Nine Eyes of Google Jon Rafman snapshots project from Google Street View cars that go globetrotting (Images)

The Nine Eyes of Google is Canadian artist Jon Rafman’s project that brings forth a range of snapshots that are perfect postcard material but at first glance would seem unrelated. Truth is they’re bound very close to each other despite varying subject matter and global locations as these images were captured when Google mapped the world for Street View.

The shots have been taken from the nine cameras mounted on vehicles that traversed far and wide to make Google Street View a reality. This split second images are too many to list and include a crowd gathering around an accident spot in Mexico. Then there’s a blazing camper van in Brazil. The truly global backdrop includes a snapshot of what appears to be a body at the back of a pick-up and there’s also a lone naked woman poised at the edge of the sea.

Images from Google’s cars mapping the world include 4 Mexicans posing in animal masks on the outskirts of Nacozari De Garcia, a young boy hiding beside a bin Blaru, northern France. While Google’s cars mapped the world, there’s also an image of an elderly gentleman on Rue Valette Street in Pompertuzat, who’s seen twice in the shot. The effect is a result of 9 cameras mounted on the car taking an image simultaneously. The Nine eyes of Google rely on ‘nine cameras mounted on a single pole atop’ Google cars that traveled the world photographing everything that came their way.

The Google cars shot a frame every 10 to 20 metres with each shot being a split second feature as a vehicle went by. Jon Rafman in his essay on the Nine eyes of Google project which is published on art blog Art Fag City discusses ‘postcard-perfect shots that capture “the decisive moment” in the same way a photojournalist responds to an event’. He added, ‘Within the panoramas, I can locate images of gritty urban life reminiscent of hard-boiled American street photography. Or, if I prefer, I can find images of rural Americana that recall photography during the depression.’ The artist strated the project back in 2008, and is updated regularly.