NASA is your friend.
I thought I’d add one of my favourite mapping sources in here. The real world!
MODIS Rapid Response System
MODIS (NASA) takes 2 full sets of satellite images of the earth every day. They are also nice enough to share with the world. So you can download any image you want and use it as long as you source them for the image.
I regularly use them to create maps like this. (See attached)
Just go to Gallery and write in your country of choice or go to real time, pick a day and see what was happing on that day.
I also thought that some of the GIMP experts around could change some of the images into brushes. I’m just a beginner in GIMP so doing that is a bit beyond me.
Until they come clean about what they know about the alien abductions, they are no friend of mine.
Actually that is pretty awesome. Some of those maps in the Gallery are really great inspiration.
And that's a pretty cool satellite map you made there.
"Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government."
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What a great resource! Thanks for posting and have some rep! Good colours to use as a pallete for FT Gaia views too.
Some more NASA stuff:
Main earth image collection
Earth in Mercator projection or as a sphere.
The European version.
The European Space Agency.
They are not quite as nice as NASA and I think there are some stipulations about how you can use their images. But useful stuff anyway.
NASA moved the MODIS site a bit recently. It's located at http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/ these days. I recommend the AERONet project ( http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/i...roject=aeronet ).
http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/i...1215.aqua.250m has an example of questionable water coloring on some of the lakes and excellent examples of differing kinds of terrain near snowy mountains.
Ohh yes - this is amazing. You get an as it happens satellite view of the earth. Never seen pictures like these so up to date.
The raw scans are a bit of a pain to look at for me because of how the scanner operates (the cross-orbit edges of the image are a very different scale than the midline columns, giving the edges a fradctured look - hooray for rotating line scanners!). The AERONet images are usually not more than a few hours old, though, and don't have the edge issues (they just get a little blurry at the edges from resampling and may have older data to fill in parts that the satellite didn't see on the current pass).
The fire images are an interesting commentary on human poverty. Where poor people meet plants, fires seem inevitable.