Artist Uses Google Street View to Create Postcards from Around the World in Eighty Days
Even with the advent of airplanes and automobiles, the adventure outlined in Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days is still an impressive feat by today’s standards. In the book Phileas Fogg and his valet Passeportout travel across three continents in less than three months, making stops in some of the world’s greatest metropolises, including Hong Kong, New York, Calcutta, and Bombay. It has been a lifelong dream of Budapest-based illustrator Lehel Kovacs to recreate the fictional journey and draw postcards along the way, and now modern technology is allowing him to do so without leaving home.
Using Google Street View, Kovacs “visited” every location mentioned in Around the World in Eighty Days and illustrated what he saw. He makes his postcards by drawing the outlines in pencil and scanning them onto his computer, then adds color and texture on Photoshop. He says the illustrations aren't meant to look finished but should instead present an initial impression of each location.
The destinations have obviously undergone significant changes since they were written about in 1873—Bombay is now Mumbai and San Francisco is now crowded with hybrid cars and high-rises—but Kovacs’ distinct style lends an appropriate vintage feel.
With his Kickstarter campaign, Kovacs hopes to make his 40 unique postcards available to a wider audience. As of the time of writing, he’s raised nearly $5,000, shattering his initial $1,520 goal. Fellow Jules Verne fans can still make a pledge and receive postcards of their own. Thanks to Kovacs' collection, if you don’t have the resources to recreate the storied trip in real life, you might still convince gullible friends otherwise.