03
Jun
2014

Last week, NASA released a new picture of Earth created from thousands of individual "sefies", that people from all around the world have sent. While a little kitch, and reminiscent of the "photomosaic" craze of the late nineties, I like it!

NASA's Global Selfie: 100+ Countries, Thousands of Photos
(this is just a screenshot, the original image is zoomable!)
nasa.gov/content/goddard/2014-globalselfie-wrap-up
a screenshot of NASA's 2014 "global selfie" composite image

There something else that I really enjoy in this image, and it's the fact that we see the whole planet. One of my pet peeves is when people show the Earth to illustrate togetherness, friendship, love, and humanity, and they pick this image, or others very much like it:


NASA's 2002 “blue marble”, west.
source: visibleearth.nasa.gov
NASA's 2002 “blue marble”, west

I have a problem with a photo meant to show our planet, where only one particular country is visible. smiley not convinced That's a composite image, so it's designed to look this way! We get to see parts of Canada and Mexico, but the rest of the Americas is conveniently hidden by clouds. What's the message here?

Once, after mentioning this issue, someone told me "oh I don't see quarrels between countries here, it's just one big planet" smiley surprised. Well, I wish I could see one planet, but it's hard to do when part of it is so blatantly given more importance. That answer was like saying, on the topic of racism, "oh I don't even see race, for me everyone is the same colour". Well, yeah, hum… of course but… that doesn't really changes the facts.

Manu