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Bella Gaia (Beautiful Earth) [bellagaia.com] is an audio visual "Living Atlas" journey of our world, expressing the beauty of planet Earth as seen through the eyes of astronauts, with the aim of raising the awareness and appreciation of our home planet. Created by director and violist Kenji Williams, the 45-minute movie is meant to be watched in an immersive theater, such as a fulldome planetarium space. The movie is based on the stunning orbital imagery created by SCISS' Uniview software and NASA, and shows data ranging from oil consumption and air traffic, over Earth's magnetosphere and polar sub storms to time-lapse images of the Arctic ice melt.

You can watch a 5 minute sample movie and some talks from the people behind its design, below.

Via Datavisualization.ch and Treehugger.

See also MobileGlobe, Britain Seen from Above, Visualizing all Flight in 24 Hours, Data-Drive 3D Globe and Flight Patterns.



What’s the point of this video? Is it to inform, relate, or entertain? If it is to inform or help me emotionally connect – then I believe it fails. The music’s the problem. I mistrust it: its like the artificial stuff you hear in shops with the organic handbags that you know will fall apart and biodegrade before you get home. The music’s in synch with the data rather than the planet or the issue. In my opinion the music needs to counterpoint the complex, rich visual imagery, with simplicity. Something old. I turned off the sound and played a Beethoven violin sonata. I found I absorbed the info better. Get rid of the voice over too, all you need is the text. The trouble with many multimedia visualisation projects is that they are just too rich – visually, sonically...etc., and communication gets lost in the competing noise.

Wed 12 Aug 2009 at 11:37 AM
Don Rocin

Bless this Earth and all living beings. The Earth ranks among God's greatest assets and we are destroying it: socially, ecologically and economically. To ignore the lessons of this video is to live in great peril. I pray we live to see a better day.

Wed 12 Aug 2009 at 3:34 PM

Indeed: Sometimes less is more.
Remember the artist Ingo Guenther´s globe emphazising earth´s scarcity of freshwater: He just illuminated a paper-laminated globe from inside and there carved out the rivers, freshwater lakes etc with a razor blade. The result: You could see the fragile, vulnerable traces ot the planet´s freshwater resources shining through like white body veins. Simple and unforgettable ! See his interview (Republik,com ISBN 3-89322-948-5)

Thu 13 Aug 2009 at 2:08 PM
Volker Schweisfurth
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