NASA Earth As Art

Techhive staff
3 August, 2013
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NASA Earth As Art

Link to: NASA Earth As Art




iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Age Rating:  4+


Available on the App Store Buy
App Guide

Often, it seems as though NASA is the gift that keeps on giving. Yes, there have been some huge cost overruns. On the other hand, NASA has launched many inexpensive probes that continue to send back data and images way past the time of their expected demise. Earth As Art is a collection of images that were sent back to this planet from a variety of NASA satellites during the past 15 years. These images do not look into space, but rather from space back to Earth. They shed light on a wide variety of ice, sea and land formations, focusing on their almost other-worldly beauty as seen from space. Many are images of landscapes such as the Mississippi River and Mount Kilimanjaro – usually familiar, but when seen from space and with the large perspective provided, can be unrecognisable without the provided captions.

The point of the app is implied strongly by the title. Display parts of the earth as beautiful abstract images. But you also get links to articles and slideshows that illustrate large-scale changes, such as the shrinking of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska over the past 30 years, and the construction of artificial islands, such as the Palm Islands in Dubai. (You’ll need an internet connection for these features.)

Navigating through the app is simple. You can either view photos by tapping on thumbnails in a tiled overview, or by choosing one of the five satellites that captured the images. The images take up the full iPad screen and captions can be read on half of the screen and they provide a lot of information. You can zoom in and out of images, but zooming is limited, presumably because the images become much too pixilated if you zoom in too much.

iPad Screenshot 2

NASA has only provided a relatively small sampling of some of the best images that it has collected. However, the app does provide links to websites to which have many more photos, time lapse slideshows and videos.

The verdict: definitely download.

by TechHive staff

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