Using NASA's latest high-resolution satellite imagery of Earth, datavisualization expert John Nelson has created a pair of captivating animations that track seasonal transformations on the blue marble we call home.
"I downloaded the 12 cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth at each month of the year," he explains, "wrapped them into some fun projections, then stitched them together into a couple animated gifs." The end result is a pulsing visualization he calls "A Breathing Earth":
Nelson explains the impetus for the animations on his blog:
Having spent much of my life living near the center of that mitten-shaped peninsula in North America, I have had a consistent seasonal metronome through which I track the years of my life. When I stitch together what can be an impersonal snapshot of an entire planet, all of the sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat. I can track one location throughout a year to compare the annual push and pull of snow and plant life there, while in my periphery I see the oscillating wave of life advancing and retreating, advancing and retreating. And I'm reassured by it.