The World from Above

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Are you one of those people who love looking down from air planes at the world, as it shrinks? Or do you spend hours zooming in and out of maps, gazing at the patterns and forms? Did you love the movie UP for daring to fly ‘up above the world so high’? Are you someone who simply gets the thrill of discovering an amazing view? Then read on.

Humans have always been fascinated with the view from up above, something that was out of reach till the advent of Google Maps and Google Earth, one of the greatest achievements of mankind. (How it has changed the world is a fascinating story by itself. More on that later). Coming to the point, this was the idea behind Daily Overview, an Instagram account created by Benjamin Grant, inspired by the Overview Effect. The Overview Effect is the cognitive shift in awareness, the feeling you get while viewing the Earth from above- a feeling of awe, a profound, deep understanding of life and existence, and most importantly, a renewed sense of responsibility towards the planet.

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Everyday the Daily Overview posts high resolution images of the Earth from above, that highlight the effect of man’s activities on Earth. Devastatingly beautiful, their images cannot fail to evoke a sense of disbelief that these places actually exist.

To put it in their own words, “From our line of sight on the earth’s surface, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the things we’ve constructed, the sheer complexity of the systems we’ve developed, or the devastating impact that we’ve had on our planet. The Overviews focus on the places and moments where human activity—for better or for worse—has shaped the landscape. Each Overview starts with a thought experiment.”

Now, these posts have the potential to teach us a lot about cities and look at it in a new light; some distance is all that one needs to gain some perspective on things. Every image is accompanied by a thought provoking caption on context the human impact over the landscape. The flatness of the image seen from this vantage point is almost graphic with the vibrant colours and throws us off with the massive scale. Here are few of the most interesting Overviews of cities and city life.

 

 

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