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Artist’s Project Hacks Google World View Images From The Ground Up

Public initiative wants to get the world to collaborate by creating colored "pixels" in locations that satellites are passing over.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on February 24, 2012.

A new collaborative art project ‘Be My Satellite‘ sets people missions to go out and leave their mark on corporate-owned satellite imagery. Utilizing publicly available information about where commercial satellites will be passing over, designer Bora Shin announces daily tasks that should enable people’s marks to be spotted and inadvertently documented from above.

The satellites that are being focused on for the project are the U.S. commercial satellites that distribute images to the public domain like Google, Yahoo and Bing. They are GeoEye-1, IKONOS, QuickBird, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2.

How To Leave Your Mark On Commercial Satellite Images

Shin’s attempt to build “geospatial literacy” uses the pixels that make up satellite images as a creative tool. The first mission, taking place in the Los Angeles County area, requires people to fill in 2 pixels (32″ x 16″) with anything in red from 09:32–9:38AM on Monday. These pixels should then be identifiable from the satellite images as distinctive marks. Participants need to document the scene where they are attempting to make their mark and submit it via email, Facebook or Twitter. It will then be posted on the website and marked on a map as a location where an image is expected to show up.

Be My Satellite

Thinking...