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In this part of the world a lot
of flattop roofs are covered
with a layer of gravel or small
river pebbles. Oldtime (and now
posh) driveways are made from
the stuff too.
horizontal surfaces are not
suitable for advertising to
people closeby, but they are
very suitable for advertising
things like google earth. Why
not use the original covering
spellout your advertising
message? Companies would pay a
lot to have their office
building marked with their
There is a natural variation in
the color of the pebbles used.
The pebbleprinter sucks up the
top layer of pebbles in front
it and sorts these into light
and dark (or more greyscales if
that turns out feasible). The
pebbles are stored in a small
cache and from there put on a
conveyor belt according to
along this belt are one or more
moveable 'printing heads' that
can travel sideways and blow
pebbles with compressed air
the belt into a funnel and onto
the surface. this continues
until the whole line is
'printed' and the machine
travels forward an inch to
the next line.
The machine could use separate
belts for the different colors,
or remember what it put onto
belt and time the printing
roof tops ads are coming....
[xandram, Apr 10 2006]
||Are these pebbles stuck down? Because I think that they would get mucked up very quickly otherwise.
||Also, bird crap would add interesting extensions to the words.
||It's like lawn care. You just need the driveway re-done every week or so, depending on traffic. Roof-top signage, of course, is longer lasting.
||Brilliant! Although separate "tanks" of light and dark stone might be needed.
||@dbmag: can you see birdcrap
on satelite imagery now?
The reason to use pebbles is
because they don't tend to
fade or degrade. The
resolution is not fantastic
(keeping driveways readable
would be hard)but the stuff is
very good at just lying there.
||Oh, that kind of scale. I was thinking merely person-scale things. That (literally) puts it in perspective.
||I don't understand why there is one person who cast a negative vote on this! +
||Problem is nietsch that Goog earth can just digitally label the tops of buildings.
||I didn't think that Google earth photos were updated that often...certainly, for my neck of the woods, the photo looks about 2 years old.
||[ling] You are very right. At least two years since an update here. I know that as it does not show the giant muddy pit that replaced the seven houses next to mine just under two years ago.
||//The other day I was pondering on the possibility of hiding an enormous obscenity across an entire town, by planting concentrations of daffodil bulbs across parks, gardens and spaces collectively in such a way that it can only be seen from very high altitudes.//
||Less impressively, but amusingly, a group of criminals did some community-service flower-planting on the side of a motorway. Turned out they'd planted the bulbs so that when they bloomed, they bloomed into blooming rude words.
||I think someone voted against this simply because the replacement cartridges probably cost more than the printer.