23 December 2012

NASA Pub: Earth as Art

WOW! Sometimes our tax dollars are used to add beauty to our lives.

This is not really a genealogy-related post except maybe peripherally. But it is a subject dear to my heart so ...

As beautiful as earth can be from land-bound eye level, it is even more fascinating when seen from above, especially high above. Years ago I would sit mesmerized watching the NASA channel as it broadcast the view from the window of the space shuttle. Even when I should have been doing something more productive, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the beautiful images on the screen and the game of trying to figure out where on earth this feature was. I haven't seen this series on the NASA channel recently. I wish NASA would reinstitute the feed of images from the space shuttle missions. For me, this is much better than most of the "reality" shows some of us watch.

There are beautiful images of earth from space illustrated and described in "Earth As Art" created by NASA.1 I learned of this publication on the Free Technology for Teachers blog. This is a blog useful to every genealogist who writes (all of us, right?) or does presentations.

As beautiful as the NASA images are as art, don't skip over the descriptions which explain the colors and important features in each image. This image is a portion I cropped from an image of the Lena River Delta in Russia.2 Compare it to the image of the Mississippi River Delta in the U.S. on pages 84–85 of the book.

The images might be useful as art on Powerpoint slides (faded as background images or cropped for a border decoration or as a bullet image) or for a presentation on interesting place names (like Lake Disappointment, Australia) or if you happen to have ancestral events in one of the locations depicted on the images shown (like the Mississippi River).

I'm not a lawyer. You should confirm status of the images before using them. But, in general, creations of the U.S. government are considered to be in the public domain. The book has no copyright statement included and does not indicate any restrictions on use. But be sure to properly cite the images to avoid plagiarism.

1. Lawrence Freidl, et al., Earth as Art (Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012); electronic edition (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/703154main_earth_art-ebook.pdf : accessed 23 December 2012).

2.Cropped portion of "Lena River Delta, Russia," Lawrence Freidl, et al., Earth as Art (Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012), 76–77; electronic edition (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/703154main_earth_art-ebook.pdf : accessed 23 December 2012).

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "NASA Pub: Earth as Art," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 23 December 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

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