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Mighty and Ominous Satellite Images of the Human Condition

The Daily Overview presents refugee camps, environmental horror, Florida housing projects, and fields of lovely Dutch tulips.
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Daily Overview/DigitalGlobe

Benjamin Grant’s career as curator of startling satellite imagery began with, of all things, a problem with Apple’s much-maligned Maps app.

He was preparing a lecture for friends about space and the overview effect and typed “Earth” to see if the map would zoom out all the way. “It actually went to Earth, Texas, a small town in the middle of nowhere,” says the 26-year-old New Yorker. “The entire scene filled up with pivot irrigation circles, these electric-motored irrigators that go in perfect circles. I was like, Oh my god, this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.