Dead pixel in Google Earth

March 27th, 2009

“Dead pixel in Google Earth” by Helmut Smits, 82 x 82 cm burned square, the size of one pixel from an altitude of 1 km.

EDIT: You can’t find this so called pixel in Google Earth, it is conceptual piece of art.

Dead pixel in Google Earth by Helmut Smits

106 Responses to “Dead pixel in Google Earth”

  1. John Danner Says:


  2. Rookie23 Says:

    xD nice…

  3. Marcel Says:

    wierd idea :P

  4. Henk Rijckaert Says:

    Redelijk geniaal, toch!

  5. Anon Says:

    Funny weird idea ^_^
    Where is it??

  6. David Says:

    Just hope he got that square in the exact place or it could be between 2~4 pixels, and then it doesn’t work =[

  7. Kiran Van Ursel Says:

    Geniaal inderdaad

  8. Tiberius Says:

    How is that one pixel? It depends on the resolution of the camera you are using!

  9. today and tomorrow - pieter Says:

    @Tiberius This has nothing to do with the camera resolution, but with the scaling of google earth.

  10. esther Says:


  11. Yes Says:

    Ok, now give us a link to google maps with the exact coords

  12. today and tomorrow - pieter Says:

    @Yes This is just a conceptual piece.

  13. Fleak Says:

    Hahahahahaha! Respect!

  14. Graham Says:

    I spy a new potential business, selling pixel replacement patches, the three letter achronym prp.

    Any investors interested?

  15. Concerned Guy Says:

    I wonder if he aligned the edges with true north…

  16. Vic Says:

    it woud really be cool if we can really see it from google earth LOL

  17. Tomaz Says:

    How about this Graham – i’ll go halves on a field with you and we can sell each 82x82cm “pixel” off to gambling and porn sites!

  18. pepeto Says:

    That is just so stupid….

  19. Crowley Says:

    Very nice!!!

  20. dR dMo Says:


  21. name Says:

    link please

  22. today and tomorrow - pieter Says:

    there is no google earth link, it is art

  23. Anthony Says:

    That is rubbish! :O

  24. iPwn Says:

    hahaha thats awesome, one of the most creative things ive stumbled upon in a very long time.

  25. Joe Says:

    Apparently there is a limitless amount of interest in meaningless trivia.

  26. atam Says:

    ahahah this is so classic!

  27. margli Says:

    fucking genious

  28. » Pixel Muerto desde Google Earth Says:

    […] Pixel Muerto desde Google Earth Publicado por:: Napaboy in Arte/Dise, Fotografia, Internet Cusioro “pixel muerto ” en el mundo real siempre y cuando se vea a una altitud de 1 Km. mide 82×82 centimetros y via google earth se vería como un pixel muerto en la pantalla, creado por Helmut Smits. Via […]

  29. Edward de Leau Says:


  30. Bill Vincent Says:

    “meaningless” is perception. People doing things that others find useless is how most great discoveries in this world were made. If nobody did anything “unusual”, we’d still be cave-dwellers. We all have something to learn from people who think outside the socially imposed boundaries of thought.

  31. Wildo Says:

    Surprised there’s not already an add for GoldenPalace there, lol.

  32. Jeb Says:

    i love internet comments, someone cuts their grass and the whole internet starts freaking out why its cool/dumb/gay/heyfuckyoubuddy. Everyone on here that says things like

    # Joe Says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Apparently there is a limitless amount of interest in meaningless trivia.

    # Concerned Guy Says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I wonder if he aligned the edges with true north…

    # pepeto Says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    That is just so stupid….

    your opinion doesnt matter here, this isnt real life this is 0101010100011101101000101101001011. so give it up.

    Oh and on the picture. Haha holy shit thats bad ass wish i thought of that

  33. Alex Brooks Says:

    Very cool find! Great idea as well, wish I thought of it! :P

  34. schmoe Says:

    Welcome to the Internets Joe

  35. frone Says:

    This would have been somewhat cool had you done it and waited for the sat pic to update.. Now it is just a burned out hole in the ground. awesome.

  36. Así se vería un pixel muerto desde Google Earth « [Px] Says:

    […] Dead pixel in Google Earth […]

  37. John Says:

    So, where exactly is this located? I’d like to verify on google maps.

  38. Your Mother Says:

    Stumbleupon never seems to fail to amuse me. This is one of the most creative things I’ve seen in a while.

