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The City as Urban Whirlpool

A new Google map hack lets you create wild, trippy images of your favorite city streets 

City dwellers have a tendency to think that the whole world revolves around their respective cities. While New Yorkers are correct in the assumption (just kidding!), a new Google Maps hack allows you to access Streetview through a trippy panoramic fisheye lens, turning your favorite city street into a microcosmic earth or an immersive urban whirlpool. The hack uses data from Streetview to create stereographic images that either wrap a stretch of road into a planetary ball or conversely explode Streetview outwards, creating swirling vortexes of urban fabric. Prosthetic Knowledge gave an italicized warning about how this is “probably the best way to waste your day,” and boy were they right. Two hours after exploring planet Kyoto, I took my final screenshots of a spherical Las Vegas Strip.

Kyoto, Japan

Visiting the Colosseum

The San Francisco Swirl (future ice cream flavor?)

Hong Kong

Paris, France

Paris, Las Vegas

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

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