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Russian Town Puts Giant Smiley On Google Maps

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the working-together dept.

Google 280

Toramir writes "Citizens of the Russian town Chelyabinsk calculated when the satellite, QuickBird, which takes images for Google Earth and Google Maps, would cross above their city and used people to make a giant smiley face. A rock concert on the main square attracted many people and everyone got a yellow cape. It looks like someone at Google was quicker than usual to put up the new data. Maybe Google likes the idea of an entire town working hard to get its 15 minutes of fame. The article has a screenshot of Google Maps and images taken directly at the event."

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You know what... (5, Funny)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147081)

In Soviet Russia, satellite smiles at you!

Re:You know what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147245)

Read comments below, and tag "hoax" and "fake" on this story. Maybe we'll get the tags to the front page together.

Where exactly? (0)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147097)

Anyone know the coordinates for this? The town is pretty big and it's kind of a pain to search the entire town for one smiley face on google maps.

Re:Where exactly? (5, Informative)

sivax (747900) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147137)

Re:Where exactly? (1)

igny (716218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147147)

Re:Where exactly? (1)

igny (716218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147197)

Re:Where exactly? (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147427)

For those who absolutely refused to read the article, here is an artist's impression

: )

Re:Where exactly? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147713)

Considering the illogical thing to gang up people on a street with traffic this seems to be a photochop.

But at least it's a good joke!

Re:Where exactly? (5, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147755)

A new breaktrough in loseless image compression, what really matters of that image in just 2 bytes.

Re:Where exactly? (3, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147159)

Here [google.com] is the spot in the screenshot. No smiley, though.

Re:Where exactly? (4, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147237)

Way to frown on the happy parade! :(

Re:Where exactly? (5, Interesting)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147389)

It's worth mentioning that if you zoom in on Google maps and compare the two pictures, it seems that the parked cars and traffic from outside of the immediate smiley area are exactly the same. It appears as if the smiley was photoshopped in or out of one of the pictures.

Hmmm.

Re:Where exactly? (2, Funny)

Wanado (908085) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147517)

It appears as if the smiley was photoshopped in or out of one of the pictures.

Yes, it appears as if the smiley may have been added to the image using Adobe Photoshop software. Adobe Trademark Use [adobe.com]

Re:Where exactly? (1)

robvangelder (472838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147177)

type Chelyabinsk into google maps. the marker is where they assembled, but I cant see the smiley yet.

Re:Where exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147183)

It's fake.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=tscheljabinsk+russia&ie=UTF8&ll=55.160187,61.402674&spn=0.002758,0.006534&t=h&z=18

Google will have to remove the pic (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147109)

or the copyright owners of the smiley face will issue a DMCA take down notice.

Whether that would really happen or not, the news has become so much like the Onion that I kind of expect asshattery like that.

Re:Google will have to remove the pic (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147357)

the copyright owners of the smiley face will issue a DMCA take down notice.

In Soviet Russia, smiley face owns copyright on DMCA!

In future Soviet USA, they skip take down notice. Instead send you straight to a DMCA Forced Work Camp in Alaska. Where you will transcribe entire works of Disney, by hand.

Where is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147115)

I just looked at Google maps, but the smiling face is nowhere to be found. Russian cover up?

Re:Where is it? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147127)

Not on maps.google.de (the screenshot is from the German google URL) either.

Re:Where is it? (4, Funny)

TobyRush (957946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147467)

No... wait... I see it! You kind of have to focus your eyes on a point behind the picture.

Please stop the images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147125)

They just look ugly. Seriously.

Re:Please stop the images (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147445)

: (

In soviet Russia.. (5, Funny)

278MorkandMindy (922498) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147131)

In soviet Russia, we know when the American satellites are coming!

Re:In soviet Russia.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147351)

You do not know when the toilet paper is coming!

Fake images (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147171)

You can see the search used in the image. Search for for 'Tscheljabinsk, russia' and zoom in. You can see that you end up in the same square, but there is no smiley there!

Also: cars were removed from the image close to the square, but they're in the same locations further away. Light hits the image from the same angle, which means same time and date difference from equinox).

Re:Fake images (5, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147243)

Furthermore the fake screenshot depicts the very exact same thing as the rooftop picture. What's more pathetic, that they actually did it but not for when Google would actually shoot (is there even any way to actually know that?) or that the Slashdot "editors" didn't even see that coming.

I guess that's Journalism 2.0, in which it's the user who does the editor's job of spotting the bullshit.

Re:Fake images (5, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147491)

I guess that's Journalism 2.0, in which it's the user who does the editor's job of spotting the bullshit.