  39. Timothy Shaw-Zak Says:

    One Human Minute, preface by Stanislaw Lem, written by a computer.

    An accident… A superficial analogy, but I am afraid that it is not.

  40. Rabbitok Says:

    Great Idea, however why not place a GPS on the “Dead Pixel” site and then you would that piece of the puzzle that would elevate this from “prank” to Art, and yes advertising through “Multiple Dead Pixels” would be feasible.

  41. Jose Daniel Says:

    lol, very funny!

  42. Jose Daniel Says:

    Some report the bug to Google? XD

  43. Alex in Toronto Says:

    Since this piece of conceptual art represents a fundamental property of the screens of the internet how would you represent a url in the same artistic way in the physical world?

  44. Philip Dhingra Says:

    Nice one. Looks like an xkcd joke.

  45. Borellus Says:

    I like this, what are the co-ordinates for it?

    I might try and look for it.

  46. Grant Says:

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

  47. v-render Says:

    wohow .. very funny

  48. Schoschie Says:

    Nice idea. Very nice idea.

  49. squarespiral Says:

    I found 8 of them, can I now change my earth?

  50. The Agitator » Blog Archive » Saturday Links/Open Thread Says:

    […] Dead pixel on Google Earth. […]

  51. kwatery Zakopane Says:

    Great idea. Very funny

  52. xznophod Says:

    I’m selling ad space in my back yard.

  53. Jeff Says:

    I’m with you on that xznophod. Selling your yard for ad space is a great idea.

  54. Hawk Says:

    You killed the funny when you had to explain it :(

    /me grieves for the funny

  55. links for 2009-03-28 | Says:

    […] Dead pixel in Google Earth – today and tomorrow […]

  56. Me Says:

    Or is it a bug in the Matrix?

  57. Fran Says:

    I agree! such an easy way to make money. $.$ just sell a maybe, 85×85 pixel (however many feet/inches that may be.) and bang! advertisers will snatch it up!

  58. wortherz Says:

    that quality mate.

  59. Easily Amused - Dead Pixel! Says:

    […] Dead Pixel in Google Earth […]

  60. PeeKay Says:

    Selling adspace on ur lawn really seems like the next big thing .

  61. usbeef Says:

    Photoshopped. I use it all the time and I can tell. the shadows are all wrong.

  62. Martin at PlasticLess Says:

    Back in the 80s I had a summer job spraying herbicide with a back-pack manual sprayer. One day I hung my work jacket on my mother’s clothesline and it rained. There was a ‘dead pixel’ in the lawn for the rest of the year. It wasn’t quite square though.

  63. La Cartoteca » Blog Archive » El píxel muerto de Google Earth Says:

    […] | Vía today and tomorrow | […]

  64. heytree's me2DAY Says:

    불타는삼나무의 생각…

    Dead pixel in Google Earth 이거 머야 ã…‹ã…‹ 어떻게 찾아 ã…‹ã…‹…

  65. viral videos Says:

    It’d be funny if one of those uptight google employees located this spot and used the healing brush in photoshop.

  66. joe Says:

    Greetings from

  67. g Says:

    Try turning it of and on again…

  68. Píxel muerto en Google Earth [humor] Says:

    […] Píxel muerto en Google Earth [humor] por kovan hace pocos segundos […]

  69. Jason Says:

    Nice concept!

  70. Frank Says:

    Pretty cool. Do wonder if the brain,which is capable of such things, would patch the missing pixel and then I wonder how many pixels it wouldn’t patch.

  71. ice Says:

    all of you are geeks

  72. Todo o seu dinheiro « Movimentos Says:

    […] “dead pixel” pra ser visto do Google Earth é um trabalho do artista Helmut Smits: Esta entrada foi escrita por interaubis e postada em 31/0309 at 0203/19 e arquivada em poeresia. […]

  73. Nick Says:

    It would be awesome if you really could see it from Google earth. The idea is a good one though, maybe someone will take it to another level.

  74. פיקסל שרוף ב-Google Earth | רויטל סלומון Says:

    […] (מקור) […]

  75. john8 Says:

    the 100000th person to just use a lame square as so-called art.
    i wish they’d get a clue.

  76. Viravax Says:

    Touche, Google!

  77. josh Says:

    I hope he got the orientation right or he is going to end up with a diamond shaped dead pixel…..

  78. the-dude Says:

    quite interesting

  79. Ecos Says:

    Just awesome. I hope it is in RGB.

