google earth

A game that makes you go outside and talk to strangers might sound like some new scheme cooked up by Craigslist cannibals, but it’s actually pretty cool. Ingress divides players into two factions, and in order for one side to gain an advantage, they must take part in events and activities that occur at various points of interest (none of which include your basement and/or attic). The activities range from simply standing in a specific place to claim it for your team, to more elaborate actions that involve several players. Apparently, it’s engaging enough for the game to have been downloaded over two million times, and can result in public parks filling with people, all there for the sole purpose of shooting virtual missiles at one another.

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Uncanny Valleys

Although the mountainscapes in Meike Nixdorf’s new series “Your Earth Transforms” would seem, at first, to be thoroughly in the tradition of heroic alpine photography, they are not photographs, and Nixdorf has never actually visited these places. (With apologies to Bradford Washburn, even the hardiest mountaineer probably couldn’t get to all of them.) Rather, the panoramas are a kind of reverse origami, a partial flattening of 3-D imagery from Google Earth. With each artful unfolding of the data, Nixdorf exposes new dimensions.

Marcia Bjornerud explores more of these digital vistas on newyorker.com.