Back in 2012, Google “released” an 8-bit version of Google Maps as one of the company’s then annual April Fools’ jokes. It was a low-resolution 8-bit style of Google Maps to play with, but the company did not deliver on the promise of a cassette you could put into your old Nintendo Entertainment System. Gizmodo noticed that a few years later someone has figured out how to do this using a heavily modified NES system and previous work from other hackers before him.
In particular, YouTuber ciciplusplus used a method to build his maps inspired by someone who figured out how to translate Bing Maps aerial photos into 8-bit tiles that make up nature in the original. The legend of Zelda NES games. Ciciplusplus used a similar method to convert Google Maps images to what appears to be tiles from the NES game Dragon warrior (yes, Dragon Quest for those who did not grow up playing it in the United States).
As for the elaborate fashions he made for a standard NES, they were inspired by YouTuber TheRasteri, who figured out how to get Doom playing on his NES (of course). You can see a full video of how he pulled it off below:
As for the final Google Maps on the NES product, well, you can vaguely distinguish the shapes of the continent, and areas of the coast are recognizable, but when you zoom in, there are not many details to distinguish what you ‘are looking at. Still, it’s an impressive and fun hack that we’m guessing that Google did not think anyone would ever withdraw.
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