Anthropocene: noun | An·thro·po·cene | an(t)-thrə-pə-ˌsēn
The period of time during which human activities have had an environmental impact on the Earth regarded as constituting a distinct geological age. (Merriam Webster)
Over the course of the 20th Century, humans refashioned much of the surface of the Earth. Mass migration from the countryside to urban factories and storefronts created megacities like Jakarta, Shanghai, Nairobi, New York, and São Paulo. Coal and oil fields expanded to meet the growing need for energy. Forests were cut for lumber while mechanized agriculture spread across the plains of North America and the Asian steppes. Railroads, and then highways, linked these natural resources to consumers.
With the onset of the Information Age, the 21st Century promises to bring another change in the human impact on Earth’s environment. In this image series, Planet explores landscapes unique to this century—high-resolution satellite images of landscapes that have been completely transformed since January 1, 2000. Each of these 21 true-color images is exactly 2 kilometers (6,562 feet) across, and collected by a SkySat satellite with a resolution of 0.8 meters per pixel.
In less than than 20 years, humans have altered landscapes on all seven continents. We’re exploiting new sources of energy and high-tech minerals, digging open-pit mines and restoring grasslands in their wake, revitalizing aging infrastructure and rebuilding after natural disasters, and building sprawling refugee camps in a matter of weeks.
Planet’s constellation observes these accelerating changes as they happen. Our satellites provide wide-area medium resolution global coverage daily, combined with pinpoint high-resolution data on demand.
All images courtesy of Planet, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Learn more and see additional changing landscapes at Planet.com.