Space offers the only platform to capture the Earth in all its splendor.
Satellites gather many kinds of data at different resolutions. These views help us understand and cope with the forces at work on our planet.
Using satellite data, NASA has created a seamless, cloudless zoom in. It takes us through four levels of detail from the full globe down to the U.S. Capitol.
Buildings, streets, even cars are visible in this snapshot from Space Imaging's IKONOS sensor. It has spectacular resolution of 1 meter per pixel.
Outside the box, data shoots to Landsat-7. Resolution of 15 meters per pixel brings out regional features.
Outside the next box, NASA's Terra satellite takes over. Its MODIS instrument supplies 250-meter resolution and then 8-kilometer resolution. A mosaic of cloud-free images yields this portrait of North America.
NASA is applying this seamless zoom technique to other areas of the Earth, exploring nature and human development at every possible scale.