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

Doha | Image: Planet
Cape Town | Image: Planet
Houston | Image: Planet
Riyadh | Image: Planet
Osaka | Image: Planet
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.


    Wow, sales of terracotta roof tiling must be through the roof in Sao Paulo.

    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.

      Last edited 08/11/18 12:26 pm

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