Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Scotland from space

Although we can get a fairly good idea of what Scotland looks like from space by viewing the various online mapping system with their satellite or aerial views, their imagery is highly processed to make it appear smooth and continuous.

On Wednesday evening, Chris Hadfield, a Canadian flight engineer and astronaut on the International Space Station, tweeted seven images of Scotland with the message: “With her currently clear late-February skies, today seems like a good day for pictures of Scotland. Agreed?” He then tweeted images of Fife, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and the Isle of Sky

He also revealed that his family had roots in Scotland, saying that: “My grandmother’s family is from the Borders region. They sent a brave son to Canada in the 1800s, and then followed him.”

I wouldn’t normally consider this sort of thing worth a mention, but in this case the pictures are genuinely interesting, and show the true relief of Scotland, emphasised by the contrast of the land’s snow-capped mountains. These images wouldn’t look so good without the snow, and more importantly, show how the online mapping imagery messes with reality due to the extensive post-processing needed to make it work.

While the first link to the STV report shows small versions of all the images together, the second link is by far the better of two, with much better versions of the astronaut’s images in the BBC’s slideshow:

Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s photos of Scotland from space station | Scotland | News | STV

In pictures: Astronaut snaps Scotland from space

(Note: Although STV has not provided clickable images, they have actually used the full-size image and merely scaled it to fit their page. If you use your browser’s option to view the image alone – usually in the Right-click context menu – you can still view the individual full size images. I’ve given reduced quality, but similarly sized sample below, just click the smaller image to see it.)

Firth of Clyde from ISS

Firth of Clyde as seen from the ISS – Image credit Chris Hadfield

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March 1, 2013 - Posted by | Maps, photography | ,

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