These incredible satellite images will completely change the way you see the world. You may be lucky enough to have traveled the world, but even so you have probably never have seen any of these amazing views. With a focal length 16 times longer than a standard DSLR camera, the cameras used are so powerful that you can take a picture of a beach ball on the Golden Gate Bridge in full resolution…from Los Angeles! Listed below are 53 satellite photos of the most popular and beautiful places on the planet. Whilst the colors of #16 will stun you, it is #2 that left us breathless.
53. Niagra Falls – Canada/United States
Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the border between Ontario, Canada and the United States. Horseshoe Falls is seen here. The falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet.
52. Central Park – New York City
Central Park in New York City spans 843 acres, which is approximately 6% of the island of Manhattan. It is also the most visited urban park in the United States, with estimated annual visitors of over forty million. It is also one of the most filmed locations in the world.
51. Baha’i House of Worship – Wilmette, Illinois
Situated in Wilmette, Illinois is the Baha’i House of Worship. It is the oldest surviving House of Worship in the world and the only one in the United States. The building contains an auditorium that seats 1,191 people beneath a 138 foot-high domed structure. You’ll also notice that many components of the complex come in sets of nine as the number symbolizes perfection and completion in the Baha’i faith.
50. Solar Concentrator – Seville, Spain
This solar concentrator in Seville, Spain use 2,650 heliostat mirrors to collect and focus the sun’s thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through a 460-foot tall central tower. The molten salt then circulates from the tower to a storage tank where it is used to produce steam and generate electricity. In total, the facility displaces approximately 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
49. Pivot Irrigation Fields – Saudi Arabia
Center pivot irrigation is used throughout the Wadi As-Sirhan Basin of Saudi Arabia. Water is mined from depths as great as 3,000 ft, pumped to the surface, and evenly distributed by sprinklers that rotate 360 degrees. For a sense of scale, the total area shown in this Overview is approximately 32,000 acres.
48. Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada, USA
Towards the end of August each year, thousands of folks from all over the world head to the wilderness in Nevada, USA to make Black Rock City. Presented in a grid strategy with radiating avenues named after the numbers on a clock, the city acts as property to approximately 60,000 people for Burning Man, a week long festival. Burning Man is described as an experiment in art, self expression, and major self reliance. Additionally inhabitants in Black Rock City exercise one of many event’s essential concepts of ‘Leave No Trace’ – meaning substantial initiatives are taken up to make certain since the city is disassembled within the days after the event, returning the wilderness to its initial state.
47. Plaza Del Ejecutivo – Mexico City, Mexico
Here is one of our favorite photos and a fascinating example of urban planning . You can clearly see the radiating streets that surround the Plaza Del Ejecutivo in Mexico City, Mexico. Amazingly the streets appear slightly blue in color.
46. Plaça de Tetuan – Barcelona, Spain
Plaça de Tetuan is a major square located in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Spain. The area characterized by its strict grid pattern, octagonal intersections, and apartments with communal courtyards.
45. Sun City, Arizona, USA
Houses, built in concentric circles, make up a section of Sun City, Arizona, USA. When the development opened on January 1, 1960, the event attracted a crowd of more than 100,000 onlookers and the “futuristic development” was featured on the cover of Time magazine.
44. Jacksonville Interchange – Florida
From your driver’s seat, this interchange probably feels like a nightmare. From above we can appreciate the carefully designed and modern stylings of one of Florida’s most exotic highways.
43. Brøndby Haveby, Denmark
Brøndby Haveby, is a community located just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. Houses with large front yards are centered around cul-de-sacs, providing cramped urban dwellers the opportunity to live outside the city and grow small subsistence or hobby crops during the summer months.
42. Dubai – United Arab Emirates
There is so much development going on over in the UAE than most people know about. This satellite view of the Dubai Islands allows us to see some of the gorgeous workmanship that has gone into planning these various cities.
41. Salt & Clay Pan – Namib Desert, Namibia
Sossusvlei is a perfect specimen of Nambia’s unspoiled desert beauty. It is a salt and clay pan situated in the largest conservation area in Africa, the Namib National Park. This photogenic area is famous for its large, red sand dunes, which are some of the tallest sand dunes in the world and is one of Namibia’s most visited attractions.
40. Al Falah Housing Project – Abu Dhabi, UAE
Located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates the Al Falah Housing Project development covers 12.5 million square meters with 4,857 villas as well as mosques, schools, a shopping mall, and a hospital.
39. Rice Terraces – Yuanyang County, China
Here is a glorious shot of rice paddies, constructed in steps, covering the mountainsides of Yuanyang County, China. Cultivated by the Hani people for the last 1300 years, the slope of the terraces varies from 15 to 75 degrees with some having as many as 3,000 steps.
