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By: Douglas Palmer
Combining the data from 18 of the most advanced Earth satellites ever built, NASA has constructed the most detailed global portrait of our planet ever created. The Complete Earth reproduces this photomap in its entirety and at full-resolution, living up to its title by revealing the whole planet, cloud-free, at a resolution of 500m to every pixel, or 90 miles to every inch. At this scale, we can trace the Amazon from Andean headwaters to Atlantic mouth, or explore the trackless sand seas of the Sahara, or follow the corrugated ridges of hills and mountains that mark the frontline of India's tectonic assault on Eurasia as if we were in low-Earth orbit.
These images are supplemented by a wealth of even higher resolution satellite imagery that zooms in on noteworthy features - from volcanoes to cities, river deltas to glaciers. In addition, 12 double-page-spreads chart one year in the life of our planet as they follow the ebb and flow of the seasons across the globe: we watch snow fall in the North as it melts in the South, and desert lands bloom and fade as the rains come and go.
Accompanying these images, a brief but informative text explores the history of each landscape, explaining the how and when of its mountain ranges, deserts and plains.
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