  80. Alice__M Says:

    Excellent !

  81. Maikel Says:

    You, sir(?), are a genius.

  82. Bogdan Says:

    Hahaha amazing! ;)

  83. Links, back from being away edition | Planet Street Map Mobile Says:

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  84. Links, back from being away edition | Open Mobile Map Says:

    […] Earth as conceptual art muse: “Dead pixel in Google Earth” by Helmut […]

  85. Hadi K Says:

    Fantastic piece of art

  86. Robert Says:

    Hahahahaha… That’s brilliant! should record the coordinates and keep repeating the “artwork” until it really does become a dead pixel on Google Earth :)

    Great concept however!

  87. Google Earth and The Dutch. Says:

    […] this little tidbit plucked from Neatorama. Helmut Smits, a conceptual artist, decided to create a new work based on a nuance of Google Earth. He has burned an 82 x 82 cm square in an open field, the exact size of one pixel from an altitude […]

  88. Dead Pixel - FROGBLOG - Catching the Digital Trends Says:

    […] via Veröffentlicht 17.04.2009, 11:53 Uhr von Roger Ruegger Abgelegt unter: Digital Lifestyle […]

  89. low blogging» Blog Archive » links for 2009-04-17 Says:

    […] Dead pixel in Google Earth (tags: google googleearth pixel humor art) […]

  90. Dead pixel no Google Earth | Pensa Rics, pensa! Says:

    […] bem, um artista maluco qualquer teve uma idéia no mínimo interessante. Veja aqui. Ele foi até um gramado e retirou a grama de um quadrado com 82 cm de lado. Visto a 1 Km de altura […]

  91. Incredibile è stato trovato un Dead Pixel in Google Earth! | 3 sul Blog - Tech, Fun e Web 2.0 Says:

    […] via [todayandtomorrow] […]

  92. Lesezeichen vom 26-04-2009 | PolkaRobot Says:

    […] Dead pixel in Google Earth "“Dead pixel in Google Earth” by Helmut Smits, 82 x 82 cm burned square, the size of one pixel from an altitude of 1 km." (Tags: art polkarobot) […]

  93. Tarzan Says:


  94. tommy Says:

    We could get real creative and leave google a message.

  95. mental_floss Blog » The Weekend Links Says:

    […] should know that can get you in trouble around the world (and … Florida. Of course) * How to trick Google Earth by creating your own “dead pixel.” * Whoever thinks punctuation isn’t sexy […]

  96. Julia Valencia Says:

    There is people leaving messages to google on their houses. You can find many examples just searching on google.

  97. Chris Ronk Says:

    worth a chuckle. Thanks for the post.

  98. ٩(•●*)۶ Says:


  99. Itsashirt T shirts Says:

    Great idea… but I’m afraid no grass does not mean dead, did they get all the worms out, or am I taking it to literally :)

  100. Pixel bueno el pixel muerto « fosacomun Says:

    […] Enero 2010 de fosacomun Garea manda este enlace, arte, natura y […]

  101. All the world is now digital « Superfluity Says:

    […] Smits figures that an 82 cm x 82 cm square would be the same as one pixel when looking down 1km up. So he burned a square in the exact dimensions in order to make a dead pixel in Google Earth. It's too bad you cannot see it until Google snaps the picture with their all-seeing satellite. Helmut Smits' dead pixel […]

  102. racen Says:

    oooohhh. so he brought a computer glitch to life? weird.

  103. zuvorgekommen: Horizont « murmelbahn inc. Says:

    […] auch “Greenscreen“, von Helmut Smits (von dem war auch der “Dead Pixel in Google Earth“). Bei dem er den Rasen während einer Fußball-Sendung als Greenscreen nutzt um noch mehr […]

  104. Helmut Smits | Haz el blog y no la guerra - Un blog de El Cuartel Says:

    […] que han dado más de una vuelta por la red, como fue nuestro caso con las obras como: Arco Iris o Píxel Muerto en Google Earth. Sin embargo, estas obras son sólo píldoras comparado con todo el ingenio y buen hacer que […]

  105. Slymayer Says:

    Looks like… Minecraft.

  106. Pixelhiba | madzag Says:

    […] Ha az adatrögzítés közben keletkező hibák a valóságban is megjelennének? Helmut Smits Halott pixel c. műve humoros és elgondolkodtató. Sok, a természetre vagy az épített környezetre […]

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