When Benjamin Grant took his first Overview image, it was basically by accident. “I had started a space club at work,” said the former brand-strategy consultant, “and was giving weekly lectures on going to Mars and whatnot. For one of them, I wanted to focus on satellites—how they work and what’s out there.” That’s when he Googled an image of earth, only to discover the mysterious-looking crop circles of Earth, Tex.
Since December 2013, he’s been exploring the impact of human development on our planet by stitching together and editing satellite photos of the world’s most intriguing corners; he’s looked at everything from Guantanamo Bay to diamond mines in Botswana to the salt ponds outside San Francisco. Up until now, those images have been housed on Grant’s popular Instagram account, @dailyoverview. But on Oct. 25, more than 200 of those images will be available as a stunning hardcover book that lets you see the world as you’ve never seen it before.
“Each overview can represent up to 25 different satellite images,” said Grant, who turns raw data from DigitalGlobe into abstract art through a careful process of cropping, color correcting, and perspectival alignment. The final product, he said, “has the power to pull people in and make them inquisitive,” to “see familiar places in a radical new light,” and to “appreciate the earth and see what we’ve created.”
Here are 10 of the most famous places he’s covered—along with clues to what they are and travel tips, if you're tempted to go. Can you recognize these global capitals from Grant’s unique perspective?