As you know, Bing Maps helps you understand your world. Last month I described how you can use imagery on Bing Maps to interactively learn about history by exploring where important events like the Civil Rights Movement took place. This month I’m going to focus on a lighter topic—learning about filming locations from your favorite movies. I like movies and love seeing places featured in movies I’ve seen. With Bing, you can explore these locations and get a new perspective on the associated movies. I’ve provided a few of my favorite examples below, and while you’re exploring, be sure to check out the new imagery we’re publishing this month listed at the bottom of this post.
The Great Outdoors
Mother Nature provides directors with many and varied locations to use in their films. Some locations are iconic, others simply offer the right environment to help support the movie’s theme or emotional point of view. One impressive manmade structure that’s had a supporting role in numerous films is the Sepulveda Dam Spillway outside of Los Angeles:
Sepulveda Dam Spillway in Los Angeles, CA on Bing Maps
Don’t recognize it from the air? It’s been a backdrop in films as diverse as Gattaca and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Click the links to refresh your memories.
A more obscure location was featured in the movie Six Days and Seven Nights, starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. It was the backdrop for the “cliff jump” scene, where Ford and Heche’s characters were being chased by “South Asian pirates”:
Dramatic cliff location from Six Days and Seven Nights on Bing Maps
The scene takes place on an unnamed desert island near Tahiti, and the cliff sure does look isolated. If only the characters in the movie had Bing Maps! Zoom out a bit and you can see it’s only a short walk down Shipwreck Beach to The Point at Poipu, one of Hawaii’s top resorts:
Much nicer accommodations in Poipu, Kauai on Bing Maps
They could even have walked a little further down the coast and taken in the natural water show at the Spouting Horn.
Movie Sets on a More Human Scale
I’m a big fan of the Indiana Jones movies—well, except for, you know. I was in high school when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out and was blown away by the story as well as the sets and cinematography. Even George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg couldn’t afford to build a set for every scene and therefore made good use of existing locations. Indiana Jones’ day job was as an archeology professor at the fictitious Marshall College. Setting the scene was this beautiful Faye Spanos Concert Hall at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA:
Faye Spanos Concert Hall at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA on Bing Maps
Other notable locations from the movie include the holy city of Kairouan, Tunisia, which doubled as pre-World War II Cairo, and Rickmansworth Masonic School in England where interiors were used for scenes at the college and Washington, DC.
Closer to home, but no less inspirational is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, home to the iconic scene from Rocky, where Sylvester Stallone charges the steps to the unforgettable sounds of “Gonna Fly Now” by composer Bill Conti:
Philadelphia Museum of Art steps in Philadelphia, PA on Bing Maps
The scene has become so iconic that thousands have recreated it in person and, for better or worse, posted videos online.
This next scene isn’t directly related to any single movie but is a symbol of the entire film industry in the United States:
The iconic Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, CA on Bing Maps
Located near Mount Hollywood and Griffith Park, the Hollywood sign has an interesting history and was never meant to represent the motion picture industry. Nonetheless it was adopted by movie goers and movie stars alike. And, by the way, rumor has it the latter are getting together for a big awards show on Sunday night.
I’ll leave you with one more famous location, or more specifically lots of locations:
Universal Studios backlot in Los Angeles, CA on Bing Maps
That’s the “backlot” of Universal Studios Hollywood. It’s been used to film scenes in literally hundreds of movies, including Back to the Future (see the “city hall” building and square in the right center of the image), To Kill a Mockingbird and Psycho. You can also see a giant “green screen” used to fill in backgrounds using special digital effects. Many a movie star has spent time on those streets.
I’ve shown you just a fraction of the locations that you can find with Bing Maps. Take the challenge yourself and let me know in the comments what other famous backdrops you find.
Mike Gilbert, Principal Lead Program Manager, Bing Maps
New 2D and 3D cities this month include:
|Dayton, OH (and surrounding areas)
|Edison, NJ (and surrounding areas)
|Milwaukee, WI (and surrounding areas)
|Minneapolis, MN (and surrounding areas)
|Norfolk, VA (and surrounding areas)
|Ocala, FL (and surrounding areas)
|Omaha, NE (and surrounding areas)
|Santa Cruz, CA
|Wichita, KS (and surrounding areas)
New Streetside cities this month include:
Leave a comment here and tell us what you think or let us know on Twitter (@BingMaps).