It is truly amazing to see what technology has been able to bring us throughout the years. I remember as a little kid how I marveled over video games that sported the legendary 8-bit graphics and how far technology has come since then. When the Internet was first introduced to us, we started to interact beyond the borders of distance. Then all kinds of services started to spring up, and now we have almost become bionic in our approach to gadgets and technology. Google street view has been a huge leap forward when it comes to traveling and finding our way through the world. However, Google street view has changed, and now we are introduced to a more geeky way of viewing our maps, namely through the ASCII street view.
It’s a really amazing piece of technology that has recently started to pick up the pace. If you don’t know what ASCII art is, it’s the small graphical messages sometimes sent through social networking sites compiled by characters alone. The ASCII street view is exactly that. It is actually a conversion engine that takes the street view images from the Google API and then converts them into colorful and geeky ASCII images, in real time!
The ASCII street view conversion is coded by Peter Nitsch who was inspired to create this amazing application when he came across the Sol’s TextFX Library and started to tinker with it. The faster connection you have to the Internet, the cooler the effect will be. It’s quite slow since it does a heck of a lot of conversion at any given time, but the result is as impressive either way. I am sure we’ll see some improvements to this ASCII street view engine if this little project become popular. So far you can choose to view the images in color or in green which adds a little bit of speed to the engine. As a retro traveling fanatic, I have to admit that I am quite amazed by this awesome piece of code that Peter has put together and called ASCII street view. What’s next? Is there going to be a Matrix port of the Google street view maps as well? Is there one already perhaps? All I can say for now is that you should really head over to the ASCII street view engine and have a go. It’s quite amazing and amusing.
Peter Nitsch’s ASCII Street View Project