Technology has evolved so much that we can have high quality photos of the earth from space. The photos are taken by cameras that are mounted on space satellites launched into space by scientists. Scientist at organisations like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are responsible for building and launching these space ships which are armed with all kinds of data collecting gadgets including powerful cameras. NASA is not the only organisation that collects these photo you can find other sites online.
These space ships collect a lot of information that scientist need to complete their work or start new ones. Fortunately you can find most of these photos in books or online. Photos of the earth form space can give lots of information about our planet other than the shape of the earth.
Do you want to know in a visual way the most urbanized areas of your country or the world? You can do it easily using a space photo of the earth. Most highly urbanized areas show more lights than those that are less urbanized. On the NASA website you can find photos with this kind of information; see their Bright Lights, Big City Project. Space photos can help in rescue situations like in the case of typhoons, tsunami and of course fires. Rescue crews can use these maps to make plans and organize equipment.
Environmentalists will find NASA's photos very useful as there are several that cover issues like soil erosion, air quality, land use and cover among several other useful ones. As someone once said a photograph is worth a thousand words, he was not wrong. The current debate surrounding climate change and cutting of gas emissions is best represented in photos. Whether it is melting ice in the polar regions, sand storms or expanding desserts it is enough to shock even the most sceptical to act.
Photos from the space are also useful away from science. Say you were a real estate entrepreneur and you wanted to know objectively in what direction the city was growing towards without depending on City Hall. A couple of photos of your town or area taken at different times can show you a trend and you can beat the competition to it.
And of course you can simply enjoy viewing the photos. Look for photos of familiar places and see how they look from space, it is very interesting. Look for those of places you would like to visit and cannot and see what they look like from space. Indeed it can be an entertaining and learning experience at home or at school. Kids glued to the television why not pick these as an alternative activity?