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A Google Street View for Gorgeous Painted Landscapes

The “Mobile Cyclorama” app pays digital homage to the art of panoramas.

The mystery of what lies beyond the frame of a painting is arguably what makes its content so exciting. But artists have long tried to transcend the boundaries of the medium. Eighteenth-century English artist Robert Barker, for example, painted “cycloramas”—huge panoramas of London on cylindrical surfaces.

Mexican artist Raúl Moyado Sandoval has now created an app using Google Maps technology that brings cycloramas into the 21st century. With “Mobile Cyclorama,” users can virtually walk around his paintings of streets and landscapes, just the way they experience streets in far-off places on Google Street View.

Take this quiet street scene. You can turn around toward the source of the light and find that it’s a street lamp:

Or you could look up at the sky…

Essentially the app enables you to step inside his imagination and take a tour. “Google Street View is making a record of the world through the medium of photography,” Sandoval told Mexico's National Council for Culture and the Arts in an interview in Spanish. “I'm making a record of my inner world through painting.”

Check Sandoval’s other Google Street View paintings here.

About the Author

  • Tanvi Misra
    Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering demographics, inequality, and urban culture. She previously contributed to NPR's Code Switch blog and BBC's online news magazine.