John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A Google Maps mod invites you to be a kid again.
Ever wish you lived in the Lego universe, a place of infinite possibility and no suffering (mainly because everybody's smiles are painted on)? Fire up Brick Street View, then, and transform your city into the children's toy set, complete with blocky vehicles and plastic flora.
The whimsical take on Google Maps was created by Stockholm's Einar Öberg (the same dude who made that enchanted Urban Jungle Street View). There are two ways to explore it. You can move around a bird's-eye-view map to see blocks of bumpy baseplates, shiny trees, and national landmarks like the Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower. Or you can drag and drop your denim-clad guide to obtain street-level views, which introduce various Lego artifacts like police cars, dead-eyed figurines, and fried egg-looking flowers.
Here are a few of the scenes I encountered during my brief sojourn in Legoville. This is Times Square:
Seattle’s Space Needle:
H/t Maps Mania