Google Maps goes postal

Art director Akos Papp creates amazing vintage postcards using Google Maps imagery.

Thought postcards had gone the way of the dinosaur?

New York-based art director Akos Papp trawls aerial views in Google Maps to find inspiration for his vintage-looking virtual postcards.

(Credit: Akos Papp)

A month ago, Papp started to "fly around" the world on Google Maps, and kept track of interesting places around the globe. Using Photoshop, he looked at vintage postcards for inspiration and recreated the feel with a range of aerial images, posting them to his Tumblr, called Postcards From Above.

"I like places that have a bit of a retro, or retro-futuristic atmosphere architecture-wise, and that's what I try to enhance with the post-production, as well," he says. "I grew up in Hungary, where the 60s and 70s left a huge mark on our architecture, so that probably inspires me a lot".

(Credit: Akos Papp)

Papp's postcards aren't the only artistic use of Google imagery out there. Lone figures caught on Street View have been printed and applied to surfaces where the original photo was taken. Photographer Michael Wolf takes photos of Street View scenes on a computer screen, and has won an honourable mention in the World Press Photo competition for his work.

The postcards are much more nostalgic than these other artworks, though. "Since the topic is heavily connected to travel, I thought "sending out" postcards would be a great way to [share with others]. Also, I think there's something interesting in combining old-fashioned postcards and photos that were taken from outer space."

(Credit: Akos Papp)

At the moment, Papp just treats his creations as a hobby, but is drawing favourable attention from others around the world. "I'd love to print them. I guess there might be some copyright issues with Google, but there's maybe a chance for some kind of collaboration with them ... apparently, others enjoy looking at them as well, so why not make something bigger?"