The imagery in Google Earth is carefully selected to be as cloud-free and snow-cover-free as possible. This makes for a good, clear picture of features on the ground, but it does mean we are missing out on what the earth really looks like from above most of the time.
Google sometimes includes imagery with significant cloud cover when there is something of particular interest in the imagery. A good example of this is some US towns that suffered tornado damage that we have looked at in Google Earth. If you look at the locations of those towns in ‘historical imagery’ you will immediately notice patches of cloudy imagery covering the locations and dated soon after the events. We even saw in yesterday’s post an example of some false colour imagery being used.
Although clouds do obscure the ground features, they can be quite beautiful. We recently came across two examples we thought were worth sharing:
Sunset over the Nile, taken by Italian ISS astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.