Google Maps satellite view is something to easily overlook. When Google Earth came out, people might do a quick search for their house, take a stop at the Grand Canyon, and maybe even seek out the pyramids in Egypt. But, after that, the novelty wore off. Seeing the imaged Earth from above became commonplace and lost its luster. Here’s the thing: in the 1960s, to take a high aerial photo of the Earth, people had to launch a satellite into space, take pictures on film, deploy the film back to Earth, and send teams of people to go pick it up. That’s a reality technology has made us forget. Google Satellite imagine is a mundane miracle. With the images open to the public, anyone can view the pale blue dot from above, and the images available are stunning.
Paul Rademacher created Stratocam to put the most incredible images of Earth in one place, and let users vote the best to the top. Stratocam thus becomes Planet Earth meets “Hot or Not.” The web program is built on top of the Google Maps API meaning it pulls the coordinates as specified from users into the window. The available satellite imaging is essentially one photo that stretches over the surface of the entire globe. While the photography itself doesn’t come from users, the composition and selection does.
Each image offers a different taste of the picture at large. Stratocam presents a tour of the Earth profiling, exotic lands, mundane plots, recognizable landmarks, and intricate cities. Mans creations and the natural Earth mix together in a non-conflicting way.
The most remarkable point is each of the images comes from the same place. Yes, there is a distance between the images, but it all occurs on Earth.