Is this really a bad thing though? I first watched CNN during the first gulf war. They were kind of dumb, but they had people on the ground in Baghdad and those people stuck their cameras out of the window and sounded scared but enthusiastic. Every time there was a crisis they'd fly someone out there and broadcast anything cool they filmed. There wasn't much attempt at analysis, but it was still pretty interesting

Now when I watch CNN they seemed to have far more stuff back home. Every half our or so they run an advert for CNN "Eco Solutions" which is the opposite of journalism - they know the story before the leave the office and select reports that fit it. There are far more talking heads back in the studio repeating conventional wisdom from the US. Frankly this is boring - I don't care what middle class Americans believe is happening.

I'd much rather just see a stream of images from what is actually happening and make up my own mind. There less editorial control the better.

Re:Fake images (1)

John Sokol (109591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147709)

They could just have photo shopped it in.

Re:Fake images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147715)

Open source news. Everyone gets to fix the flaws.

Re:Fake images (4, Insightful)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147271)

Never mind the fact that they say they timed when the satellite would come over, but it's an aerial photo.

Also, they did a similar thing on James May's 20th Century, where he made a giant space invader to be captured on a satellite image.

URRS (1)

floatingrunner (621481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147175)

(united republics of the red star)

what? no red star?

can't seem to find it either. will check back again

ÐzÑÐнÑOE Ñ...& (5, Informative)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147187)

ÐÑо? ÐÑ Ð½Ð ÐонÐмÐÐÑÐ Ðо-ÑÑfÑÑÐÐ? ÑмоÑÑÐ Ð google ÐÐÑÐÐоÐ! ÐоРWow, seriously no cyrillic on slashdot? What is this the 90's?

It's a bad photoshop (5, Informative)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147191)

Compare these two:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_IeJHb-2CVGM/SNUFiyTlEHI/AAAAAAAAAIQ/shQMNh5h89o/s1600-h/smiley-1000.jpg [blogspot.com]
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=tscheljabinsk+russland&ie=UTF8&oe=utf-8&client=iceweasel-a&t=h&ll=55.160037,61.403425&spn=0.004793,0.011179&z=17 [google.com]

The cars on all the side streets and all the shadows are exactly the same. Someone just photoshoped out the cars on the main street and put in the smily. Nothing to see here.

Re:It's a bad photoshop (4, Insightful)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147263)

To be fair, since the other pictures look authentic, I'd say the meeting really happened. It's just that Google wasn't fast enough to record it. That shows you a limitation of Google :-) There are still a few things you can do without Google noticing right away.

Alain - fairsoftware.net

Re:It's a bad photoshop (3, Insightful)

darkonc (47285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147451)

Well, if it was overcast when they had the concert, it may be that they timed it right for the satellite overpass, but the clouds made it almost useless for google's purposes. They just didn't realize that they needed to coordinate according to both satellite overpass times and weather forcasts.

Nice try, though.

Re:It's a bad photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147323)

Also, the photos of the event clearly show an overcast sky.

This may have interfered with satellite optical photography.

Re:It's a bad photoshop (1)

tehfly (1129653) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147353)

true, it does look like a photoshop. A bit disappointing really, after it's been /.'ed and everything =(

Re:It's a bad photoshop (0, Flamebait)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147383)

Maybe they're all abandoned cars, the way Russia's economy is...

Re:It's a bad photoshop (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147459)

Also, the shadows in the event photos are nothing like the shadows in the Maps "screenshot".

Re:It's a bad photoshop (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147477)

One shadow that isn't the same is the shadow cast by the statue of Lenin(?). It should fall on the people on the bottom of the face, but it got photoshopped out, too.

Re:It's a GOOD photoshop (2, Insightful)

Myrcutio (1006333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147555)

correction: it's a good photoshop, because it fooled us enough to dig deeper. i think they succeeded in their prank marvelously.

Re:It's a GOOD photoshop (2, Informative)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147615)

correction: it's a good photoshop, because it fooled us enough to dig deeper. i think they succeeded in their prank marvelously.

Fooling a /. "editor" doesn't make it a good photoshop. It took me about a second to realize it was a hoax, and less than 30 more to look up the above link. I guess that was a bit too much effort for samzenpus.

Looks like the satellite image is a fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147205)

Notice that the satellite photo visible on google maps right now ( http://tinyurl.com/4su6t8 ) has a big empty area where the smiley should be, and it's not just a stale cache: the cars driving a block away are in the exact same position as in the smiley shot from the article.

FAKE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147213)

It's cloudy in the photos!

Mad (4, Funny)

xPsi (851544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147223)

Very creative. But were they going for the Alfred E. Neuman [wikipedia.org] look? Probably should have put the stage below the chin. Still love it. Perhaps more with the missing tooth.

