Heard of the “overview effect”? It’s the sensation astronauts feel after spending a lot of time in outer space, getting to see the planet as a whole. Eventually, their perspective of what it means to be alive on Earth is completely transformed, because they’ve witnessed first-hand how everyone and everything is interconnected.
Inspired by this cosmic phenomenon, author Benjamin Grant started an Instagram account, called the Daily Overview, where he posts images taken from satellites orbiting the planet, and providing a brief description about each photo.
What started as a side project three years ago, quickly became Grant’s full time job, and more recently his best-selling book Overview: A New Perspective of Earth. It’s enough success to pump anyone’s ego, but the New York city local seems more amazed than anything. “I’m still surprised that not many people are doing anything like it,” he says, laughing. “It’s pretty crazy to think Google Earth was made public in 2006 and it took 10 years before someone put it together in a book.”
Grant’s book highlights the incredible patterns that exist all around us, while also revealing a deeper story about what we’re doing to the planet.
Filled with over 200 high-definition photos of industry, agriculture, architecture and nature, Grant’s book highlights the incredible patterns that exist all around us – impossible to see, except from outer space – while also revealing a deeper story about what we’re doing to the planet.
“Early on, I made the decision to focus the project on human impact,” he explains. “To me, it’s a staggering fact that some people choose to deny or ignore there’s a problem going on with the environment. For those people, the book is my effort to get them interested and considering things that might be causing problems.”
They’re lofty ambitions, but it’s impossible to flick through the book (or even scroll the gallery of photos above) and not see the world differently, so it’s a mission Grant is likely to accomplish.
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