Where did Van Gogh Paint That? Find Out on a Map

Adam DuVander
Feb. 12 2010, 02:16PM EST

Before paintings hang in museums, the artists put brush to canvas out in the real world. A new site is looking to tie the two together with geocoded art. However, rather than show the location where you can see the artwork, it is instead mapped to the location depicted in the work.

From the site's about page:

There are two mandatory criteria for inclusion in this collection, and two flexible criteria. The mandatory are that a) the image is a recognizable depiction of specific location (not just "Tuscan countryside"); and b) the image be in the public domain. The flexible criteria are that the image be beautiful, and/or be of an interesting place. A particular strength in either of the flexible criteria can compensate for weakness in the other. The images are almost exclusively oil paintings; there are a few water colors and lithographs that meet the criteria. In evaluating the vast number of drawings and etchings available, the principle applied was to ask whether the image adds more to the appreciation of the site than a good photograph would.

So, don't expect to find Starry Night included. Though, yes, there are a couple other van Gogh paintings.

Geocoded Art

The site currently lists work from over 350 artists across more than a dozen regions, all plotted on your choice of a Google or Bing map.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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