Re:Mad (2, Interesting)

darkonc (47285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147431)

They could have always camoed the stage..... But I kinda like the Alfred E. Neuman look.

Overcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147241)

It looks like it's consistently overcast in the photos from the event itself. I don't know for sure relative heights of clouds and imaging satellites, but my understanding is that satellites still can't see through clouds (in visible ranges).

FAKE FAKE FAKE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147255)

Knowing exactly when the satellite will take the picture of that specific spot... Yeah right.

Did anybody notice the clouds during the event? satellite images wont go trough those clouds.

Photoshopped? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147257)

City on Google Maps [google.com]

Screenshot from summary [blogspot.com]

Now, look at the vehicles on the street next to the smiley. On the south-west road, there are two cars next to each, same on both pictures. The cars also look the same on the north road, east of the smiley, and the road leading west. Looks like someone just cleared the street and added the smiley in.

Just to be sure, here is the link to the German Google Maps [google.de] , which the screen shot appears to be coming from. I think it's a mock-up for when Google does update their images.

-rey

Lenina? (2, Interesting)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147265)

Do they still celebrate Lenin as a hero after the crap they endured because of him and his acolytes?

Re:Lenina? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147301)

And do you still celebrate Bush and McCain and Palin as your heroes, even after they destroyed your country economy, and robbed your taxes money to bail out their billionaire friends?
You americans are the most pathetic losers alive! Thanks God for Putin and our Nuclear bombers landing in Venezuela!

Re:Lenina? (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147347)

You are an idiot, how do you know I'm American, and if I am how do you know I like Bush? Oh, wait, I just responded to an Anonymous Coward...

Re:Lenina? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147493)

Palin is a heroine. She once saved me from a moose.

Re:Lenina? (2, Funny)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147659)

Palin is a heroine. She once drilled oil with her bare hands.

Re:Lenina? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147315)

It's called "Earth Day"

Re:Lenina? (1)

discards (1345907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147341)

It's Stalin that messed it up, not Lenin. Get your facts straight.

Re:Lenina? (1, Interesting)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147363)

Right... and Communism is good but it was badly implemented *rolls eyes*

Re:Lenina? (1, Flamebait)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147433)

Right... and Communism is good but it was badly implemented *rolls eyes*

Hehe there's the proof that you are American right there.

Re:Lenina? (2, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147473)

Read about "ad hominem argument" in a dictionary. How is it relevant what I am?

Re:Lenina? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147777)

Read about "ad hominem argument" in a dictionary. How is it relevant what I am?

Because you're stupid.

Re:Lenina? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147501)

Yeah, that's what people said about Windows.

Oh shit, Godwin.

Re:Lenina? (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147561)

Is there anybody (except Bill Gates and Ballmer) who says that Windows is good in theory?

Re:Lenina? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147757)

Right... and Communism is good but it was badly implemented *rolls eyes*

Well... Yeah...

Similarly, one can say democracy is good yet most African nations implement it rather wrongly.

Yes, Lenina (5, Informative)

tetromino (807969) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147401)

If a town or a street got renamed during the Soviet period, after 1992 its name was in most cases restored to the pre-revolutionary version. However, if the street was built during the Soviet period, of course it would not get renamed, since it never had a pre-Soviet name in the first place. Renaming a street just because its name is no longer politically fashionable is akin to rewriting history, no better than what the Soviets were doing.

Re:Yes, Lenina (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147443)

I wonder then if Germans kept the names of the streets build during the Hitler regime. The name of the streets change according to the political situation, in what world do you live?

Re:Yes, Lenina (-1, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147751)

I wonder then if Germans kept the names of the streets build during the Hitler regime.

The fact that you're equating Lenin & Hitler shows that you're ignorant of history & have little understanding of fascism or communism.

Re:Yes, Lenina (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147503)

Yeah, they should be more like Americans - rename major public works (say, a $350 million stadium) because some corporation gave them money one or two orders of magnitude less than what it cost.

Re:Yes, Lenina (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147573)

That's only proof that Americans are smart, they can sell names... if Russians were smart would have sold all Lenina and Revolution Street names to Gazprom. Wouldn't you like to live on Gazprom Street instead of Lenina?

Re:Lenina? (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147487)

Oh man, check the other street names on that picture. They include

"Soviet Street", "Kirov Street", and "Revolution Plaza".

That's nothing (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147633)

You should see how many things in the U.S. are named after Ronald Reagan!

Re:That's nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147783)

You should see how many things in the U.S. are named after Ronald Reagan!

::Channeling Yakov Smirnoff::
What a country!

