillside looks a lot like a face?” Known as pareidolia, the phenomena allows humans—for better or worse—to pick out shapes and structures that resemble other shapes and structures. That’s why clouds always look like animals, and small country homes look like they’re watching you.
A company has actually started a new project called Google Faces, which uses OpenFrameworks technology to spot smirking mugs throughout Google Maps. Quite the strange initiative to undertake, but one that apparently Berlin-based design studio Onformative felt was necessary. All in the name of progress.
The unique application created by Onformative crawls Google Maps using facial recognition algorithms. So, every time a potential candidate is spotted, the app beams data back, which is then checked over. Once the software crawls a particular area, it simply moves on to a different area of our world and continues its search.
Onformative says on its project page the software will crawl the Earth over the upcoming months, and admits many of the images aren’t usable or don’t show any recognizable faces. But the gallery provided above shows what the app is capable of. And also how weird/cool the Earth’s varied terrain is. Onformative said it was inspired by previous satellite images that showed off unexpected faces.