38. Fruit Orchards – Huelva, Spain
Fruit trees swirl on the hills of Huelva, Spain. The climate here is ideal for this growth with an average temperature of 64° F and a relative humidity between 60% and 80%.
37. Los Caracoles Pass – Chile
Los Caracoles Pass, or The Snails Pass, is a twisting mountain road located in a remote section of the Andes Mountains. Notorious for being one f the world’s most dangerous roads, the pass climbs to an elevation of 10,419 feet, has no roadside safety barriers, and is frequented by large trucks.
Stunning blue waters surround the tidal channels of islands in the Bahamas. The darker blue sections of water are the deepest parts of the channels and the surrounding light blue color is more shallow (less than 80 feet). This photo was captured from the International Space Station and is courtesy of NASA.
35. Boca Raton, Florida
Evident in this overview shot are several intricate designs of a residential development in Boca Raton, Florida. Home to close to 100,000 residents, Boca Raton was masterfully planned on top of a waterway in the latter half of the twentieth century.
34. Bourtange, Vlagtwedde, Netherlands
Bourtange is a small village with a population of 430 in the municipality of Vlagtwedde in the Netherlands. The star fort was built in 1593 during the Eighty Years’ War when William I of Orange wanted to control the only road between Germany and the city of Groningen. Bourtange was restored to its mid-18th-century state in 1960 and is currently used as an open-air museum.
33. Palmanova, Italy
The town of Palmanova, Italy is recognized by its concentric layout known as a star fort. The rationale for this construction was that an attack on any individual wall could be defended from the two adjacent star points by shooting the enemy from behind. The three rings that surround Palmanova were completed in 1593, 1690, and 1813.
32. Valparaíso, Chile
Valparaíso, Chile is built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Known as “The Jewel of the Pacific,” the city is the sixth largest in the county and is home to approximately 285,000 residents.
31. Ocean Baths – Mona Vale, Sydney, Australia
Well known world wide for it’s amazing beaches, Australia is also home to ‘ocean baths’ which are common all over the country. This shot is of the ocean baths at Mona Vale Beach, located in the northern suburbs of Sydney.
30. Malé, Republic of Maldives
Malé is the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. With more than 90,000 residents per square mile, the heavily urbanized city constitutes the fifth most densely-populated island in the world. Malé and the other islands of the Maldives are located just 3 feet above sea level.
29. Discovery Bay, California
Discovery Bay is a waterfront community built on a network of man-made dikes in Contra Costa County, California. Development of the area began in 1964 is now home to roughly 14,000 people. As seen in this Overview, many residents have private docks with boat access to the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.
28. Inman Rail Yard – Atlanta, Georgia
The Norfolk Southern Railway operates 21,300 miles of track in 22 states, primarily in the Southeastern US. Inman Yard in Atlanta, Georgia, pictured here, is one of the major rail yards that houses a portion of the operation’s 3,648 locomotives and 79,082 freight cars.
27. Arlit Uranium Mine – Niger
The Arlit Uranium mine is located in Arlit, Niger. French nuclear power generation as well as the French nuclear weapons program are dependent on the uranium that is extracted from the mine – more than 3400 tonnes per year.
26. Venice, Italy
Venice is a City located in North Eastern Italy that is situated across a group of 117 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, and artwork.
25. Coastline – El Hur, Somalia, Africa
Waves roll into the shores of Somalia, by the village of El Hur. Located on the Horn of Africa, Somalia has the longest coastline on the mainland continent, stretching for more than 1880 miles.
24. Sydney Opera House – Australia
The Sydney Opera House hosts more than 1,500 shows each year in its various performance halls, drawing a total attendance of approximately 1.2 million people. The building’s famous ‘shell’ design forms a sphere, if all the ‘pieces’ were to be put together.
23. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, wood, and other materials, built across the historical northern borders of China. The wall and it’s branches span more than 13,000 miles and can be seen from space.
22. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the largest metropolitan area in Turkey, with a population of more than 14 million people. With approximately 13 million foreign visitors in 2015, the city is the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination.
21. Lombard Street – San Francisco, California
Lombard Street runs from east to west in San Francisco, California. With eight hairpin turns dispersed over a one-block section in the Russian Hill neighborhood, Lombard is often referred to as “the most crooked street in the world.”
20. Sepang Gold Coast Resort – Malaysia
A minute’s walk from the nearest beach, this refined resort is 8 km from the town center. Featuring balconies with seating and sea views, the airy rooms come with all the mod cons you can imagine. This resort is as beautiful as it looks from the sky.
