CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

The Cotswolds as seen through Google Dream

PUBLISHED: 11:12 16 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:16 16 July 2015

This folly was built in the 1700s and served as a country retreat for artists including William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Now it serves as the palace of the Bird King... | Photo: Newton2 /

This folly was built in the 1700s and served as a country retreat for artists including William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Now it serves as the palace of the Bird King... | Photo: Newton2 /


Every image run through Google’s Deep Dream algorithm emerges as a psychedelic vision of Dali-esque surrealism. Can you tell where these iconic Cotswold locations are after they’ve been given the treatment?

Image recognition software is advancing in leaps and bounds and is now found on everything from your favourite social media platform to your digital camera. The engineers at Google have been tinkering away in an attempt to improve their software, which has inadvertently spawned a viral trend. The Deep Dream algorithm.

Essentially, Google want to teach a program to be able to analyse, distinguish and classify objects in a fundamentally human (or animal) way - being able to tell if a spade is a spade... or actually a trowel, or a rake etc. This is done through teaching the program using reference images in much the same way we learn to understand the world around us.

The Deep Dream algorithm is what happens when the program looks at an image and is asked to find objects within it. It then amplifies these features over and over until the objects it’s looking for are more visible. So even with an image of white noise, it analyses the arrangement of dots, compares this with what it has learnt from millions of reference images, and starts to ‘connect the dots’, so to speak. Doing this multiple times gives you a bizarre amalgamation of the original image and various ‘imagined’ objects. Because the program is biased towards identifying certain things, just as we are naturally biased towards identifying human faces, the images regurgitated by it often feature dogs, birds, eyes, cars and so on.

Now everybody has been applying the algorithm to their own images - spawning psychedelic, hallucinatory and hilarious artwork.

We’ve run pictures of a number of well-known places in the Cotswolds through the algorithm. Can you identify the locations?


Put your own pics through the process using

Did you correctly guess the locations from the pictures? Have a look at the original images here.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search