art made from google maps


Next week, D*S is launching a special limited-edition print project in select stores across the country, and while I’m SUPER psyched about how it turned out, I’m a tiny bit bummed that I couldn’t get one spread to come to life. After spending a few days in Miami at the Raleigh Hotel, I became obsessed with vintage pools. I hunted them down like crazy and planned to turn them into a pull-out illustration as part of our print project. Sadly, there weren’t enough pools as awesome as the Raleigh to make a full illustration, but it turns out another artist found a way to create something similar and even more beautiful.


While reading on NPR, I discovered a fantastic post on an artist using Google Earth images to create gorgeous digital collages. Jenny Odell created her “Satellite Collections” series by compiling images of pools (my favorites), airplanes, stadiums and waste ponds (among others). I love how these seemingly simple and everyday satellite images are elevated to something much more beautiful with Jenny’s keen eye for color and composition. I could stare at the pool image all day. If I never get to create my illustrated pool print, at least I can gaze at these blue collages. Click here to check out the original article on NPR and here to see Jenny’s work online. xo, grace

*Okay, I couldn’t let my pretty pools go, so I’m sharing my favorites after the jump. How amazing are those Florida and cat-shaped pools? Too bad they don’t exist anymore. Bummer.


Image above: The Raleigh Hotel pool


Image above: Florida pool at Cyprus Gardens


Image above: Jayne Mansfield’s old heart-shaped pool


Image above: The 50s-era cat-shaped pool at the Fontainebleau

  1. I LOVE the vintage pools! And Odell’s collages really are fabulous (especially the blue one), considering the joke here in Florida was that if you wanted to know which homes were in foreclosure, simply Google Map an area and look for the green pools!
    And as someone who ended up buying a short sale/foreclosure that came with a green, gator swamp, I can tell you those green pools look MUCH cooler in these collages!

  2. Karin says:

    You should check out the Hearst Castle pool in San Simeon, CA.

  3. Jen McGahan says:

    Here’s a tennis racket pool at World of Tennis in Lakeway, TX. http://pinterest.com/jenmcg/neighborhood-finds/

  4. Katie says:

    What a great idea! I’m loving that cat pool!!!

  5. Those pools are incredible, especially the Raleigh Hotel Pool. And Karin is right, the Hearst Castle pools are incredible!

  6. These vintage pools are awesome! I live in Miami so I am thinking of sneaking into the Raleigh hotel one day so I can check out that pool. The Google Maps art is also great – I love seeing art that comes from this everyday tool.

  7. Emily says:

    Jenny’s work is fantastic and mesmerizing in person, especially the black and white work. If you live in the Bay area be sure to keep an eye out for her!

  8. Marija says:

    awesome idea!!!
    I love the cat pool.

  9. Andrea says:

    Grace, there is a motel down the road from me “famous” for its guitar-shaped pool. I must admit, it is pretty cool – I remember desperately wanting to stay there when I was little: http://www.dukes.co.nz/

    Andrea x

  10. JT says:

    ditto on the hearst castle pools. oh how i dream of swimming…

  11. Cindy says:

    It is so great to see more attention paid to the various forms of art that are coming out google maps and terra server. My husband is a painter and has done some paintings of satellite images from these sources. Here is a link to one of the paintings: http://www.spraylux.com/palmquist_simi_1.html

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