NY Artist Molly Dilworth Seeks Fame Through Painting In Google Earth/Maps

by Chris Silver Smith

The Atlantic reported this past week on how one artist in New York, Molly Dilworth has been working to get her rooftop mural paintings picked up by the satellite imagery so that they may appear in Google Earth and Google Maps.

Rooftop Mural at 547 W 27th St, New York, NY, by Molly Dilworth

Rooftop Mural at 547 W 27th St, New York, NY, by Molly Dilworth. © Gil Blank 2009

The article reports how long the lagtime is between when the satellite and aerial photos in Google Earth are updated, and how she’s found it challenging to make the paintings visible enough to be seen in them. It appears to me that she’s progressively made the images with higher resolutions as she experiments with the medium.

As you may recall, I’ve reported on Earth Art that may appear in Google Maps as well as various attempts people have made to get messages and ads into the satellite pictures. Rooftop ads seem to come and go periodically — I suspect roof painting companies could sell these more effectively if the images in maps were refreshed more frequently and if their quality were more dependable.

See also the Awesome Things To See in Google Maps and Corn Mazes Appearing In Google Maps.

Long Beach Arena Roof Mural by Wyland

Long Beach Arena Roof Mural by Wyland

Molly Dilworth isn’t the first artist to attempt to exploit the instant audience which may be found in Google Earth and other online mapping systems. An artist in Vancouver previously worked to get “Where’s Waldo” into Google Earth and an artist painted a mural on the roof of the Long Beach Arena in California for Earth Day, with the intention of it being visible from space as well as via Google Maps. I expect we’ll continue to see variations on these rooftop picture communications themes over time.


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