How To Experience the Overview Effect Without Leaving Earth

From down here, it’s impossible to understand the sheer complexity of the systems we’ve developed.

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It’s easy. Just go to this site and enjoy the profound perspective that has, until fairly recently, only been available to astronauts.

Filled with breathtaking images of our planet taken from space, this online visual project was inspired, and derives its name, from an idea known as the Overview Effect: a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts and cosmonauts during spaceflight while viewing the Earth from orbit.

From space, astronauts claim that national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect our planet – in all its beauty and its fragility – becomes both obvious and imperative.

And that’s the cognitive shift that this site hopes to inspire. Plus, these gorgeous images, which focus on the places and moments where human activity—for better or for worse—has shaped the landscape, are available to purchase as high-resolution, large format prints.

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