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Artist finds inspiration in Google Maps

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Currently, Guffey's portfolio includes 100 images inspired by Google Maps street view. In April, he finished painting images from each of the 50 states, subbing in Washington DC for Hawaii, which is not yet available on Google Maps (You can view his paintings here). Last week, Guffey painted a few scenes from Eastport, Maine. This week, his blog displays paintings of Angwin Vineyards in Angwin, Calif., and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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His artwork is available at a local gallery in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and on his website. So far, he says he has sold around 30 to 40 pieces, and some of them have sold for up to $1,500, according to ABC News.

What does Google think? 

Since he began using Google Street View to create his artwork, Google Maps has been supportive of Guffey's creative approach and use of the program.

"When we were creating Street View, we were excited about all the everyday uses, like looking for parking or planning trips," Stephen Chau, product manager for Google Street View, told ABC News. "Bill's use of Street View, to inspire his paintings and to create a virtual community of artists, is a remarkable example that we hadn't imagined but are really excited to see. It's been amazing to see the possibilities that have opened up as Street View has been brought to more places around the world."

Virtual Paintouts

To encourage other painters to use Google Maps, he hosts monthly "Virtual Paintouts," and asks artists to paint a particular area of the world using Google Maps Street View. Guffey says that around 20-25 artists have joined him in painting the world from the comfort of their computers. This month, artists are asked to paint scenes from London using Google Maps Street View. Guffey says he hopes that disabled artists will be able "to use this technology to paint the world from their own living room and from the facility where they may be living."

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