The first photo of the United States by NASA satellite

Jan 9, 2015

In 1974, NASA published their first satellite photo of the contiguous United States by stitching together a bunch of individual images.

A giant photo map of the contiguous 48 states of the United States, the first ever assembled from satellite images, completed for NASA by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service Cartographic Division. The map is 10 by 16 feet, is composed of 595 cloud-free black-and-white images returned from NASA’s first Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1). The images were all taken at the same altitude (912 kilometers: 560 miles) and the same lighting angle. The images were produced by the spacecraft’s Multi-spectral Scanner System (MSS) in Band 5, or the red portion of the visible spectrum, during the period July 25 to October 31, 1972.

Become a member. Learn to visualize data. From beginner to advanced.

Join Today

Membership

This is for people interested in the process of creating, designing, and exploring data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.

What You Get

  • Instant access to tutorials on how to make and design data graphics
  • Source code and files to use with your own data
  • In-depth courses on visualization in R
  • Hand-picked links and resources from around the web
  • Members-only newsletter

Favorites

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

Cuisine Ingredients

What are the ingredients that make each cuisine? I looked at 40,000 recipes spanning 20 cuisines and 6,714 ingredients to see what makes food taste different.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.