Posts Tagged ‘optical illusions’

Pavement Patty Speed Control

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I saw this on MSNBC last week, and I thought it was clever. “Pavement Patty” is an anamorph image painted onto the street. As you drive up to it, the image of the child and the ball are designed in a perspective distortion that causes it to pop out, making it seem as though a child chasing a ball has just dashed out into the street in front of you:

Pavement Patty

Anamorphs or anamorphic projections are optical illusions that have been around since the Renaissance.

Using an anamorph in this way is innovative, although I’m not entirely convinced that painting optical illusions out in the street is a good idea. If a driver glances at the street before them, glances away, and then looks up and sees a child abruptly in front of them, they’re more likely to swerve, causing a real accident in an effort to avoid a false one.

To really see the effect, watch the video.

Google Maps Has Fixed The “Escher Effect”

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

A recent quick review shows that Google Maps has cleaned up the “Escher Effect” seen in Satellite view. The Escher Effect is caused when two separate aerial or satellite pics are taken of different sections/plots of a city, and then stitched together to form a continuous composite picture. Each pic is taken from a different angle, so the taller building pictures are taken from different perspectives, causing them to appear to lean toward or away from each other.

Escher Effect of the Empire State Building, New York, NY

Escher Effect of the Empire State Building

The “Escher Effect” is named after the famous Dutch artist, M. C. Escher, who was particularly known for illustrations using optical illusions that often involved perspective and side effects from how perspective is perceived.

When Google Maps introduced satellite and aerial photos, there was a lot of the Escher Effect going on. (more…)