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The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
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The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Cursed by Allah
Mexican Row Houses
Status: Real
This looks like a painting, or a picture of toy houses, but apparently it's neither. These are real houses. The picture was taken by a Mexican helicopter pilot. (I can only find his last name, which is Ruiz Oscar Ruiz.) He writes of this picture: "REAL PICTURE! 300+ low income homes in Ixtapaluca, complex has more than 10,000!" The link goes to his gallery of aerial photographs of Mexico City. This photo is nine rows down on the right.

row houses
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 13, 2006
Comments (32)
looks defintly like somethingid image would be in mexico, the style that is of the buildiongs, but id like someone to find it on google earth or osemthing before i believe it.
Posted by tim  in  Corpus Christi, TX  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  01:13 AM
Wow, somebody's been playing sim city a little too much.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  01:44 AM
Yep, quite: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Ixtapaluca,+mexico&ll=19.327424,-98.878326&spn=0.014437,0.027122&t=h
Posted by Gutza  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  06:02 AM
Kinda looks like the opening of Mr. Roger's after they adapt it to a buddy comedy movie.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  07:30 AM
If you want to look at those homes in Google Earth, look at at the link, that is the exact spot.
Posted by Carlos  in  Mexico  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  11:20 AM
This is the exact spot in Google Earth.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=chalco&t=k&ll=19.309199,-98.856826&spn=0.015228,0.019312&t=k
Posted by Carlos  in  Mexico  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  11:21 AM
Hey Alex, this is a picture of pilot OSCAR RUIZ.
You can see his face here.
See you.

http://homepage.mac.com/helipilot/PhotoAlbum20.html
Posted by Arturo  in  Mexico City  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  01:03 PM
Thanks, Arturo. In the english version he only listed his last name. I hadn't bothered to check the spanish version as well.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  01:27 PM
Yeah... this looks WAY more like images of Sim City than it does of actual houses. There is a severe lack of discerning textures in the houses, and the only differences would be in the landscape (cars or no) and some windows are open while others aren't. Every bit of paint looks BRAND new, and all the steps leading up to the houses are identical... very typical of a copy and paste job done with 3D models (I've taken a couple years of 3D modeling, and in the projects where we had to create buildings, they would often look like this. It's pretty low scale, actually)

I would say it's CERTAINLY not real. Yeah, the place may be real, via the google maps, but notice how google maps is missing the bright cheery colors that the houses hold (It's like brand new paint on every house)

Also... look how PERFECT the lighting is. It's very typical of a spotlight, or an ambient light source used in maya, as opposed to REAL LIFE weather. The street, the cars, EVERYTHING is too perfect to be real. sorry, but it's not a real image, not at all. Compare it to his other real images and it's obvious.

while msot of the images are certainly real (the weather and photo factor that isn't re-created in 3D programs are visible) it's all missing in this image.
Posted by Mera  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  06:32 PM
I also don't fully trust a couple of the other images, but none are so obviously a fake as this one.
Posted by Mera again  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  06:35 PM
Uhh, okay. I don't know what roofs you were looking at, but the ones I saw looked plenty bright enough to be the ones in the photos.

You sound just like those people who insisted Cy was fake.
Posted by J  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  08:32 PM
Kind of reminds of how annoyingly similar the houses in holland are to eachother on certain streets (like the one I used to live in.)
Posted by Lady Hedoniste  in  Chilling with 14 other tiny people in your head.  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  12:32 AM
It is a real picture. The "perfection" and identicalness that some people refer to vanishes when you take a closer look at the pictures (there is a second picture of the place further down the page, in case some of you missed it). You can see where the paint has worn off on some houses, and other places where they're dirty. There actually is a considerable amount of variation in the details of each building, it's just the overall basic shapes that are similar (which is what you would expect from a lot of cheap modular houses, all built at the same time from similar pre-fabricated units and painted at about the same time).

I was able to find one other picture of the place at a different website, although it is only a ground-level view of a few houses. You can see it at <a >http://www.tecnocanceles.com/html/galeria.htm</a>.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  03:05 AM
Like Mera I have worked with 3D animation programmes, and also with graphics packages. I'm suspicious of the image (and even more of the very last one, of the helicopter). But I'd be a bit more cautious. I've sampled some of the colours and found a small amount of atmospheric perspective, which you wouldn't expect to find in a computer-generated image unless it was enough to be obvious (why put it in if you can't see it?). Also, the last one appears to be an oblique projection, but on checking it with parallel lines, I've found that it does in fact have a very slight perspective. Again, I don't think a 3D-modeller would use perspective if it was so slight that you couldn't see it.

My guess is that they are real photos which have been manipulated with a filter to simplify the colour palette.
Posted by Mr Henderson  in  Sim City  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  09:10 AM
Heh.. wouldn't be the first time that thousands of tract homes were built.. Levittown comes to mind.
Posted by Bobcat  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  02:16 PM
Wow, I would never find my way home. LOL
Posted by Tru  in  Other Words  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  03:06 PM
You sound more right, Henderson. I'm still not buying that it is a pure photo, but it MIGHT be an edit of a real photo.

Oh, and the image of the houses at the bottom, I didn't like that much, but it looked more real than this one... but it was a different image, as the angles and things weren't quite the same. (and it might be a different area)
Also, on that one, you notice that virtually all of the stepping stones follow the same problems and imperfections, which seemed fishy to me as well.

