When it was first released 16 years ago, it was an incredible virtual experience to be able to travel around the globe and look at anywhere in a level of detail previously not seen, and it still is today! Whilst the functionality and features have increased, particularly the 3D viewing experience, the basic fascination with man’s impact on the surface of the Earth is still key, revealed through ever improving (clearer and higher resolution) satellite imagery.
Inspired by the work of Belgium artist, Mishka Henner, I created a large montage of a South African mine with Affinity Photo, shown above at less than one-tenth scale. I discovered it whilst working on a game reserve map in 2017. In fact this mine can be seen from over 20km up and is the Palabora, an open-pit copper mine in the Limpopo Province. Nowhere else is copper known to occur in carbonitites as is the case at Palabora. A host of other minerals such as phosphates, vermiculite, phlogopite, magnetite, nickel, gold, silver, platinum and palladium also occur there.
Even as ‘scars’ there is a fascination with the shape of activities depicted by pits, heaps, discoloured water and other unusual landforms, paths and patterns. Without doubt, Google Earth remains an incredible tool for exploration. Long live Google Earth!
Imagery source: © DigitalGlobe 2018.