Virtual LEGO Blocks: Build with Chrome, Set on Google Maps

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[ By WebUrbanist in Gaming & Computing & Technology. ]

build with chrome page

Build with Chrome is the new, fast and simple model-maker in town, and this one lets you create structures faster than digital SketchUp or physical LEGOs ever could.

build lego google maps

Of course, this Chrome Experiment project would not be complete without Google Maps integration, allowing you to deploy your creations around the world and interact with others.

build lego online browser

Architecture seems the most obvious, but infrastructure, ships and other complex shapes are all ultimately possibilities as well.

build lego pirate ships

Like SketchUp (previously owned by Google), the tool set is relatively simple, except in this case the learning curve is even faster, making it possible for anyone to participate with ease.

build lego house architecture

Users can select blocks, change colors, rotate with a key click, drop them into place then keep on stacking, then save or reset at any time. From private estates to pirate ships, anything is possible.


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[ By WebUrbanist in Gaming & Computing & Technology. ]

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Extreme Street View: Google Employee Maps Deserted Island

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[ By WebUrbanist in Global & Urbex & Parkour. ]

street view battleship island

Street View has mapped much more than roads in its, but sending a lone urban explorer through the haunting multistory ruins of a remote island may be one of their riskiest geographic ventures yet.

street view abandoned island

street view japanese employee

Strapped with panoramic photography equipment, this video shows a lone Google employee crawling through rubble, scaling partially caved-in abandonments and standing on precarious roofs, all to document one of the most unique deserted cities on the globe.

street view urban exploration

Occupied for over a century, and briefly the world’s most densely-populated island, Gunkanjima, Japan (aka Hashima) is now one of the loneliest places on the planet.

street view overview aerial

street view island rooftop

A giant concrete wall surrounds the ship-shaped Battleship Island, giving it its nickname. At one point it was packed with an average of 1.4 residents per square meter of space, almost like an overcrowded sea vessel.

street view inside walking

street view building infiltration

Parts of the deserted island have since been reopened to the public, but Google secured special permission to go off the beaten path and pass through long-abandoned buildings that only intrepid infiltrators have seen in recent decades past.

street view ruin interior

street view routes paths

Thanks to their carefully mapping, virtual visitors (web viewers) can now tour the corroded corridors, crumbling stairs and uncertain roofs from a much safer distance, almost look a choose-your-own-adventure for urban explorers.


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Phonebloks Unlocked: Google Backs Modular Mobile Phone

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[ By WebUrbanist in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

animated-mobile-modular-pho

More than the sum of its parts, the conceptual swappable-piece mobile phone design that went viral but is now being backed by Google-owned Motorola and is suddenly much closer to becoming a reality. Instead of recycling your cell, imagine switching in new pieces as needed to customize, repair and upgrade the same device indefinitely.

modular device assembled disassembled

Dutch design student  Dave Hakkens set off a chain reaction when he released his initial concept video online featuring Phonebloks, a simple but powerful idea for future-proofing mobile phones and creating an open ecosystem around such devices.

modular upgradeable phone concept

Motorola, meanwhile, was already working on a free, open-hardware device (think: Android for physical objects) along similar lines, and have now teamed up with this suddenly-famous designer. Like app makers in the digital marketplace, developers of physical components can make their own puzzle-piece parts for the devices.

modular concept pieces parts

Thunderclap helped Hakkens reach a huge audience quickly, with fans lending their social reach to promote the idea. Engineers, technicians and designers around the world showed interest in Hakkens’ design immediately as he racked up tens of millions of video views. He then began shopping around for partners to work on the project.

modular kit of parts

For its part in the partnership, Motorola brings technological research, experimentation and expertise to the table. In turn, Hakkens has built a huge fan following, showing his ability as innovator, designer and marketer.

modular phone motorola google

modular mobile phone design

Project Ara, Motorola’s name for the overarching and ongoing project, will be deployed along the same lines as Google Glass to beta testers. The first Phonebloks will be released to a limited audience who will in turn provide suggestions and feedback on the devices.


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Google Maps-Inspired Birdhouse Guides Birds Home

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[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Google Maps Birdhouse 1

This little orange icon tells us just where we need to go on Google Maps – and now it shows birds where home is, too. Designer Shuchun Hsiao has created a series of birdhouses modeled after the Google Maps destination icon, and placed them all over urban locations in China.

Google Maps Birdhouse 2

The Google Birdhouse Project makes the iconic marker a navigational landmark for birds, and seeing them on walls will undoubtedly cause a few human double-takes.

Google Maps Birdhouse 3

Says the designer, “Google Map had created a remarkable landmark icon, showing the sites on its street views. To search for a landmark with online google map, we can scroll to zoom from the satellite, soon we’ll be able to wander on streets, virtually.”Google Maps Birdhouse 4

 

“Birds, have the most real experience of google map. Birds can fly through the city, through streets. A birdhouse becomes their destination as google map does.”


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[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

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Google Maps-Inspired Birdhouse Guides Birds Home

Bild

[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Google Maps Birdhouse 1

This little orange icon tells us just where we need to go on Google Maps – and now it shows birds where home is, too. Designer Shuchun Hsiao has created a series of birdhouses modeled after the Google Maps destination icon, and placed them all over urban locations in China.

Google Maps Birdhouse 2

The Google Birdhouse Project makes the iconic marker a navigational landmark for birds, and seeing them on walls will undoubtedly cause a few human double-takes.

Google Maps Birdhouse 3

Says the designer, “Google Map had created a remarkable landmark icon, showing the sites on its street views. To search for a landmark with online google map, we can scroll to zoom from the satellite, soon we’ll be able to wander on streets, virtually.”Google Maps Birdhouse 4

 

“Birds, have the most real experience of google map. Birds can fly through the city, through streets. A birdhouse becomes their destination as google map does.”


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Those red pins marking the city center on Google Maps become 20-foot-tall, real-life urban installations in the 'Maps' series by Aram Bartholl. Click Here to Read More »»


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[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

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