Robert Simmons, editor of Planet Stories, would like to change the way you view Earth. The issue is the satellite images all of us are accustomed to. They are taken straight down, making the world seem flat, and, well, somewhat unexciting. Even so, when a picture taken by a satellite is taken at an angle, the perspective changes profoundly.
Established in 2010 by three former NASA scientists, Planet Labs has been on the cutting edge, aiming to offer high-quality, commercially accessible images of our home planet. As a result, it has the ability to look everywhere across the planet, in real time.
Many imaging satellites look straight down at the Earth at a perpendicular angle, these images are taken from an oblique angle, producing points of views which make the Earth’s surface appear like an ultra-realistic version of SimCity. This process “offers greater flexibility in showcasing the planet from all its glorious angles,” said Simmons.
Because of this perspective, you can notice the visible difference between mountains and plains, skyscrapers and the houses surrounding them. At the same time, the details in the images continue to be as spectacular as other satellite images.
“I thought it would be great to take some imagery of the world’s most vertical places,” he said. “The reason I put these together is because it provides a much more human viewpoint,” Simmons said. “It provides a much better view of the landscape, allowing you to reconstruct the terrain in your mind.”
Have a look at some of the shots and then check out Simmons’s Medium post.