Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Breathtaking Satellite Photos That Will Change How You See Our World

Our project was inspired, and derives its name, from an idea known as the Overview Effect. This term refers to the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. They have the chance to appreciate our home in its entirety, to reflect on its beauty and its fragility all at once. That's the cognitive shift that we hope to inspire. 
From our line of sight on the earth's surface, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the things we’ve constructed, the sheer complexity of the systems we’ve developed, or the devastating impact that we’ve had on our planet. We believe that beholding these forces as they shape our Earth is necessary to make progress in understanding who we are as a species, and what is needed to sustain a safe and healthy planet.
As a result, the Overviews (what we call these images) focus on the the places and moments where human activity—for better or for worse—has shaped the landscape. Each Overview starts with a thought experiment. We consider the places where man has left his mark on the planet and then conduct the necessary research to identify locations (and the corresponding geo-coordinates) to convey that idea. 
The mesmerizing flatness seen from this vantage point, the surprising comfort of systematic organization on a massive scale, or the vibrant colors that we capture will hopefully turn your head. However, once we have that attention, we hope you will go beyond the aesthetics, contemplate just exactly what it is that you're seeing, and consider what that means for our planet.The people behind this beautiful project write: “The mesmerizing flatness seen from this vantage point, the surprising comfort of systematic organization on a massive scale, or the vibrant colors that we capture will hopefully turn your head.
More info: Website | Tumblr | Facebook | Instagram (h/t: twistedsifter

“Overview” – a short film explaining the Overview Effect, which inspired the project:



Nusa Lembongan, Indonesias



8°40.906′S 115°27.067′E Seaweed farms on Nusa Lembongan – a small island located southeast of Bali, Indonesia – have an average harvest of 50,000 pounds per month. Once the seaweed is extracted from the water, it is dried by the sun for 3-7 days, depending on the season. 


Bourtange, Vlagtwedde, Netherlands

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53.0066°N 7.1920°E. Bourtange is a village with a population of 430 in the municipality of Vlagtwedde in the Netherlands. The star fort was built in 1593 during the Eighty Years’ War when William I of Orange wanted to control the only road between Germany and the city of Groningen. Bourtange was restored to its mid-18th-century state in 1960 and is currently used as an open-air museum. 

Barcelona, Spain
41°23′27″N 2°09′47″E 

309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group Tucson, Arizona, USA
32.170890°N 110.855184°W 

Central Park, New York City, New York, USA
40°46’56”N; 73°57’55”W. Central Park in New York City spans 843 acres. That’s 6% of the island of Manhattan. 

Great Wall of China, Northern China
40.67693°N 117.23193°E 

Desert Shores Community, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
36.211001, -115.266914. The Desert Shores Community in Las Vegas, Nevada contains 3,351 units and four man-made lakes. 

New Bullards Bar Reservoir, Yuba County, California
39.42903°N 121.13010°W

Residential Development, Killeen, Texas, USA
31.079844, -97.80145. In 2013, there were 923,400 home construction projects in the United States.

Venice, Italy
45°26′15″N 12°20′9″E 

Vineyards, Huelva, Spain

37°42′12″N 6°36′10″W. Vineyards swirl on the hills of Huelva, Spain. The climate there is ideal for grape growing with an average temperature of 64 degrees and a relative humidity between 60% and 80%. 

Plasticulture / Greenhouses, Almeria, Spain
36.78234°N 2.74315°W. Plasticulture refers to the practice of using plastic materials in agricultural applications. This is visible in the plains and valleys of Almeria, Spain where nearly 20,000 hectares are covered by these greenhouse structures.

Durrat Al Bahrain, Bahrain
25°50′17″N 50°36′18″E. Durrat Al Bahrain will consist of 15 connected, artificial islands (including six atolls, five fish-shaped, and two crescent-shaped). Construction costs are estimated at $6 billion and the project is slated for completion in mid-2015.

Amazon Rainforest Deforestation, Para, Brazil
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5°40′S 52°44′W. Clearcutting operations in the Amazon Rainforest of Para, Brazil branch out from one of the state’s central roads.

Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Newark, New Jersey, USA
40°40′54″N 74°09′02″W

Boca Raton, Florida, USA
26°22′7″N 80°6′0″W

Venture Out RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona, USA
33.411791, -111.723591

Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
33°43′45″N 118°15′43″W

Puente de Vallecas, Madrid, Spain
40.398204°N 3.669059°W

Agricultural Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
9°1′48″N 38°44′24″E 

Our Lady of Almudena Cemetery, Madrid, Spain
40°25′10″N 3°38′26″W. Our Lady of Almudena Cemetery in Madrid, Spain is one of the largest cemeteries in the world. The number of gravesites – estimated at five million – is greater than the population of Madrid itself.

Palm Island / Hibiscus Island, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
25.783216°N 80.16052°W. Palm Island and Hibiscus Islands are two man-made islands located in Miami Beach, Florida. While the residential neighborhoods on the islands have some of the highest property values in the city, they are also among the first places ordered to evacuate in advance of a hurricane.

Inman Yard, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
33.800083, -84.451936. The Norfolk Southern Railway operates 21,300 miles of track in 22 states, primarily in the Southeastern US. Inman Yard in Atlanta, Georgia, pictured here, is one of the major railyards that houses a portion of the operation’s 3,648 locomotives and 79,082 freight cars. 

Spaghetti Junction (A-3 and M-50), Madrid, Spain
40.360051, -3.564548. The A-3 and M-50 highways come together in an interwoven crossroads southeast of Madrid, Spain. This structure is commonly called a “spaghetti junction.” 

Agricultural Development, Loxahatchee, Florida, USA


Brøndby Haveby, Brønby Municipality, Denmark
55 ° 38 ’12.836031 “N, 12 ° 23′ 58.386726″ E

Terraced Rice Paddies, Yuanyang County, Yunnan, China
23°09′32″N 102°44′41″E. For the past 1300 years, the Hani people of Yuanyang County, China have cultivated spectacular, terraced rice patties on mountainsides.

Clearcutting in the El Dorado National Forest, Georgetown, California, USA
38°45′01″N 120°20′00″W. 20 acre clearcutting tracts in the El Dorado National Forest.
Edson, Kansas, USA
39°20′14″N 101°32′26″W
Central Pivot Irrigation Fields. Ha’il, Saudi Arabia
27°31′N 41°41′E. These circular patterns occur as crops are watered by overhead sprinklers, which are mounted to motor-driven, rotating towers that distribute water evenly throughout the fields.


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