Satellite Image of “Wish” Art by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada

satellite image wishGeoEye-1 (0.5m) Satellite Image of “Wish” by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada

(Image Copyright © DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation)

Satellite image of “Wish” art by Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada a portrait of a young girl making a wish covers eleven acres of the Titanic quarter of Belfast. Approximately 30,000 wooden pegs, 2,000 tons of soil, 2,000 tons of sand, plus grass, stones and strings were used to make the portrait. Adjacent buildings allow viewings until December 2013, but it is most comfortably viewed by aerial or satellite photo.

Wish was eighteen months in the planning, and one month in execution, with a huge team of volunteers. As Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada had envisioned, the Belfast community very much collaborated with and supported the project, from construction companies to the fire brigade. The portrait is based on a photo of an anonymous six-year-old Belfast girl that he had taken on one of his many trips to get to know and love the city in the prior eighteen months. Rodríguez-Gerada wanted to lift the pure moment of a child’s wish to the magnitude of a universal statement, particularly in the context of city like Belfast. For the artist it was the enormity of people coming together in support on such a large scale that amplified such a simple moment to a profound level.

Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada is a Cuban American contemporary artist. He is a founder of the New York Culture Jamming movement and an innovator in the international urban art scene. Since the late 90´s he has been replacing the faces of cultural icons chosen by advertisers with the faces of anonymous people to question the controls imposed on public space, the role models designated and the type of events that are guarded by the collective memory.

Rodríguez-Gerada´s unique direction was mentioned in Naomi Klein´s book No Logo and was a precursor of the use of anonymous portraits now common in street art. His spectacular interventions are created for the sake of bringing awareness to relevant social issues. His large scale time base works avoid negative impact on the environment, challenge the conformity in contemporary art and allow for a reflection that goes beyond the completion of the piece to focus in its concept, process, and the metaphor that comes forth because of the material chosen. Visit Jorge’s website and more works of art.

Satellite Image of Victoria Falls ‘The Smoke That Thunders’

satellite image victoria fallsPleiades (0.5m) Satellite Photo of Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

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Copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Victoria Falls is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.The recent geological history of Victoria Falls can be seen in the form of the gorges below the falls. The basalt plateau over which the Upper Zambezi flows has many large cracks filled with weaker sandstone. In the area of the current falls the largest cracks run roughly east to west (some run nearly north-east to south-west), with smaller north-south cracks connecting them.

Over at least 100,000 years, the falls have been receding upstream through the Batoka Gorges, eroding the sandstone-filled cracks to form the gorges. The river’s course in the current vicinity of the falls is north to south, so it opens up the large east-west cracks across its full width, then it cuts back through a short north-south crack to the next east-west one. The river has fallen in different eras into different chasms which now form a series of sharply zig-zagging gorges downstream from the falls.

Apart from some dry sections, the Second to Fifth and the Songwe Gorges each represents a past site of the falls at a time when they fell into one long straight chasm as they do now.  forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.

Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as, at the height of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge, over a width of nearly two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below. Read more about Victoria Falls.

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Satellite Image of Nazca Lines in Peru

satellite image nazca line peruPleiades-1B (0.5m) Satellite Image Nazca Lines in Peru

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Copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The high, arid plateau stretches more than 80 kilometres (50 mi) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana about 400 km south of Lima. Although some local geoglyphs resemble Paracas motifs, scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, and lizards.

The lines are shallow designs made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than seventy are zoomorphic designs of animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguar, monkey, or human figures. Other designs include phytomorphic shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 metres (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general they ascribe religious significance to them. Read more about the Nazca Lines.

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Satellite Image of Singapore Marine District

satellite image SingaporeWorldView-2 (0.5m) Satellite Image of Singapore Marine District

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An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanized with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation.

Part of various local empires since being inhabited in the second century AD, modern Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post of the East India Company in 1819 with the permission from the Johor Sultanate. The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Occupied by the Japanese during World War II, Singapore declared independence from the United Kingdom, uniting with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963, although it was separated from Malaysia two years later. Since then, it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Read more about Singapore’s history.

Satellite Image of Cabo San Lucas

satellite image cabo san lucasQuickBird (0.6m) Satellite Image of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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Cabo San Lucas is a city at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.

As of the 2010 Censo General de Población y Vivienda, the population was 68,463. It is the third-largest city in Baja California Sur after La Paz and San José del Cabo. It has experienced very rapid growth and development. Cabo San Lucas together with San José Del Cabo is known as Los Cabos.

