A digital road trip

25.04.2013, 09:01
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Tower blocks nearing completion "...pupae, cocooned in security netting" alongside Avenida Aricanduva. ©2013 Google Maps

Inspired by Edge City, the architectural photographer Ludwig Abache has recreated Justin McGuirk’s journey around São Paulo through a series of Google Streetview images.

Abache wrote to us, saying: “I became absorbed by the writing and found it so detailed that I believed to be able to mirror [his] drive using Streetview.”

The result is uncannily accurate, in many cases tracing the writer’s route down the very same streets and past specific houses and points of interest. It’s an incredible visual representation of the journey, a cinematic road trip made up of stills from Google’s bottomless archive.

“It was fun,” says Abache. “In fact I took many conscious detours because I wanted to see more of each neighbourhood. Using Streetview in an intense way like this is quite an experience, and having completed the tour makes me feel that I have been in the city.”

Abache created a map of locations, which you can find here, and a fantastic screenshot gallery of over 130 images on his own site here. These are a rich accompaniment to the text, and we can’t thank him enough!

São Mateus social housing blocks. ©2013 Google Maps

Drainage systems and rubbish collection are still needed in Paraisopolis. In the background the luxury residential towers with pools on each balcony. ©2013 Google Maps

“HOPE”, a billboard adjacent to a prison on the periphery. ©2013 Google Maps