19. Löyly Public Sauna – Helsinki, Finland
Löyly is a public sauna located on the edge of the Baltic Sea in Helsinki, Finland. The building, constructed with repurposed wood, features a shell-like design that has been described as a “tunturi” – the Finnish word for something in between a hill and a mountain. In total, Finland contains approximately 3.3 million saunas or roughly one per household.
18. Angkor Wat – Cambodia
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. Surrounded by an enormous moat, the site measures a whopping 402 acres.
17. Barcelona, Spain
Well who would have known Barcelona was so…. organized! Quite impressed with the city planning, amazing!
16. Tulip Fields – Lisse, Netherlands
Here we see several tulip fields in full bloom in the town of Lisse, Netherlands. Every March these beautiful flowers begin to bloom and by the end of the growing season over 4.3 billion tulip bulbs will have been produced. These bulbs are sold throughout the Netherlands and exported to Europe.
15. Statue of Liberty – New York City
The incredible shot shows the Statue of Liberty in New York City. The statue is an American icon of freedom and a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad. It is estimated that over four million tourists visit the monument every year.
14. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base – Tucson, Arizona
The largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world is located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The boneyard—run by the 309th Airspace Maintenance and Regeneration Group—contains more than 4,400 retired American military and government aircraft.
13. Arc de Triomphe – Paris, France
Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place de la Concorde. The Arc is the linchpin of the historic axis – a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which runs from the courtyard of the Louvre to the Grand Arche de la Defense.
12. Glacial Melt – Skafta River, Iceland
Glacial melting and flooding occurs every year by the Skafta River in Iceland. As the water travels down towards the North Atlantic Ocean, incredible patterns are created on the hillsides. Rising lava, steam vents, or newly opened hot springs can all cause this rapid ice melt, leading to a sizable release of water that picks up sediment as it flows down from the glaciers.
11. Dubai – United Arab Emirates
There is so much more development going on over in the UAE than most people know about. This satellite view of the Dubai Islands allows us to see some of the gorgeous workmanship that has gone into planning these amazing cities.
10. Solar Power Plant – Lebrija, Spain
The Lebrija 1 Solar Power Plant in Lebrija, Spain is comprised of approximately 170,000 individual mirrors installed on 6,048 parabolic troughs. If placed next to one another, the troughs would extend for 40 miles.
9. Qinhuangdao Coal terminal – China
Here is an Overview perspective of the largest coal shipping operation in all of China. More than 210 million tons of coal are pushed out of this facility every single year. China is notorious for their reliance on dirty energy and places like this will keep it that way.
8. Delhi, India
Delhi, India is home to approximately 16 million residents. The neighborhoods of Santosh Park and Uttam Nagar, both pictured here, are home to some of the city’s poorest people and contain its most built-up and densely populated land. Numerous studies have shown a correlation between the wealth of a residential area and its total number of trees and the amount of green space. This Overview is a particularly striking example of that trend.
7. Vatican City – Rome
The Vatican City, located in Rome, is only 110 acres and size and is considered to be the smallest country on the planet. In this picture, you are seeing a great expanse of history and culture, including the legendary Vatican Museum.
6. Salt Ponds – San Francisco Bay, California
The salt evaporation ponds seen here cover roughly 10 square miles in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. The massive ponds get their vibrant color from a particular species of algae (Dunaliella) that thrives in extremely salty water and produces a red pigment.
5. Port Of Antwerp – Belgium
The Port of Antwerp is the second largest port in all of Europe, trailing only the Port of Rotterdam. Over the span of a year, more than 71,000 vessels will dock at this location while moving over 314 million tons of product.
4. Norfolk, Virginia
Train cars filled with coal are stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. Operated by the Norfolk Southern corporation, Lamberts Point Pier 6 is the largest coal-loading station in the Northern Hemisphere and serves at the temporary depot for the company’s fleet of 23,000 coal cars.
3. Ipanema Beach – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Ocean meets city in one of the most captivating Overview photographs on our list. Ipanema Beach is widely considered to be one of the most gorgeous and well-maintained beaches on the planet.
2. Lake in Pomerania – Poland
Here we see a slew of beautiful colors condensed into one image as we look down on a lake in Pomerania, Poland. This entire region is covered in lakes and it makes for some wonderful overview photography. You can even see a large bird reflected in the water.
1. Cairo, Egypt
The Great Pyramids of Giza are located on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. Dating back to 2580 BC, the Great Pyramid, the largest structure at the site, is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world and the only one to remain largely intact.