Those fortunate sufficient to have frolicked aboard the International Space Station report a singular feeling while watching the Earth rush by under: It’s known as the overview impact. It’s a form of awe and newfound appreciation for the interconnectedness of planetary methods and the human species. But if you’re like me and have by no means been aboard the ISS, you may at the very least take pleasure in a bevy of pictures from satellites circling the Earth, our personal form of terrestrial overview impact.
Still, not even astronauts can actually watch the planet rework over time, given the brevity of their stints aboard the house station. Cities balloon or depopulate over the course of a long time. Mining outfits increase and bust. Loggers deforest a panorama, and farmers bloom huge fields of tulips. Satellites have been capturing all of the methods we’ve been remodeling this planet, pictures that authors Benjamin Grant and Timothy Dougherty have compiled into the fascinating new guide Overview Timelapse: How We Change the Earth. (Disclosure: Their writer, Ten Speed Press, belongs to the Crown Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, by which this writer has printed his personal books.)
Their guide of photographs takes the surprise of the overview impact and stretches it over a few years of change, be it the rise and fall of industries or the retreat of Antarctic sea ice. “That awe and that mesmerizing vastness that you can see in the images is still there. But this is an experiment,” says Grant. “When you look at the same place multiple times from this awe-inspiring perspective, what can we learn?”