Wonderful Engineering

Here Are Some Google Earth Glitches That Are Too Funny To Ignore

Google Earth is an amazing feature of Google that you can spend countless time playing with. However, as it turns out, Google Earth features some funny glitches that you might be able to catch and have a laugh about.

As to why this happens, Google Earth makes the images by making use of texture mapping. This is a process where a 2D image is laid out on to a 3D picture and that’s where the ‘art’ happens!

Here’s a more detailed description of what’s going on in these images. 3D images in Google Earth are created by making use of a process known as texture mapping. It was developed by Ed Catmull back in the 1970’s. A texture map that is a flat image is applied onto the surface of a 3D model. Just like you would apply a label on a can. Textures are usually used for representing surfaces that feature little depth of field. They are supposed to mimic the surface properties of any object. In other words, you see through a photograph whereas you look at the texture.

Google Earth’s textures are filled with detail and are basically pictures that we look through. This creates glitches because the images when stretched over the 3D topography of the Earth, become distorted. The system Google uses for this mapping is known as The Universal Texture and like any other system, it is not error free. Hope you enjoyed these glitches as much as we did!