On Earth Day this year, Nasa asked people all around the world to reveal where they were on Earth by posting a selfie on social media. The goal was to use each picture as a pixel in the creation of a “Global Selfie” – a mosaic image that would look like Earth as it appeared from space on Earth Day. Nasa has now released the finished product.
The image was built using 36 422 individual photos that were posted on social media and tagged #globalselfie on or around 22 April 2014. People on every continent – 113 countries and regions in all – posted selfies. From Antarctica to Yemen, Greenland to Guatemala, Micronesia to the Maldives, Pakistan, Poland, Peru – and on. The image was assembled after weeks of curating more than 50 000 #globalselfie submissions (not all were accessible or usable) from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr.
The result is a zoomable 3,2-gigapixel image that people can scan and explore to take a closer look at the variety of pictures. The mosaic is hosted on the Web by GigaPan.
The mosaic is based on views of each hemisphere that were captured on 22 April 2014 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, a joint NOAA-Nasa mission. The diagonal stripes in the images are due to the satellite capturing the reflection of sunlight off ocean waters.