Way back on Earth Day, NASA invited everyone to put their selfies to use by submitting them for a global selfie. On May 22, exactly one month later, and 36,422 photos have been strategically placed to make this magnificent mosaic.
Each individual selfie makes up one pixel of the 3.2 gigapixel image, which when viewed on Gigapan’s site, allows you to zoom all the way out to see Earth from two sides, or you can zoom in enough to see each individual image. The snapshots option at the left bottom corner queues up some enlarged selfies so you can see them in even greater detail and where they are placed exactly in the mosaic.
For each selfie, NASA asked each person to hold up a sign that said, “Hi NASA! I’m on Earth Right Now @______” The snapshots section at the bottom left of the screen offers a closer look at a few familiar faces and exactly where they are placed on the map. Look for Pharrell, who was in the desert on Earth Day; Elmo, who was at Sesame Street; Smokey the Bear; Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer together in one image and various images from NASA employees.
NASA reported that people from every continent submitted images. In all, over 50,000 #global selfie photos were found, but not all of them were usable or accessible. Users were able to submit their photos on or close to April 22 using the hashtag #globalselfie on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr.
The mosaic was made based on the image of Earth that was taken on April 22, 2014, by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument on the Suomi national Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite.
NASA notes that for the first time in more than a decade, five missions that will gather data about our home planet will be launching in one year, this year.