Mankind is the only species that shapes the world at its own will. And construction is the result of a passion to create.
We see how we transformed the world (for better or worse), but rarely do we understand the scale of those changes. Some of the best images for understanding that scale come from satellites.
Benjamin Grant has been running an Instagram account named Daily Overview since 2014 that shares a wide spectrum of satellite images. These capture everything from the inspiringly innovative to the slightly destructive.
Last night the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, ending a 108-year streak since the franchise won its last championship. Congratulations to all of the Cubs fans in Chicago and all around the world! The team’s home stadium, Wrigley Field, is captured in this Overview. /// Created by Cubs fan @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe
“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.”
The haunted house at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is consistently ranked among the scariest Halloween attractions in the United States. The prison operated from 1829 until 1971 and housed notorious criminals like the gangster Al Capone. The facility was also the first of its kind to be constructed in a “wagon-wheel” layout with seven wings of cellblocks radiating from a central hub. Hope everyone has a safe and scary Halloween! /// Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @nearmap /// We’re also doing a book giveaway on @geoawesomeness this week! Check out their feed for a chance to win.
The Grant is using amazing wide open pictures taken by DigitalGlobe, an high-level collection of Earth-imaging satellites which are providing data to services as like Google Earth.
Here’s another favorite from “Overview” — the tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands begin to bloom every year in March and are in peak bloom by late April. The Dutch produce a total of 4.3 billion tulip bulbs each year, of which 53% (2.3 billion) is grown into cut flowers. Of these, 1.3 billion are sold in the Netherlands as cut flowers and the remainder is exported: 630 million bulbs to Europe and 370 million elsewhere. /// Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe
The project takes its name from a phenomenon experience called “cognitive shift in awareness.” It’s when astronauts spend long stretches of time in space and watch the earth from above, named the “overview effect.”
For everyone who pre-ordered a copy of “Overview” here is what you’ll be seeing on the back cover tomorrow! This solar concentrator in Seville, Spain use 2,650 heliostat mirrors to collect and focus the sun’s thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through a 460-foot tall central tower. The molten salt then circulates from the tower to a storage tank where it is used to produce steam and generate electricity. In total, the facility displaces approximately 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year. So excited for everyone to receive their books tomorrow! /// Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe
After all the attention he got on Instagram the Grant has been gathered some of the greatest images into a book called Overview, that published by Amphoto Books, to show the evolution of earth by human, from different aspects of agriculture, industry, and architecture.
“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.”
Here’s one of my favorite images from the ‘Where We Design’ chapter in “Overview”. The town of Palmanova, Italy is recognized by its concentric layout known as a star fort. The rationale for this construction was that an attack on any individual wall could be defended from the two adjacent star points by shooting the enemy from behind. The three rings that surround Palmanova were completed in 1593, 1690, and 1813. /// Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe
Grant shares amazing pictures with their corresponding coordinates and information about the landscapes. He documents the change of the landscape as well as the construction.
“With the first release of my book tomorrow in the United Kingdom, I have been doing a lot of thinking about why I started this project in the first place. To sum it up in one word, it has always been about perspective. Through space travel or satellites or simply bringing ourselves to a more elevated viewpoint, we can discover new ways to see our world like never before. I think that exercise can be healthy, it can be challenging, and ultimately, it can be beautiful. For me, it has been such an amazing adventure to work on this project and this book and I can’t wait to see where it will take us next.”
Residential development is seen in Boca Raton, Florida, USA. Because many cities in the state contain master-planned communities, often built on top of waterways in the latter half of the twentieth century, there are a number of intricate designs that are visible from the Overview perspective. Boca Raton is home to roughly 91,000 residents. /// Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe
If you’d like to see more, follow his Instagram account here and stay tune for the new visual adventures.
Via Daily Overview