Low-Level Satellite Photos Look Like The Best City-Building Game Ever Made

Low-Level Satellite Photos Look Like The Best City-Building Game Ever Made

Planet, a company that runs “the largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites in orbit”, use those satellites to take hi-res, zoomed-in shots of the surface. Some of those are isometric, and that’s got me longing.

I know that Cities: Skylines is pretty and fun, and that even EA’s disastrous SimCity reboot looked good, but I look at these images (via @devonzuegel) and I don’t see pictures of the Earth.

I see screenshots of the world’s biggest, most beautiful city-building game, one that exists in a parallel universe where this is a genre with room for more than one big game.

Image: Planet

ImagePlanet” loading=”lazy” > Doha | Image: Planet
ImagePlanet” loading=”lazy” > Cape Town | Image: Planet

ImagePlanet” loading=”lazy” > Houston | Image: Planet
ImagePlanet” loading=”lazy” > Riyadh | Image: Planet
ImagePlanet” loading=”lazy” > Osaka | Image: Planet
ImagePlanet” loading=”lazy” > Sao Paulo | Image: Planet

If you’re after something like this and find Cities: Skylines a bit too cartoony, people are still modding the hell out of SimCity 4.


  • how exactly do you render REAL LIFE in isometric form?
    or is it such a wide lens that it gives them impression of isometry?

    • Just the sheer distance between viewpoint and target flattens the image which gives you the illusion of isometry.

    • It’s the opposite: an incredibly narrow angle lens, actually.

      A photograph is effectively the projection of rays of light through the lens. With a wide angle lens, you’re going to have light from many angles projected onto the image. With an extreme telephoto lens mounted on a satellite, you’ll have a very narrow range of angles that are about as close to parallel as you can get for a photo like this.

      It’s not isometric, but about as close as you can get.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!