UrtheCast Corp. is on a mission to "democratize the Earth Observation industry."
Just because you couldn't hitch a ride to the International Space Station doesn't mean you don't deserve to share in the view. So, to you, UrtheCast today presents a remarkably close-up HD video of Earth from space.
If you didn't know they were coming all the way from ISS, the three-quarter-of-a-minute-long clips might seem rather boring. But with the knowledge the the videos were shot from 200 miles above the surface of the Earth, the fact that you can clearly see individual cars driving past Boston's Fenway Park is pretty darn cool. Notice, too, the way the rotation of the planet under the orbiting space station shifts the perspective ever so slightly. (Watch the tall towers on the right side of the frame.)
The area in the video is a little less than one square mile.
UrtheCast, a Vancouver-based technology company, built the ultra-HD camera it calls Iris and a medium-resolution video camera and installed them on the ISS in 2014. It has agreements with NASA to add two more in 2017.
"With the ultimate goal of connecting the planet and highlighting what unites us all, we're revealing a perspective of Earth from space that was previously reserved for a small few. By opening up our API to the web development community, we're providing collaboration tools that will help people monitor, protect, and benefit our world...," UrtheCast cofounder and chief executive officer Scott Larson said in a statement.
The company wants to make "timely Earth video and imagery from space accessible to everyone" and says its data can be used to help environmental, disaster relief and scientific agencies observe, analyze and act upon major events; as an educational tool; and to let developers create new apps and games.
In the meantime, you can also check out its videos of London and Barcelona:
for more features.