Using NASA's latest high-resolution satellite imagery of Earth, datavisualization expert John Nelson has created a pair of captivating animations that track seasonal transformations on the blue marble we call home.
"I downloaded the 12 cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth at each month of the year," he explains, "wrapped them into some fun projections, then stitched them together into a couple animated gifs." The end result is a pulsing visualization he calls "A Breathing Earth":
Nelson explains the impetus for the animations on his blog:
Having spent much of my life living near the center of that mitten-shaped peninsula in North America, I have had a consistent seasonal metronome through which I track the years of my life. When I stitch together what can be an impersonal snapshot of an entire planet, all of the sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat. I can track one location throughout a year to compare the annual push and pull of snow and plant life there, while in my periphery I see the oscillating wave of life advancing and retreating, advancing and retreating. And I'm reassured by it.
See our previous coverage of Nelson's work here, here and here. Read more about his inspiration for this and other projects on his blog.