This is awesome: Patricio Gonzalez Vivo found a way to scrape Google Street View for its depth map data, then rebuilt the streets as ghostly spatial models in openFrameworks. The weird and flickering results, seen in the video above, are like a holograph dreaming of electric streets, with facades and sidewalks tuning in and out as if being tuned on shortwave radio.

As Gonzalez Vivo explains in the comments—responding to well-known digital artist and activist coder Kyle McDonald, of all people—"a depth image is base64 encoded (a zlib compressed) on the xml request," to which much surprise comes in return. "cuh-cuh-crazy that this data has been lurking in there all along!" Aaron Meyers replies.


Some screen-grabs illustrate the process. Let the reverse-engineered digital city-building begin! [Vimeo]