Observing Earth
April 16, 2011 4:26 PM   Subscribe

We tend to think of blogs that showcase large images as a phenomenon of the past few years. But NASA's Earth Observatory has been posting its Image of the Day since April 1999 (when its first "large" image available for download was a 214 KB jpeg of the North Pole). Now, Image of the Day has downloads of images in multiple formats, most of which measure in megabytes, not kilobytes, and these stunning images of the earth's surface give context to the human activity down below: a toxic spill in Hungary, wildfires in Mexico, the growth of a coal mine in West Virginia, agriculture in Brazil, snowmelt flooding in Fargo, North Dakota, last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, artificial islands in Dubai, the aftermath of Japan's recent tsunami.
posted by ocherdraco (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Very interesting selection. Was particularly struck by the "before/after" format in some of the disaster cases.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 4:31 PM on April 16, 2011

Fuck yeah, my taxpayers hard at work, doing good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:05 PM on April 16, 2011

Yeah, thanks American taxpayers! I keep coming back to Sunset on Mars as my desktop background. (Full-size version, and one one that's 1680x1050 like my desktop.)
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:27 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it is great that everyone owns these images. A legacy from back when taxpayers were citizens, first and foremost.
posted by Skygazer at 1:35 AM on April 17, 2011

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