Accidental Art: Apple Maps Glitches Create Surreal Scenes

Apple Maps Glitch Art 1

All of the notorious glitches on Apple’s Maps app make it incredibly frustrating to use for practical purposes, but it still has value – as accidental art. When two-dimensional images are incorrectly mapped onto three-dimensional topography, the results can be fascinating, creating landscapes and architecture that look alien and futuristic.

Apple Maps Glitch Art 2

Apple Maps Glitch Art 3

Peder Norrby, founder of graphics company Trapcode, has collected the many glitches on the Apple iOS Maps app into a trippy gallery on Flickr. Houses in Barcelona appear to be puking trees from their windows. A vortex has opened in the middle of a Stockholm highway. Skyscrapers and stacked shipping containers look like they’re melting.

Apple Maps Glitch Art 4

Apple Maps Glitch Art 5

In this parallel universe, the laws of physics have apparently been suspended. Norrby explains that some structures, like bridges, viaducts, tunnels and roller coasters, are too complex for the app’s algorithms to handle. While criticism of Apple’s Maps app has increased reliance on its competitors, Google Maps isn’t entire free of glitches, either.

Apple Maps Glitch Art 6

Apple Maps Glitch Art 7

The mesmerizing beauty of glitches has led to an entire genre of art revolving around reproducing their eerie effects on purpose. Glitch art creates digital or analog image errors by intentionally corrupting files, or mimicking their appearance in traditional artistic media like paintings and sculptures.