“They will see us waving from such great heights; ‘Come down now,’ they’ll say. But everything looks perfect from far away … ”
These haunting lyrics by The Postal Service beautifully sum up the “Overview Effect,” the sensation that astronauts experience as they look down from orbit to view the earth as a whole. Gazing down at both natural and manmade environments is truly astounding, but it can also be disquieting to see the profound effect we are having upon a landscape that existed for millions of years before human civilization arrived.
These emotions are stirred time and again when flicking through the pages of author Benjamin Grant’s stunning new book Overview, which was released last fall. Founder of the “Daily Overview,” Grant’s fascination with aerial photography began back in 2013, when he launched an Instagram account with a simple goal: to share one extraordinary aerial image per day, each possessing its own unique beauty and often with a compelling backstory.
To celebrate Earth Day 2017, we invite you to test your knowledge of architecture through aerial means. Grab a pen and paper and name the location shown in each of the 14 images below, then click on the link at the foot of the article to check the answers. We’ve put them in order of difficulty — good luck on the last few!
Share this with your fellow students and colleagues to see how your architectural and geographic knowledge compares! Then, when you’re ready, you can check out the answers here. (No cheating!)
All images reprinted with permission from Overview by Benjamin Grant © 2016; published by Amphoto Books, a division of Penguin Random House; images © 2016 by DigitalGlobe