Tuesday, January 05, 2021

The Average Earth Map

The Average Earth Map 2020 is an interactive satellite map which is constructed from imagery captured by NASA satellites over the course of the last year. The reason why it is called the 'average' Earth map is because each pixel on the map shows the average color of that location over the whole of 2020.

In order to create the map cartocalypse used 365 daily satellite composite images of the Earth. All 365 satellite images (one for every day) were then merged together and the average color of each pixel was determined. The result is a satellite view of the Earth which shows cloud patterns, permafrost and prevailing wind patterns. Although, as cartocalypse warns, the map isn't "a true representation of the typical weather or cloud cover throughout the year". The daily satellite images were captured at the same time every day by NASA - so the rest of the day isn't a part of this 'average' Earth image. 

You can read more about how the Average Earth Map was created, including how the satellite images were downloaded, processed and analyzed on this Satellite Composite of Earth 2020 blog post. This isn't the first time that cartocalypse has created an average Earth map and you can also view the interactive Average Earth from Space 2018 map.

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