Best Selfie Ever: NASA's Global Earth Day
The “best selfie ever” tag no longer belongs to the photo Ellen DeGeneres took and tweeted of herself and eleven other A-list celebrities at the Oscars. When NASA asked the world to take a selfie on Earth Day this year and more than 50,000 people responded, #GlobalSelfie became THE top selfie. Ever. Maybe not in sheer numbers of retweets, but quality still tops quantity any day.
Each year on April 22, more than a billion people in 190 countries celebrate Earth Day and protect the planet by cleaning up their communities, planting trees, starting gardens, holding rallies and festivals, and more. With five missions engineered to gather data about Earth projected to launch, 2014 is a significant year for NASA’s Earth science program. This year, NASA’s ambitious event was to create a “global selfie,” a crowdsourced mosaic image that would resemble Earth as it appeared from space on Earth Day.
NASA posed the question on Earth Day: “Where are you on Earth Right Now?” People were asked to take a picture of themselves, wherever they were, and post it to social media sites using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie.
According to NASA, people from more than 113 countries and on every continent posted images on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Flickr. NASA then curated the images, using each individual picture as a pixel in the overall graphic. The result is a zoomable 3.2 gigapixel image, hosted by GigaPan, built with more than 36,000 individual images.
According to NASA, “The mosaic is based on views of each hemisphere that were captured on April 22, 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.”
NASA released the truly awesome finished product here: NASA’s Earth Day Global Selfie 2014.