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NASA Unveils ‘Global Selfie,’ an Image of Earth Made from 36,000 Selfies

May 23, 2014

NASA Unveils ‘Global Selfie,’ an Image of Earth Made from 36,000 Selfies

May 23, 2014

On Earth Day this year, NASA asked people all over the world to take selfies (a photo of yourself taken by yourself using a digital camera, as Merriam-Webster will tell you) and send them in for a special project. 

Now we’re seeing the fruits of our selfie-taking labor: An interactive image of our planet, composed of your selfies, as seen from space. 

NASA recently released its “Global Selfie” that included more than 36,000 individual photographs from the more than 50,000 images posted around the world on Earth Day.

The Global Selfie mosaic project was designed to encourage environmental awareness and to recognize the space agency’s ongoing work to protect our home planet.

Peg Luce, deputy director of the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters said that with the Global Selfie, NASA used crowd-sourced digital imagery to illustrate a different aspect of Earth than had been measured from satellites for decades.

Selfies were posted by people on every continent and 113 countries and regions, from Antarctica to Yemen, Greenland to Guatemala, and Pakistan to Peru — and the resulting global mosaic was a zoomable 3.2-gigapixel image that users could scan and explore to look at individual photos.

(You can play around with that image here.)

The GigaPan image of Earth is based on views of each hemisphere captured on Earth Day 2014 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite.