Google has begun rolling out much-improved 3D images to Google Earth. New York and San Francisco are the first to get the high-res treatment, but we should see this update rolling out for more cities around the world in 2015.
These satellite images from Digital Globe, operator of the world's most powerful commercial imaging satellites, tell the story of some of the year's most indelible moments. Events from the protests in Ukraine to wildfires in San Diego are all showcased from high above.
This radar image of Tokyo was acquired by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1A satellite earlier this year. The data is so accurate that it can monitor ground movements down to a few millimetres, which helps urban planners know where they can and can't build.
The Sahara desert, over southeastern Algeria, sure looks unwelcoming. With humans unwilling to spend weeks surveying such a space, satellites do the job for them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they're revealing evidence of soil degradation and overwhelming dehydration—a result of the area seeing less than 10 mm of rainfall per year. [ESA]
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google plans to spend over $1 billion (£597m) on a fleet of satellites that will be used to provide internet to parts of the world that currently lack digital connections.
The Malaysian government has today publicly published the final ping transmissions between Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and an Inmarsat satellite that it was communicating with before it disappeared—so now anyone can investigate what happened to the aircraft.