|Posted by Author on April 7, 2014 at 9:25 PM|
Sometimes, the value and complexity of landscape designers' and gardeners' work is underestimated. The successful composition of an outdoor environment requires informed analysis, design, planning, and -- yes -- planting. Most real-estate developers, architects, and homeowners know a lush garden when they see one, but some forget that executing such a design requires more than simply "shrubbing it up."
Putting those thoughts aside for the purposes of this post, I would like to share a fun and whimsical way you can "shrub up" various real landscapes around the world. Introducing "Urban Jungle Street View," an animated visualization "hack" that lets you visit and reimagine any spot that https://www.google.com/maps/views/streetview?gl=us" target="_blank">Google Maps has photographed with their panoramic "Camera Cars."
Scroll down to see a variety of scenes that have been dramatically reinvented without even picking up a shovel:
Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia
River Street, Savannah, Georgia
Mojave Desert, Shoshone, California
Times Square, New York City, New York
At first glance, the imagery is surprisingly convincing, but the rendering style is not completely realistic. I have little familiarity with the computer programming that makes this automatic magic happen, but I will confess that the environments are a bit primitive when looked at too closely. The finer details, though are really all of that is beside the point, and I imagine the web developer would agree.
The added shrubs, grasses, vines, and trees are intentionally unruly and jungle-like. What is startling, though, is to see is how much richer and healthier each of these varied environments look with the addition of (even wild) vegetation. "Shrubbing it up" certainly does not sufficiently describe the undertaking of landscape design, but perhaps it is alright to accept the addition of lush vegetation as one of common, important components of our work.
Screenshots by Sam Valentine via Urban Jungle Street View