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.
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.
Rocinha, built upon a steep hillside overlooking Rio de Janeiro, is the largest favela in Brazil. Covering only .8 square miles, the population of the urbanized slum is estimated somewhere between 70,000 and 200,000. Residents occupy shanties made of concrete and brick that are stacked on top of each other, with some climbing as high as 11 stories.
To celebrate our 175K follower milestone, we’re doing a PRINT GIVEAWAY from our Printshop!!! To enter the contest, simply TAG FOUR (4) FRIENDS in the comments of this Overview. In 72 hours, we’ll announce a winner who will receive a print with this amazing view of Central Park in New York City. Located in the middle of Manhattan, the park spans 843 acres, or 6% of the borough. Thank you all for your support and best of luck with the contest!
The glowing lights of Las Vegas, Nevada are captured here from the International Space Station. Since the city is entirely surrounded by desert, its brightly lit grid of streets starkly contrasts the dark, undeveloped area on its outskirts. You’ll also notice the Las Vegas Strip – the city’s central avenue that is seen at the middle of this Overview. This particular area is one of the brightest spots on Earth due to the concentration of lights emanating from the hotels and casinos along the road. Source imagery: @nasa
Colorful, metal-roofed industrial buildings line the coast of Tokai, Japan. The city’s economy is dominated by a massive steel mill – a portion of which is seen at the bottom of this Overview. Nippon Steel, the company that owns the mill, has an annual production of more than 47 million tons of steel across its various facilities. Steels – consisting of alloys of iron and other elements, primarily carbon – is a major component in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, appliances, and weapons.
Valparaíso, Chile is built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Known as “The Jewel of the Pacific,” the city is the sixth largest in the country and is home to approximately 285,000 residents. Valparaíso is also home to the country’s first public library, South America’s first volunteer fire department, and the world’s longest running Spanish language newspaper in continuous publication.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the United States – honoring the Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. This overview captures the Lincoln Memorial during King’s famous “I Have A Dream Speech” in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. In front of more than 250,000 civil rights supporters, King described his dreams of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred.
Albenga is a city situated on the Gulf of Genoa in Italy. The economy of Albenga is primarily driven by tourism, local commerce, and agriculture. When viewing the town from above, it’s easy to see the amount of space dedicated to agriculture because of the widespread use of greenhouses or “plasticulture." The use of plastic covering is designed to increase produce yield, increase produce size, and shorten growth time.
New Delhi serves as the capital of India and is home to more than 21 million residents in its metro area. Officially inaugurated in February 1931, the city was planned by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. Their design centered around two promenades – the Rajpath and Janpath – that run perpendicular to each other and intersect here at center. For a sense of scale, this Overview shows approximately four square miles.
Chimalhuacán is a city with more than 600,000 residents in the eastern part of the State of Mexico, Mexico. The colorful strip seen across the bottom of this Overview is a open-air market known as a tianguis. Here, merchants cover their stalls with vibrant canopies to protect themselves from harsh sun and inclement weather.
Houses swirl on the hills of Umlazi – a township in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The present site of Umlazi was occupied by American missionaries in 1836 and only opened to black residents in 1965, many of whom moved there from Durban. The current population of the township is approximately 405,000.