Overview: A New Perspective of Earth is a new book by Benjamin Grant featuring over 200 high-definition satellite photographs of our planet. It is inspired by the wildly popular Daily Overview Instagram (featured previously), which Grant has been running since 2013.
All of the images in Overview were created by stitching together numerous satellite photographs from DigitalGlobe’s 15-year time-lapse image library, which contains some of the world’s highest quality satellite imagery.
Grant named the project after the “Overview Effect,” a sensation of profound shift in perspective that astronauts experience when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. His hope is that by giving viewers a chance to engage with these far-flung perspectives, we can not only share in that unique, rare sensation, but also gain a new understanding of our place on the planet.
Overview: A New Perspective of Earth is available now.
Reprinted with permission from Overview by Benjamin Grant, copyright (c) 2016. Published by Amphoto Books, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Images (©) 2016 by DigitalGlobe, Inc.
1. JACKSONVILLE INTERCHANGE
A turbine interchange connects two highways in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. This structure consists of left-turning ramps sweeping around a centre interchange, thereby creating a spiral pattern of right-hand traffic.
Every year, tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands begin to bloom 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.
3. CENTRAL PARK
Central Park in New York City, USA spans 341 hectares (843 acres), which is 6% of the island of Manhattan. One of the most influential innovations in the park’s design was its ‘separate circulation systems’ for pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, and cars. The park contains numerous tennis courts and baseball fields, an ice-skating rink, and a swimming pool. It also serves as the finish line for the New York City Marathon and New York City Triathlon.
4. ANGKOR WAT
Angkor Wat, a temple complex in Cambodia, is the largest religious monument in the world (first it was Hindu, then Buddhist). Constructed in the twelfth century, the 820,000 square metre (8·8 million-square-foot) site features a moat and forest that harmoniously surround a massive temple at its centre.
The Eixample District in Barcelona, Spain is characterised by its strict grid pattern and apartments with communal courtyards. This thoughtful and visionary design was the work of Ildefons Cerdà (1815–1876). His plan features broad streets that widen at octagonal intersections to create greater visibility with increased sunlight, better ventilation, and more space for short-term parking.
6. SHADEGAN LAGOON
Dendritic drainage systems are seen around the Shadegan Lagoon by Musa Bay in Iran. The word ‘dendritic’ refers to the pools’ resemblance to the branches of a tree, and this pattern develops when streams move across relatively flat and uniform rocks, or over a surface that resists erosion.
7. DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE AIRCRAFT BONEYARD
The largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world is located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The boneyard – run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group – contains more than 4,400 retired American military and government aircrafts.
8. GEMASOLAR THERMOSOLAR PLANT
This Overview captures the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant in Seville, Spain. The solar concentrator contains 2,650 heliostat mirrors that focus the sun’s thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through a 140-metre-tall (460-foot) 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 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
9. DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA
Because many cities in the American state of Florida 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. One particular neighborhood in Delray Beach is seen here.
Olive tree groves cover the hills of Córdoba, Spain. Approximately 90% of all harvested olives are turned into oil; the remaining 10% are eaten as table olives. With rising temperatures and phenomenal weather variations in growing regions, olive groves on high hills or slopes will probably suffer less, but groves located on low altitude areas or plains could become totally unproductive.
11. PORT OF SINGAPORE
Cargo ships and tankers – some weighing up to 300,000 tonnes – wait outside the entry to the Port of Singapore. The facility is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of total tonnage, shipping a fifth of the world’s cargo containers and half of the world’s annual supply of crude oil.
12. SUN LAKES
Sun Lakes, Arizona, USA is a planned community with a population of approximately 14,000 residents, most of whom are senior citizens. According to US census data, only 0·1% of the community’s 6,683 households are home to children under the age of 18.
13. THE EMPTY QUARTER
Rub’ al Khali, or The Empty Quarter, is the largest sand desert in the world. It covers 650,000 square kilometres (251,000 square miles), and includes parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. In the centre of the desert there are a number of raised, hardened formations that were once the sites of shallow lakes, thousands of years ago. For a sense of scale, this Overview shows approximately 350 square kilometres (135 square miles) in Saudi Arabia, near the border with Oman.
14. BURNING MAN
Burning Man is a week-long, annual event held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, USA. Drawing more than 65,000 participants each year, the event is described as an experiment in community, art, self-expression, and radical self-reliance.
15. IPANEMA BEACH
Ipanema Beach is located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Recognised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the sand is divided into segments by lifeguard towers known as ‘postos’.
Overview: A New Perspective of Earth