Earth From Space

  • Andrew K. Johnston
A&C Black: 2007. 9781552978207 9780713687057 | ISBN: 978-1-5529-7820-7

Earth From Space (A&C Black, 2007) by Andrew K. Johnston offers a view of the world from above, with more than 300 satellite photographs of Earth. Some are instantly identifiable as rivers, roads and cities; others, like fields in Garden City, Kansas, look like abstract art. Infrared shots of the Iraq–Iran border and radar images of Belgrade reveal the effects of war, environmental disaster and agriculture. The book covers the evolution of our attempts observe the Earth, from Wilbur Wright's plane-mounted camera to today's remote sensors. A chapter called 'Tools of the Trade' explains the technology used to take the photographs, leading in to chapters, such as 'Structure of the Land and Human Presence', that explore the forces that shape the world.

Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography

  • Nick Kanas
Springer: 2007. 9780387716688 | ISBN: 978-0-3877-1668-8

Nick Kanas's Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography (Springer, 2007) adopts the opposite perspective — looking up at the sky. It chronicles attempts to chart the stars from ancient times to today. Alongside the familiar terrain of classical Western astronomy are star charts from China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. As well as explore the changing equipment in astronomy and cartography, the book covers the philosophies and personalities that saw star charts develop from images of gods and animals into the more scientific (although less beautiful) maps in use today.

Spies in the Sky

  • Pat Norris
Praxis: 2007 9780387716725 | ISBN: 978-0-3877-1672-5

Spies in the Sky (Praxis, 2007) by Pat Norris argues that reconnaissance satellites helped prevent outright conflict during the cold war era. It charts the development of satellite technology and the effect this had on international relations from the 1950s to the present day, before going on to speculate on how satellites might be used in future conflicts. The cold war sparked the demand for accurate, timely images of human activity across Earth that eventually led to the kind of equipment responsible for the book's stunning images.