Cruise ships are disassembled for scrap metal at the Aliağa ship breaking yard in Izmir, Turkey. Before this year, most cruise ships would sail for decades before being scrapped, but the COVID-19 pandemic and government-issued “no sail” policies have brought the cruise industry to a halt, forcing many companies to downsize their fleets. Ships that arrive at Aliaga are torn apart and all items inside are removed and sold to other businesses or collectors. You’ll notice an additional ship has been added to the more recent, zoomed-in shot that’s shown here first.
The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada powers up to 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods. So how does it work? The project uses 17,500 heliostat mirrors to collect and focus the sun’s thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through a 540-foot (160 m) tall solar power tower. The molten salt then circulates from the tower to a storage tank where it is used to produce steam and generate electricity. One last thing - look closely at the lower left corner of this Overview and you’ll see an airplane flying over the complex!
Saltwater evaporation ponds surround Areia Branca, a coastal city near the northeastern tip of Brazil. Areia Branca is one of the most important salt production hubs in the country, with an average annual yield of 5.5 million tons — around 98% of Brazil’s total production. Salt collected here is used in thousands of different products, including food, cosmetics and industrial chemicals.
Thousands of diesel-powered Volkswagens are parked at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. While this facility is known for its airplane graveyard, Volkswagen has leased enough land here to park 21,000 vehicles. Following its emission scandal in 2015, the company gave customers the option to sell their cars back to the company. More than 340,000 customers have elected to return their vehicles so far.
The Vltava is the longest river in the Czech Republic, flowing for 270 miles (430 km) across the country. Known as the “Czech national river,” it begins near the southern border and travels north across Bohemia, passing through Prague before merging with the Elbe in the city of Mělník. The river has a basin of more than 10,800 square miles (28,000 square km), which is about a third of the Czech Republic’s entire territory.
In 2018, tides of harmful algae blooms overtook the waters surrounding Miami, forcing the closure of at least six public beaches. The increased growth of dark algae discolors the typically clear waters, hence the “red tide” name. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this phenomenon, red tides tend to follow intense storm seasons, and they may also be fueled by agricultural runoff bringing large amounts of unnatural fertilizers into the ocean. This specific algae, Karenia brevis, produces toxic chemicals that can affect fish and beachgoers alike due to its neurotoxicity and irritative respiratory properties. Red tides can last anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year depending on ocean temperatures, sunlight, salinity, winds, and currents.
Check out this incredible shot of Paris at night. Paris is often called the “City of Light,” a name that originates from its implementation and illumination of 56,000 gas lamps in the 1860s. Today, the city receives half of its energy (and its light) from nearby energy plants that simultaneously generate electricity and heat (called “cogeneration”). Thirty-five percent of the city’s power is generated by the Nogent Nuclear Power Plant while nationally, France gets 75 percent of its power from nuclear plants.
Gruissan is a commune of about 5,000 residents, located on the Mediterranean coast of southern France. Traditionally a fishing village, the circular town is built around a former 10th century château, of which only the Tour Barberousse (Redbeard Tower) remains. The castle ruin can be seen near the center of this Overview surrounded by green trees.
Valparaíso, Chile, is built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Known as “The Jewel of the Pacific,” the city is the sixth largest in the country and has approximately 285,000 residents. Valparaíso is home to Chile’s first public library, South America’s first volunteer fire department, and the world’s longest running Spanish language newspaper in continuous publication.
Colorful, metal-roofed industrial buildings line the coast of Tokai, Japan. The city’s economy is dominated by a massive steel mill - a portion of which is seen at the bottom of this Overview. Nippon Steel, the company that owns the mill, has an annual production of more than 47 million tons of steel across its various facilities. Steels - consisting of alloys of iron and other elements, primarily carbon - is a major component in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, appliances, and weapons.
Terraced hillsides are seen in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal. The steep slopes are covered with grape vines that rise from the Douro River below. The region is recognized as the home of port wine — a sweet, red wine that is often served with dessert.
This Overview shows a section of the lithium mining operations at Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat in Bolivia. The white surface surrounding these evaporation ponds is the natural color of the salt flats. Lithium is a reactive alkali metal primarily used to create lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. The mining process begins by drilling and pumping water into holes in the salt flats to bring salty, mineral-rich brines to the surface. The brine is left in pools to evaporate for months, creating a mixture of minerals that are continuously filtered until enough lithium carbonate can be extracted.
From the cover of our new book "Overview Timelapse". The Occidental Glacier is located in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field of Chile. In this image from May 2019, massive icebergs and an ice mélange fill the lake at the toe of the glacier. Recent measurements of the Patagonian ice fields (taken using satellite photography) show that they have been receding and thinning at an accelerating rate in recent years. Between 2002 and 2017, the ice shrank by roughly 23 gigatons per year—a volume of water equivalent to roughly ten Olympic-size swimming pools.
The street plan and distinctive appearance of central Paris, France is largely due to the vast public works program commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III and directed by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, between 1853 and 1870. Haussmann’s renovation of Paris included the demolition of crowded and unhealthy medieval neighborhoods and the building of broad, diagonal avenues, parks, squares, sewers, fountains, and aqueducts. Both the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are visible in this Overview.
San Michele is an island in the Venetian Lagoon of northern Italy. It was declared an official cemetery by Napoleon in 1837 and is solely occupied by tombs and chapels. Among those buried on San Michele are composer Igor Stravinsky, poet Ezra Pound, physicist Christian Doppler, and Russian Princess Catherine Bagration.
The London Eye casts a shadow on the River Thames in London, England. The ferris wheel is the fourth tallest structure of its kind in the world at 443 feet (135 m) and has a wheel diameter of 394 feet (120 m). Each one of its 32 passenger capsules holds up to 25 people, who have the ability to sit or walk around freely while the wheel rotates.
Gudao River curves through the Binhai New Area in eastern Tianjin, China. State-level “new areas” like Binhai are given special economic and development support from the Chinese Central Government to speed up the city’s economy and attract new business. With about one million residents, Binhai houses just a fraction of Tianjin’s total population of 15.6 million.
Loosdrecht is a town of roughly 8,600 inhabitants in the North Holland Province of the Netherlands. It is known for its lakes, the Loosdrechtse Plassen, which attract thousands of tourists each year. Surrounding these lakes are hundreds of peat polders — low-lying pieces of reclaimed land protected by dikes, around 4,000 of which exist in the Netherlands.
Jumeirah Islands is a housing development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Located just inland of the Dubai Marina, the area consists of 50 small islands — called “clusters” — sitting in an artificial lake filled with sea water. Forty-six of the clusters are residential, each containing 16 villas, and the other four contain a restaurant, supermarket, gym, beauty salons and other commercial amenities.
Östermalm is one of the largest districts in Stockholm, Sweden, and contains some of the city’s most expensive real estate. It is also home to Diplomatstaden, a neighborhood with many embassies and ambassadorial residences. Stockholm, the nation’s capital, is spread across fourteen islands and has a population of 1.6 million in its urban area.