Stunning Aerial Images Will Change How You See The Earth

Not to mention make you feel very small.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books

Gazing down at the Earth from hundreds of thousands of miles away is an experience astronauts say can cause a sudden shift in cognitive awareness.

Known as the “overview effect,” this transformative feeling of enlightenment inspired artist Benjamin Grant’s new book, Overview: A New Perspective of Earth.

Just as the title suggests, Grant hopes his published collection of more than 200 satellite images of nature, agriculture and industry will allow Earth dwellers to “see things differently,” much like astronauts have. The book is an extension of his photography project, Daily Overview.

Looking at our planet from a new perspective can help us “better understand the intricacy of the things we have constructed, the sheer complexity of the systems we have developed, and the impact that we have had on the planet,” Grant says.

“If we embrace and learn from this new perspective,” he says, “I am optimistic that we will create a smarter and safer future for our one and only home.”

Take a look at selection of some of the incredible work featured in Grant’s new book:

DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Qinhuangdao Coal Terminal

The coal terminal at the Port of Qinhuangdao in China is the largest coal shipping facility in the country. From here, approximately 210 million tons of coal are transported to coal-burning power plants throughout southern China every year. In 2015, new data from the Chinese government revealed that the country has been burning up to 17 percent more coal each year than previously disclosed. The sharp upward revision in official figures means that China has been burning an additional 600 million tons of coal each year, and has released much more carbon dioxide – almost a billion more tons per year – than previously estimated.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books

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 percent (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.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Marabe Al Dhafra

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 120.6°F.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Nishinoshima Volcanic Activity

Nishinoshima is a volcanic island located 584 miles south of Tokyo, Japan. The volcano began to erupt in November 2013 and continued to do so until August 2015. Over the course of the eruption, the area of the island grew in size from 0.02 square miles to 0.89 square miles.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Shadegan Lagoon

Dendritic drainage systems are seen around the Shadegan Lagoon by Musa Bay in Iran. The word "dendritic" refers to the pools’ resemblance to the branches of a tree, and this pattern develops when streams move across relatively flat and uniform rocks, or over a surface that resists erosion.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, a temple complex in Cambodia, is the largest religious monument in the world (first it was Hindu, then Buddhist). Constructed in the 12th century, the 8.8 million-square-foot site features a moat and forest that harmoniously surround a massive temple at its centre.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Aircraft Boneyard

The largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world is located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. The boneyard – run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group – contains more than 4,400 retired American military and government aircrafts.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant

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 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 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Port of Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp in Belgium is the second largest port in Europe, behind the Port of Rotterdam. Over the course of a year, the port handles more than 71,000 vessels and 314 million tons of cargo. That weight is roughly equal to 68 percent of the mass of all living humans on the planet.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Delray Beach, Florida

Because many cities in the American state of Florida contain master-planned communities, often built on top of waterways in the latter half of the 20th century, there are a number of intricate designs that are visible from the Overview perspective. One particular neighborhood in Delray Beach is seen here.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Central Park

Central Park in New York City spans 843 acres, which is 6 percent of the island of Manhattan. One of the most influential innovations in the park’s design was its "separate circulation systems" for pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and cars. The park contains numerous tennis courts and baseball fields, an ice-skating rink and a swimming pool. It also serves as the finish line for the New York City Marathon and New York City Triathlon.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Jacksonville, Florida

A turbine interchange connects two highways in Jacksonville, Florida. This structure consists of left-turning ramps sweeping around a center interchange, thereby creating a spiral pattern of right-hand traffic.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Burning Man

Burning Man is an annual week-long event held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Drawing more than 65,000 participants each year, the event is described as an experiment in community, art, self-expression and radical self-reliance.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Iron Ore Mine Tailings Pond

Tailings are the waste and byproducts generated by mining operations. The tailings seen here were pumped into the Gribbens Basin, next to the Empire and Tilden Iron Ore Mines in Negaunee, Michigan. For a sense of scale, this Overview shows approximately 1 square mile of the basin.
DigitalGlobe/Benjamin Grant/Amphoto Books
Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach is located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the sand is divided into segments by lifeguard towers known as "postos."
Amphoto Books
Overview is now available.

Reprinted with permission from Overview by Benjamin Grant, copyright (c) 2016. Published by Amphoto Books, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Images (c) 2016 by DigitalGlobe, Inc.

CORRECTION: Due to an editor’s error, a previous version of this article overstated the size of Central Park.