Google Faces: Running Earth Through Facial Recognition

May 21, 2013 | Andy Cush

This is one of those projects whose premise basically speaks for itself. A group of digital artists developed a program that runs Google’s satellite images of Earth through facial recognition software, finding the faces that are hidden on the planet’s landscape. Watch the brilliant software at work below, and see some of its findings in the gallery.

The artists, dubbed Onformative, explain:

Our Facetracker already circumnavigated the world a couple of times and astonished us with quite versatile results. As it continues to travel the world within the upcoming months, it continuously zooms into the earth. This process decreases the step-size for each iteration and therefore increases the amount of images and travel time exponentially. Some of the detected images aren’t usable at all, as we are not able to recognize any face-like patterns within the detected images. Other satellite images, on the other hand, inspired our imagination in a tremendous, yet funny way. However the search goes on, as our diligent robot continuous (sic) investigation.