While others search for life on distant planets, one company is using satellite imagery to identify human features back on earth. German design specialist Onformative has created a new project called Google Faces that uses specialized facial recognition algorithms and Google Maps to circumnavigate the globe and detect hidden faces in natural landscapes.
Onformative's intention is to explore the psychological experience of Pareidolia — the phenomenon that helps us see Elvis in a piece of toast or pick out satanic messages from a Beatles track when it is played backwards. The company has seen early success (like in the image above), but will continue to send its Facetracker software around the world to focus on the varying zoom levels of Google Maps. While Onformative expects it will yield more potential matches, the greater amount of detail will lengthen the bots collection time.