Google Maps – 8 Bit Religious Buildings Edition

This morning, I logged onto Google Maps to work on some parts of my master religious buildings map (which I’ll eventually add to the map page). I was busy piddling around and marking religious buildings, when I noticed an oddly pixelated option in the top right corner.

At first, I thought my computer was loading pages oddly. But upon closer inspection, I realized I had never seen a “Quest” option before. Clicking it yielded the following:

Wow. Being nostalgic for the days of simpler video games that my mind could actually process, I was all for an NES version of Google Maps. Of course, I checked out Madison first, and when I zoomed in far enough, I found an icon for Monona Terrace (photo attribution):

Very nice. What other icons could there be? I jumped to Washington DC, where I found some monuments. But as I proceeded to different US cities, I kept striking out – nothing in Indianapolis, or Milwaukee, or even the Alamo in San Antonio. It occurred to me that I should check outside of the country. Turns out there are quite a few religious buildings in icon form. First stop? Europe.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain (see photo attribution here):

The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy (see photo attribution here):

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece (see photo attribution here):

Hopping over to Japan, I found the Floating Torii (Itsukushima Shrine) in Miyajima, Japan (see photo attribution here):

Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, Japan (see photo attribution here):

St. Basil’s in Moscow, Russia (see photo attribution here):

In South America, you can find Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (see photo attribution here):

And in Africa, the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt (see photo attributions here and here):

I managed to also geek out quite a bit on my Twitter feed while meandering about the globe:

I later thought to Google around and see when Quest view went up, and I found this. Then I remembered that April 1 is tomorrow. Having experienced some of Google’s earlier pranks (like Gmail and Google Gulp), I am quite fond of these every year, but they always sneak up on me. Who can forget the absurdity of Gmail Motion? I lost a lot of time this morning hunting around for all sorts of icons, but it was grand fun. Probably my two favorite that aren’t religious are Buckingham Palace in London, England (they actually have the little guards out in front!) and Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan:

Has anyone else played around in Quest view? If so, do you have a favorite icon you found (religious or otherwise)? Link it up in the comments to share with everyone!


5 thoughts on “Google Maps – 8 Bit Religious Buildings Edition

  1. You just made my day. 🙂 Oddly, for Chicago, they have two kids in propeller beanies over by Marina City (the corn cob towers)/the House of Blues, but didn’t do anything for the Sears (excuse me, Willis) Tower or the Hancock. Not sure what to make of that.

  2. I totally agree that the choice of what icons to make seems odd. Monona Terrace in Madison isn’t exactly well known, although it is a Frank Lloyd Wright building. My boyfriend hypothesized that maybe each person on the team got to pick one to do? Who knows. Glad you enjoyed it though!

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