See How Humans Changed the World from a Satellite Overview

Interesting Engineering

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.

"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 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.

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."

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."

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."

SEE ALSO: Colorful New Maps Capture the Veins of America

If you'd like to see more, follow his Instagram account here and stay tune for the new visual adventures.

Via Daily Overview

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