Maybe the thought of what is to all intent and purpose like a library of satellite images is not exciting to you, but it should be. I know I was being all nerdy, but the thought should enter your head that this room contained the history of the earth since the 1960s, and not just a selective biased account from a bunch of opinionated historians, but a systematically collected dataset that uniformly recorded the reflectance of the earth’s surface for many years. To interpret the whole dataset would take longer than life itself has been on the planet, and the archive grows faster than anyone can absorb it, but to know it is there to be referred to is mind blowing. Snapshots of life on earth are all there – the seasons in every landmass, the swirling weather systems, the human footprint ever growing, the disasters, the ebbs and flows, the stases.
Well it blows my mind.
After the tour and some more work, I knocked off a little early as my energy levels had flagged with jetlag, but I thought some fresh air would be good for me before the sun went down. When I came out of the building, I realised the snow had vanished but there were still grey skies and bitterly cold winds, and I put the heater on full blast in the car as I drove back to the city.