Earth

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Animation

Arena: A Short Film That Weaves Together Images of Man-Made Shapes Collected Through Google Maps

April 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Arena is a short film by Ireland-based artist Páraic McGloughlin which explores the similarities of international roadways, farming infrastructure, and urban design. In the minute and a half work, McGloughlin presents thousands of aerial images collected from Google Maps to create a series of winding pathways and geometric shapes that snake across the screen.

“I put a lot of focus on imagery containing flat lines, symmetry and grids as they are so different to the patterns/shapes made by nature, and hoped in turn that this would be most effective,” the artist told Directors Notes. “It wasn’t until I started messing with some images that I thought to allocate the idea of the game of life – ‘Arena’ to the theme as it fit perfectly in my opinion.”

The fast-paced video is set to a soundtrack by the director in collaboration with his brother Pearse McGloughlin. You can see more of Páraic McGloughlin’s work on his website and Instagram.(via The Kid Should See This)

 

 



Animation Design Photography

Grid Corrections: A Short Film Shows How Straight Roads Bend to Respond to Earth’s Curvature

January 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

That the flat Mercator projection maps we encounter in classrooms show a distorted view of our spherical planet is fairly well-known fact at this point. But the real-life application of grids on the earth takes a subtler form with the grid system of roads that defines much of the United States’ travelways. Dutch photographer and filmmaker Gerco de Ruijter created a short film called Grid Corrections that brings together dozens of aerial shots of rural roads. The film demonstrates how the grids are merged to accommodate the earth’s curvature through sharp dogleg turns every 24 miles. Grid Corrections will be screened at the Grasnapolsky music festival, which is February 2 – 4 in the town of Radio Kootwijk, The Netherlands. (via Kottke)

 

 



Science

Go See This Eclipse: A Scaled Simulation by Alex Gorosh

August 15, 2017

Christopher Jobson

In this new short film, director Alex Gorosh walks us through next week’s total solar eclipse and explains why it’s so important to see it. The mix of archival footage, scientific explanation, and a brief outdoor simulation to demonstrate scale similar to his 2015 video about the solar system, all make a compelling emotional argument that this eclipse shouldn’t be missed. Just make sure you’re prepared.

 

 



Design Science

3D-Printed Solar Systems, Moons and Planets for Your Desktop

March 1, 2017

Christopher Jobson

The folks over at London-based Little Planet Factory make tiny 3d-printed planets and moons you can sit on your desktop or hold in your hands. Designs include everything from entire solar systems to collections of moons, individual planets, and even science fiction creations like a theoretical terraformed Mars globe. See more in their shop! (via So Super Awesome)

 

 



Design

360° Earth and the Moon Book by Yusuke Oono

December 2, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Book designer Yusuke Oono creates small books that unfold into 360° scenes revealing everything from fairy tales to high-end vehicles. His latest creation is a laser-cut Earth and Moon surrounded by clouds, stars, UFOs and other orbiting objects. Oono was born in Germany and was trained as an architect at the University of Tokyo, lending his design skills and understanding of materials to the concept of his innovative sculpture books.

The Earth & Moon book is now available in the Colossal Shop. Also check out his lovely Mt. Fuji book.

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Photography Science

Overview: A New Book of High-Def Satellite Images Capturing How People Have Changed the Earth

October 28, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant / 37·560755°, –5·331908° / This Overview captures the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant in Seville, Spain. The solar concentrator contains 2,650 heliostat mirrors that focus the sun’s thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through a 140-metre-tall (460-foot) central tower. The molten salt then circulates from the tower to a storage tank, where it is used to produce steam and generate electricity. In total, the facility displaces approximately 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

In December of 2013, an Instagram account called Daily Overview began to catalog a wide spectrum of satellite images that capture the many ways people have transformed the face of Earth, for better or worse. The account is run by Benjamin Grant who uses imagery taken from DigitalGlobe, an advanced collection of Earth imaging satellites that provide data to services like Google Earth. The project gets its title from a phenomenon experienced by astronauts who spend extended periods of time in space and what they describe as a “cognitive shift in awareness” as they continuously view the world from above dubbed the overview effect.

As Grant’s Instagram has swelled to nearly a half million followers, some of the best images from the project have been gathered into a new 288-page hardcover book called Overview. The book includes images of our collective impact on Earth, a collection of interlinked systems often too difficult to grasp including aspects of industry, agriculture, and architecture.

