Video shows the original NES modified to run retro-style Google Maps


Almost a decade ago, Google released an April Fool’s Day video that showed off an 8-bit version of Google Maps made for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was, of course, a joke, but it inspired some real DIYers to try and create a real-life version of this fun concept.

A YouTuber who goes by the name of “ciciplusplus” recently posted a video showing an 8-bit version of Google Maps running on a modified NES console. The work wasn’t done alone, technically — the designer notes that he was inspired by a previous project involving 8-bit Bing Maps tiles brought to the old school Nintendo console.

Ciciplusplus demonstrated that the NES runs an 8-bit version of Google Maps – he notes that the console takes half a minute to load and connect to the server. Once it finally starts, a very retro-style Google Maps appears on the screen; the original controller can be used to move the map, zoom and zoom.

The NES Google Maps “game” does not include a search function, although a concept of what this functionality looks like is offered. Users can, however, manually scroll to different locations on the map and then zoom into locations to see 8-bit tiles for cities, as well as nearby regions.

The project consisted of generating an 8-bit type image mosaic that shows a rudimentary version of a particular landscape with desserts, trees and water. A cartridge and tile server were used for the project, along with a Raspberry Pi.

As you’d expect, the scrolling process of the 8-bit Google Maps game isn’t exactly a fast process. Ciciplusplus calls this project a proof of concept, noting that it needs improvement – ​​an effort that the wider mod community can contribute to if they wish to participate.


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