Cabo is known for its beaches, scuba diving locations, balnearios, the sea arch El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, and marine life. The Los Cabos Corridor has become a heavily-trafficked holiday destination for tourists, with numerous resorts and timeshares along the coast between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. More about Cabo San Lucas…

Cabo_San_Lucas_bay

Satellite Image of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

satellite image great barrier reefWorldview-2 (0.5m) Satellite Image of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

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Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space in the above satellite image from the Worldview-2 satellite and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.

A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. According to a study published in October 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985. Read more on the Great Barrier Reef.

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great barrier reefImage credit: Qualia

Earth Observation Satellites 1957 to the Present

Earth observation satellites are used to map and monitor our planet’s resources and ever-changing chemical life cycles. They follow sun-synchronous, polar orbits. Under constant, consistent illumination from the sun, they take images in different colors of visible light and non-visible radiation. Computers on Earth combine and analyze the pictures. Scientists use Earth observing satellites to locate mineral deposits, to determine the location and size of freshwater supplies, to identify sources of pollution and study its effects, and to detect the spread of disease in crops and forests.

History

In 1955, the United States and the Soviet Union announced plans to launch artificial satellites. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite. It circled Earth once every 96 minutes and transmitted radio signals that could be received on Earth. On November 3, 1957, the Soviets launched a second satellite, Sputnik 2. It carried a dog named Laika, the first animal to soar in space. The United States launched its first satellite, Explorer 1, on January 31, 1958, and its second, Vanguard 1, on March 17, 1958.

SputnikSPUTNIK 1 (1957)

In August 1960, the United States launched the first communications satellite, Echo I. This satellite reflected radio signals back to Earth. In April 1960, the first weather satellite, Tiros I, sent pictures of clouds to Earth. The U.S. Navy developed the first navigation satellites. The Transit 1B navigation satellite first orbited in April 1960. By 1965, more than 100 satellites were being placed in orbit each year.

Since the 1970′s, scientists have created new and more effective satellite instruments and have made use of computers and miniature electronic technology in satellite design and construction. In addition, more nations and private businesses have begun to purchase and operate satellites. By the early 2000′s, more than 40 countries owned satellites, and nearly 3,000 satellites were operating in orbit. For more information on Satellite Imaging Technology, visit here.

Satellite Image of Venice Italy

satellite image venice italyIKONOS (0.8m) Satellite Image of Venice Italy – “City of Water”

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Venice is a city in northeastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Visit City of Venice here.

View a 360 degree panoramic view of Venice here.

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Satellite Image of Taketomi-Jima Island Japan

satellite image taketomi jima islandSPOT-6 Satellite Image of Taketomi-Jima Island, Ryukyu Island, Japan

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Copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

Taketomi Island located in the Yaeyama District of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The population of Taketomi Island was 323 as of January 2012. Taketomi Island is located 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) south of Ishigaki Island. The island has a village in the center. The island covers 5.42 square kilometers (2.09 sq mi), and runs 2.7 kilometers (1.7 mi) east to west and 3.4 kilometers (2.1 mi) north to south. Taketomi is a raised coral atoll. The island is circular in shape, and is surrounded by coral reefs. Taketomi Island is part of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, established in 1972.

Taketomi is known for its traditional Ryukyuan houses, stone walls, and sandy streets, making it popular with tourists. Various rules are in place to prevent the more aesthetically displeasing aspects of modern construction from ruining the beauty of the island, such as replacing concrete walls with hand-packed stone. Popular tourist activities include relaxing at the beach, snorkeling, taking an ox-cart ride through the village, and simply walking or biking around the island while enjoying the quaintness of the village and the natural scenery. Taketomi Island located in the Yaeyama District of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The population of Taketomi Island was 323 as of January 2012.

The island is also famous for its beautiful beaches and hoshizuna or hoshisuna, meaning “star-sand”, which is composed of the remains of tiny sea animals. Read more on Taketomi Island.

Satellite Image of the Island of Love ‘Galesnjak’

satellite image island of lovePleiades-1A (0.5m) Satellite Image – Galesnjak, “Island of Love”, Croatia

Pasman Channel, Adriatic Sea

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Image copyright © ASTRIUM and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

Between the islands of Pasman and the town of Turanj on mainland Croatia, the Island of Love is one of the worlds few naturally occurring heart-shaped objects.

The island has a surface area of 0.132 km2, with its beach measuring 1.55 km in length. The island features two peaks, the highest of which is 36 m high above sea level.

Galesnjak is privately owned and contains only wild plants and trees. Human activity recorded on this island are three known Illyrian burial mounds and remains of an ancient building’s foundations.

The island’s unusual shape was first recorded in the early 19th century by Napoleon’s cartographer Charles-Francois Beautemps-Beaupre, who included it in his 1806 atlas of the Dalmatian coast (kept today at the National and University Library in Zagreb).

The island was highlighted on Google Earth in February 2009, which brought the island to worldwide attention.