At Birdseye.ai, we aim to showcase the diverse landscapes and structures of the Earth captured in satellite imagery.
When viewed from above, some locales are famously stunning, as seen in the contours of coastlines, the hues of deserts, or the lattice of urban centers. Other locations captured by satellites are useful for scientific research and land management, but also have an unmistakable aesthetic beauty.
But there also is a third category of satellite imagery which we are passionate about. The areas depicted in this group use data and characteristics of geographies typically invisible to the naked eye, and layer them on top of existing images. Such enhancements, while useful for technical analyses, also can be beautiful, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking.
Our mission is to bring to you all three types of images and visualize them in a way that captures one’s imagination or enhances the look and feel of a room. Our curated images will showcase unfiltered natural beauty, but also bring together the visible and invisible data of a locale in a way that is eye-catching. Some of our offerings may be a bit unconventional, and slightly abstract, but they highlight the way that tools used for scientific modeling and statistical analyses can create rich, artistic, visual experiences.OUR TOOLS & DESIGN APPROACH
For those of you interested in the technical details of our approach: we have a background in geospatial data analysis, and have broad experience using the tools of this field for research used in multiple commercial sectors. The baseline raw satellite data we use is publicly available from various regional and national government entities, and is either explicitly declared as open for commercial reproduction, or tagged as Creative Commons 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) data. We try to collect satellite imagery that is, at best, 0.6m resolution, though most of our images range from 1 to 3m in resolution.
When we enhance images, we are using a variety of analytical algorithms to detect different features in the underlying data, and highlight them in aesthetically interesting ways. Some of these tools are specific to geospatial analysis, while other tools are from adjacent fields (e.g., facial recognition algorithms). In both cases, we are using these tools creatively in ways atypical for their intended use.
Central to our approach are two interconnected methodologies. First, we creatively play with sampling of red, green, blue, and near infrared bands, and also look for aesthetically interesting ways to emphasize focal transformations in the data (e.g., adjusting the line features that show up, or evaluating local statistical moments like the mean, variance, skewness, or kurtosis at various bandwidths in count of cells). Second, we look for interesting visual features derived from upsampling and downsampling spectral indices that show relative abundance of features of interest. In particular, we like to see how adjustments to the NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) can show contrast between different natural features and human built areas. Finally, on top of these, we are also interested in seeing how line detection, hillshading, and shadow removal algorithms can reveal interesting characteristics or make the already enhanced images more intriguing.
If you have technical queries about our methodologies, please reach out to us! See the ‘Contact Us’ page for more details.PRINTING
We believe that the richness of the data we work with is best appreciated via the latest printing techniques done on the highest quality photographic and artistic media. As such, we’ve partnered with a specialized printing company to provide made-to-order printing and shipping. We provide ultra-high resolution (>900 dpi) raw images to ensure superb printing detail. We offer a range of media materials – from HD photo paper to dye-sublimation metal to brushed aluminum – to meet different decoration needs. Each order is print-to-order, and thus requires a few days for printing and manual review. Once inspection is complete and we are satisfied with the product, our printer provides custom packaging to ensure that the product can be safely delivered to you. If you are not 100% satisfied with the print that you’ve received, please contact us immediately.We hope that you are able to find an image that excites you and adds a new, colorful perspective from above!