All images © 2016 by DigitalGlobe, Inc. from Overview by Benjamin Grant, published by Amphoto Books. Used with permission. (via Twisted Sifter)

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Tulips / 52·276355°, 4·557080° / Every year, tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands begin to bloom in March and are in peak bloom by late April. The Dutch produce a total of 4·3 billion tulip bulbs each year, of which 53% (2·3 billion) is grown into cut flowers. Of these, 1·3 billion are sold in the Netherlands as cut flowers and the remainder is exported: 630 million bulbs to Europe and 370 million elsewhere.

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Olives / 37·263212°, –4·552271° / Olive tree groves cover the hills of Córdoba, Spain. Approximately 90% of all harvested olives are turned into oil; the remaining 10% are eaten as table olives. With rising temperatures and phenomenal weather variations in growing regions, olive groves on high hills or slopes will probably suffer less, but groves located on low altitude areas or plains could become totally unproductive.

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Moab Potash Evaporation Ponds / 38·485579°, –109·684611° / Evaporation ponds are visible at the potash mine in Moab, Utah, USA. The mine produces muriate of potash, a potassium-containing salt that is a major component in fertilisers. The salt is pumped to the surface from underground brines and dried in massive solar ponds that vibrantly extend across the landscape. As the water evaporates over the course of 300 days, the salts crystallise out. The colours that are seen here occur because the water is dyed a deep blue, as darker water absorbs more sunlight and heat, thereby reducing the amount of time it takes for the water to evaporate and the potash to crystallise.

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Marabe Al Dhafra / 23·610424°, 53·702677° / The villas of Marabe Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates are home to approximately 2,000 people. Located in one of the hottest regions of the world, the record high temperature here is 49·2°C (120·6°F).

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Port of Singapore / 1·237656°, 103·806422° / Cargo ships and tankers – some weighing up to 300,000 tonnes – wait outside the entry to the Port of Singapore. The facility is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of total tonnage, shipping a fifth of the world’s cargo containers and half of the world’s annual supply of crude oil.

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Ipanema Beach / –22·983606°, –43·206638° / Ipanema Beach is located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Recognised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the sand is divided into segments by lifeguard towers known as ‘postos’.

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Nishinoshima Volcanic Activity / 27·243362, 140·874420 / Nishinoshima is a volcanic island located 940 kilometres (584 miles) south of Tokyo, Japan. Starting in November 2013, the volcano began to erupt and continued to do so until August 2015. Over the course of the eruption, the area of the island grew in size from 0.06 square kilometres (0.02 square miles) to 2·3 square kilometres (0·89 square miles).

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Design

A Visit Inside One of the Only Hand-crafted Globe Studios in the World

August 24, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

Long gone are the days when our first instinct is to migrate to a spinning globe to track the destinations around us or find a specific country. Now we have the power to digitally zoom in and out of the entire earth, utilizing mapping tools like Google Earth. The romanticism tied to these newer forms however, does not match the art of the ancient globe, the earliest dating back to the mid-2nd century B.C. Nowadays globes are either modern and massively produced, or antiquated models unsuited for casual browsing.

Frustrated by this lack of quality options when trying to find a globe as a present, Peter Bellerby started Bellerby & Co. Globemakers in order to produce globes that exist somewhere in-between the two options. “I did this as a direct result of looking, searching for a globe for my father for his 80th birthday, and I couldn’t find anything,” said Bellerby. “Initially my plan was to make one for him and maybe one for me if I had the budget.”

After spending tens of thousands of dollars more than he had originally predicted on the process, he decided to use what he’d learned to set up a company in 2008, eventually moving into their current location in Stoke Newington, London. The company employs a small team of makers that fastidiously work in an open environment with large windows, nestled between test sheets of watercolor paints and hanging strips of paper twirling from clothes pins. To master the process of applying paper to the sphere globes (called “goring”) can take up to a year or more.

“It’s been something that’s been an incredible challenge. The whole design process, the whole way of making anything using a sphere at its base, at its centerpiece is fraught with different problems and issues because you are multiplying every error by pi,” said Bellerby.

Bellerby & Co. Globemakers’ globes have been featured in Hollywood movies and BBC productions as well as used in installations by established artists. The company has also had support from the Royal Geographic Society and was able to host their first ever globe exhibition in 2012. To see more images of the daily life at the Bellerby & Co. studio, visit the company’s Instagram or their blog. (via My Modern Met)

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