At the very least, it's been edited for color and clarification. The thing that bothers me the most would be the lack of any noticeable weather, which all the other photos seem to have.

oh yeah, and Henderson, that one with the helicopter bothered me as well, but I wasn't sure if it was jsut me... heh
Posted by Mera  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  08:01 PM
If its a real photo it has been passed through a ps oil painting filter.
Posted by Goober  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  12:18 AM
Sorry, there were other photos taken by this pilot that seemed VERY fake. A lot of the colors seemed out of place. I have BEEN to Mexico - granted, not Mexico City - but everything seems to be covered in a layer of dust.

ALso, there was a picture of him "landing" to pick someone up - but who was taking the picture, if HE was on the ground??
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  09:25 AM
ask him. his e mail is


helipilot at inorbit dot com

I think that it is real (but cleaned up witha photo editing program)
Posted by wdl  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  09:22 PM
I AM THE GUY WHO TOOK ALL THE PICTURES!!

THIS IS SOOOOO FUNNYYY!! SOME OF YOU ARE SO ABSOLUTELY SURE THE PICTURE IS FAKE!!! SORRY BUT THAT IS SOO NAIVE.

NONE OF MY PICTURES ARE FAKE, SURE I LOVE TO PLAY WITH BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST AND SATURATION IN PS, BUT I JUST WISH I COULD MAKE EVEN THE SIMPLEST RENDER.

THE REASON THOSE HOMES LOOK SO NEW IS BECAUSE THEY ARE NEW, THEY WERE JUST FINISHED AND PEOPLE WERE JUST BEGINNING TO COME TO LIVE THERE, REASON FOR THE FRESH PAINT.

THOSE HOMES ARE BUILT AS THE GOVERMENT'S ANSWER TO CHAOTIC URBAN SPRAWL, THEY ARE BEING BUILD BY THE MILLIONS AND THEY ARE REALLY CHEAP, AROUND 20K USD.

THIS IS THE GOOGLE EARTH PHOTO OF THE EXACT SPOT IN IXTAPALUCA.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=chalco&t=k&ll=19.309199,-98.856826&spn=0.015228,0.019312&t=k
Posted by CARLOS OSCAR RUIZ  in  MEXICO CITY  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  09:43 PM
Thanks for writing! I had seen that, I possible please post this link in there, its a satellite picture of the area in the picture


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=chalco&t=k&ll=19.309199,-98.856826&spn=0.015228,0.019312&t=k


Thanks?


Oscar?
Posted by wdl (relaying message from the pilot)  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  11:24 PM
Well, it's not unusual to find rows after rows of houses in planned communities like those in the picture over here, so I would tend to think it's real. And it's does show up in Google Earth to bring up some credibility. However, as many has said, the lighting doesn't look right.

The place doesn't look completed on Google Earth. I'm inclined to think it's an artist's rendition of how the place would look once it's completed. We get that a lot in newspapers over here, but the end result is usually only 1/2 of what the artist envisioned wink
Posted by RAMChYLD  in  Malaysia  on  Fri Feb 17, 2006  at  10:03 PM
Um, looking at that place on google earth, I would like to state that now I am even more sure that this is a fake photo. The houses were not in such even rows of color coordinated things, and um... I live in a place where we DO build homes like this. I mean... I'll be on the crest of the hill and see an ocean of houses that all look identical with virtually no yard... and it looks nothing like that photo.

Sorry, hun, I'm even more sure this is incorrect.
Posted by Mera  on  Sat Feb 18, 2006  at  04:11 PM
Looking at the photo from the pilot's site at high magnification, I see nothing whatsoever to indicate it's a fake. All buildings and lots are different, down to patchy lawns, curtains in windows (and even one with no curtains that would indicate the *interior* was modeled as well, if faked), accurate shadows, poles, trash, stains, and on and on. One car even has its door open.

Too bright? You've seen or shot anything with Fuji Velvia slide film, then - this doesn't hold a candle to it (sorry, can't resist sometimes). Bright colors for most housing developments, perhaps, but not particularly bright as far is saturation goes.

Unfortunately, we have now become hypersensitive to any image that grabs our attention, and all too quickly scream, "Fake!"

But hey, if you want to believe someone spent hundreds of hours rendering a fake housing development down to the smallest detail just to post on a pilot's site...
Posted by Al Denelsbeck  in  North Carolina  on  Sat Feb 18, 2006  at  09:39 PM
all i have to say is that i want to see this for myself. by the way, the other picutres are GORGEOUS.
Posted by APointForThePointless  on  Sun Feb 19, 2006  at  07:54 AM
The photos of the dense housing at Ixtapaluca are real. I saw similar photos in a recent urban planning or real estate development magazine- not sure what issue.
Posted by Robert Simpson  in  San Juan Capistrano, CA  on  Sun Feb 19, 2006  at  11:13 PM
red face hey people at there in mexico or should i say holla??

well bye i have to go??
se you later okay??????????

one luv, nykol young

tongue wink
Posted by nykol young  in  south carolina  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  11:16 AM
rolleyes

LOL

sorry , thereother phototstaken by this pilot theat seemed very fake. a lot of the colors seemed out of place. i have been to mexico - granted , not mexico city - but everything seems to be covered in a layer of dust ....

by the way im sorry for the picture of him "landing"to pick someone up----


bye
see u later

one luv,nykol young

big surprise

mad
Posted by nykol young  in  south carolina  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  11:22 AM
I'm a foreign journalist who lives in Mexico City. One of the things I cover here is the low income housing industry. The neighborhood in that photo is absolutely typical of low income housing here. The pilot is right. They sell for around 20 k, and while it might seem depressing to live in a house identical to 9,999 others, the idea is that it is an improvement over living in a shack on the side of the hill that collapses every rainy season.
Posted by noel  in  Mexico City  on  Tue Jun 27, 2006  at  10:56 AM
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