Re:Lenina? (1)

avanderveen (899407) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147753)

Lenin would have brought Russia through a smooth transition into a new population-driven communist state, until he got shot and Stalin forcefully took position as leader. Stalin is the one who brought on "the crap they endured".

Lenin's name is there forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147775)

Check coordinates 54.468 64.797 on Google Maps.
What you see was put there for you to see on Google Maps 38 years ago ("Lenin, 100 years")

Re:Lenina? (1)

kauttapiste (633236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147787)

Do they still celebrate Lenin as a hero after the crap they endured because of him and his acolytes?

Yes, yes they (or many of them) do. But the sad part is that now they are trying to pass Stalin as not the monster dictator he was but as a strong ruler who did what had to be done. Check out e.g. this editorial from last year on the Herald: New Russian history [iht.com] .

In sovied russia, tech.slashdot is the new idle (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147275)

I had hoped idle would stay confined to idle. This is not technology.

This ... is ... IDLE!!! </300>

lovely (1)

emart (1343753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147279)

this is really cute! google maps hacks ftw!

Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147295)

Simi Valley, CA has had a burnt-in smiley face since the 80's.

Bout the best part of this town, really.

Why there's no way this could be real (-1, Troll)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147307)

Russians don't smile. The Russian government had to freaking *order* their border guards to smile at tourists. Seriously, if there was a real smiley face someplace in Russia appearing in Google Earth, whoever created it would be in a psychiatric ward the next day.

hmm (4, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147319)

Obvious Photoshop job. For punishment, I think we can all work together and put him over his bandwidth cap.

Re:hmm (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147575)

Does Blogspot have a bandwidth cap?

Looks like a lineage 2 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147321)

...adena formation pic.

In Soviet Russia... (5, Funny)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147325)

... Google searches for YOU!

Re:In North America... (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147447)

... Google searches for YOU!

There, fixed that for you.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147495)

That kinda goes with our poll. If I am searching for myself, I should have a tool that finds me.

Rick Rolled? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147333)

I think we just got Rick Rolled.

Shopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147375)

In the on-site pictures, participants are wearing raincoats, and there is diffuse shadow everywhere. Clearly an overcast day.

Overcast and that's not how it works (5, Interesting)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147425)

There's about 20 "I don't see it in Google Maps" and "It was photoshopped!" posts that don't mention any of the basic reasons why this didn't work.

1. Google Maps isn't realtime, some areas have photos updated every few years. My house is a picture from over a year ago, for instance. Just because the bird goes overhead doesn't mean the content goes into Google Maps, and even if it did, it would only go in for a few days until the next pass, so... concept fail.

2. Did anyone actually LOOK at the photos taken on the ground at the event? It was OVERCAST. These are not magical Star Trek satellites with super inverse polaron field vision that sees through clouds.

Why aren't other folks touching on these VERY BASIC FLAWS with the clever premise?

Re:Overcast and that's not how it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147767)

Another obvious give-away that it's photoshopped is the bright red strip of flowers in the lower right corner of the ground photograph. In the sattelite image the same strip of flowers is in a dull green.

Make it stop... (1)

RSCruiser (968696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147449)

I vaguely remember blocking idle so I wouldn't see this crap. Did I miss the memo outlining idle getting moved to tech?

Looks creepy (1)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147567)

Not the reputation a town wants.

Quick! (1)

Snarkhunter (1056150) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147571)

Someone set something like this up with a screenshot of the town on Google Maps instead of a smiley!

I'm pretty sure that a recursive Google Maps will MORE than make up for a broken LHC.

Fake - photoshop job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25147603)

The real google map picture is identical apart from the smiley face (same traffic, shadows etc.)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=tscheljabinsk,+russland&ie=UTF8&ll=55.160221,61.402159&spn=0.003181,0.008197&t=h&z=17&iwloc=addr

The location photos show it was a very cloudy day with a very low cloud ceiling - so no satellite or plane shots either.

Crap fake.

This was exciting... for about 5 minutes (2, Interesting)

puzzbot (730009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147617)

I was pretty excited to see this article about my hometown! Until I read the comments. You people sure know how to rain on someone's parade :P

Fun idea (1)

prjt (1369213) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147627)

Had it been real it would have been a fun idea, if Google posted times when taking photos I guess more people would go outside, they should try that.

Here's an example of the real thing (4, Interesting)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25147657)

Target Stores sometimes paint their logo on the roofs of their locations. I don't know if they do it for the sake of Google Maps, but it's quite visible. Here's one from a store in Chicago:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=target+stores+chicago&ie=UTF8&ll=42.006225,-87.886505&spn=0.012883,0.017509&t=k&z=16 [google.com]
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