When Google Earth came along some 14 years it really caught the attention and interest of the public, as we could travel anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. It has proved popular with over 1.2 billion downloads, however the off shoot application Google Maps took things to the next stage. Maps came out in 2005, and now has 125 million people using it every month. In fact you would probably be hard pressed to find someone who has fired up a computer that hasn’t used it at some point.
One thing is for certain is that since both programs came along it has completely changed the way we look at the earth. Every search starts as a birds eye view, but (as is certainly the case with Google Maps) is quickly zoomed in to street view.
However if you take a step back and look at the slightly bigger picture it can sometimes become a work of art, and that is exactly what New York-based website the Daily Overview has embraced with it’s project.
They have put together a collection of mesmerising aerial photography actually taken from space that gives us an abstract picture of environments that we often overlook that are both natural and manmade. From places like Central Park in New York, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Inner cities in India, Singapore’s port, a plane graveyard, Potash ponds, or a series of roundabouts art can truly be found anywhere.
Take a look at a sample of the stunning images below, and head on over to their website here and their Instagram account here for more fascinating imagery and a background on each piece’s origin for a total that currently stands at 549.
↓↓↓This Overview captures the blooming tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands. The flowers are in peak bloom in April of each year.
↓↓↓This Overview captures the Arc de Triomphe. The structure, which was commissioned in 1806 after Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz during the peak of his fortunes, is located at the center of twelve radiating avenues in Paris, France. Because of numerous delays, including the abdication of Napoleon, construction of the monument took nearly 30 years to complete.
↓↓↓This Overview captures the Example District in Barcelona, Spain. The neighborhood is characterized by its strict grid pattern, octagonal intersections, and apartments with communal courtyards.
↓↓↓This Overview captures the evaporation ponds at the Intrepid Potash Mine in Moab, Utah, USA. The mine produces muriate of potash, a potassium-containing salt used widely by farmers in fertilizer. The salt is pumped to the surface from underground brines and dried in massive solar ponds that vibrantly extend across the landscape. As the water evaporates over the course of 300 days, the salts crystallize out. So why are you seeing such vibrant colors? The water is dyed bright blue to reduce the amount of time it takes for the potash to crystallize; darker water absorbs more sunlight and heat.
↓↓↓This Overview captures Central Park in New York City. Located in the middle of Manhattan, the park spans 843 acres - or 6% of the borough. One of the most influential innovations in the park's design was its "separate circulation" systems for pedestrians, horseback riders, and automobiles. This concealed "crosstown" commercial traffic in sunken roadways (known as "transverses" today), and densely planted shrub belts in order to maintain a rustic ambiance.
↓↓↓This Overview captures the Port Newark Container Terminal. The massive facility handles over 600,000 shipping containers every year and has begun expansion projects that will increase annual capacity to 1.1 million containers by 2030.
↓↓↓This Overview captures the aircraft boneyard at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California, USA. The facility is a massive transitional hub for commercial aircraft and its boneyard contains more than 150 retired planes.
↓↓↓This Overview captures the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant in Seville, Spain. The solar concentrator 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.
↓↓↓This Overview captures agricultural development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Both the capital and the largest city in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa has a population of approximately 3.4 million. Despite the significant role urban agriculture has played in the history of the city, this activity is facing challenges due to rapid urbanization and the subsequent competitive demand for land.
↓↓↓Sun Lakes, Arizona is a planned community with a population of nearly 14,000 residents. According to US census data, only 0.1% of the community's 6,683 households have children under the age of 18 living there.
↓↓↓Olive tree plantations covers the hills of Córdoba, Spain. Approximately 90% of all harvested olives are turned in to oil, while the 10% are eaten as table olives.
↓↓↓We’re feeling very tropical with this Overview of the Sepang Goldcoast Resort in Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. The hotel features over-water bungalows that extend out in a palm-shaped formation into the calm waters of the Malacca Straits.
↓↓↓Mussel cultivation in the Ría de Arousa saline estuary off the coast of Galicia, Spain is the highest in the world. Floating rafts contain the nurseries where the mollusks grow on ropes until they are large enough to harvest. Mussel production has thrived here because there is an usually high concentration of phytoplankton in the water, providing the mussels with a protein-rich diet.
↓↓↓The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, New York shows its rainbow of vibrant colors (caused by the bacteria that grow around the edge of the mineral-rich water).
↓↓↓Center pivot irrigation is used throughout the Wadi As-Sirhan Basin of Saudi Arabia. Water is mined from depths as great as one kilometer (~3,000 ft), pumped to the surface, and evenly distributed by sprinklers that rotate 360 degrees. Spurred by a government effort to strengthen its agriculture sector, cultivated land in the country grew from 400,000 acres in 1976 to more than 8 million acres by 1993. The diameter of the fields you see here are approximately three kilometers (1.9 miles) across.