An Interactive Map of Earth Photos Tweeted by Astronauts


There's not a lot of downtime for the astronauts on the International Space Station. When they're not busy running scientific experiments, they're getting in some exercise or doing space walks. But luckily for the earthbound, they make time to snap gorgeous photos of our planet in a way we'd otherwise never get to see them, and then post those photos on Twitter.

Now, all of those photos from ISS Expeditions 40 and 41 have been catalogued into one interactive map—created by Dave MacLean of Nova Scotia's Centre of Geographic Sciences—that allows users to easily find the photos, look at them, and discover if astronauts have snapped a space photo of their hometowns. (There are also maps for previous ISS missions; you can see 38/39 here, 36/37 here, and 34/35 here.)

The map features photos taken by the two astronauts and two cosmonauts who are currently in space: Alex Gerst, Reid Wiseman, Макс Сураев, and Oleg Artemyev. Each pin on the map is color-coded according to who did the tweeting; clicking on the pin allows you to see the photo and follow a link to the original tweet. You can also see the current location of the ISS (on a one-minute delay).

MacLean told the Daily Mail that he created the map "to enable lots of people to see the world from ISS perspective over time—and not let a tweet slip by." He notes in the map's details section that his mantra is "a picture is worth 1000 words; a map is worth 1000 pictures; a GIS is worth 1000 maps."

(H/T io9)