All of the views from the “Gravity” movie in Google Earth

Over the years we’ve shown you many great articles from Stefan Geens at OgleEarth.  He’s shared geotagged hiking trips, the destruction of the city of Kashgar, the path of the Chelyabinsk meteor, imagery of Osama bin Laden’s compound, and much more.

Now he’s back with an amazing post that maps out all of the views from the motion picture “Gravity” onto Google Earth.


He’s taken 62 screenshots from the movie and compiled them all into this 8.8MB KMZ file for you to use in Google Earth.  Here are a few of his thoughts on it:

Gravity‘s daytime Earth is a highly accurate rendering. I was in almost all cases able to get a perfect match, not just for coastlines, but also for geographic features such as lakes, mountain ranges and forests. … The rendering of Earth at night is geographically just as accurate, but city lights and lit roads are impressionistic rather than realistic.

Here’s how I made that KMZ file: The biggest clue to getting an accurate placement for the screenshots in Google Earth is the film’s opening line of text: “At 600km above Planet Earth…” This was a great help, for fixing the viewpoint above Earth at this height proved to be accurate and removed a major variable from the process. Another big clue was the Earth’s curved horizon in a screenshot. Matching the horizon removed two more degrees of freedom (tilt and field of view), leaving only a horizontal plane across which to match the angles of the landscape.

Stefan put an amazing amount of work into tracking down all of these views, and the result is stunning.  His post goes into much greater detail about the process and shows off many more the photos, and we highly recommend you go check it out for yourself.

Great work Stefan!

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Astroknot says:

    awesome work, stefan. the film makers should pay you for that and include it in the DVD special features. 🙂

  2. Corky McButterpants says:

    A 21st Century Digital Detective. Terrific work.

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