two excellent links my friend ted sent me. first is this article on olivo barbieri's toylike photography:
It's often hard to convince people that Olivo Barbieri's aerial photographs are real. They look uncannily like hyperdetailed models, absent the imperfections of reality. Streets are strangely clean, trees look plastic, and odd distortions of scale create the opposite effect of what we expect from aerial photography..
he may be using a special camera and flying in a helicopter to get his toylike visions, but i've seen the same kind of effect with regular cameras firmly mounted on the ground.
the second link he sent me is to this fabulous plush robot toy with a girl inside! coolness.