Pixelated satellite images, or pixelated landscapes?

Earlier this week, I was looking up some addresses in Florida on Google Maps. When I looked at one not far from Belle Glade State Municipal Airport area of Florida, the satellite image made me do a double take.

I thought there was a problem with the image because it seemed pixelated at first glance. Nope! The patterns created by the farm fields in various stages of tillage and growth was the reason for it. I’ve seen the Midwest’s fields from the windows of airplanes and they look similar. The bounds aren’t quite so rectangular as these, though. The bright green of those growing fields certainly makes a difference in their appearance compared to most you see in the Midwest (especially in summer of 2012, in this drought!). I thought this was pretty cool.

I love looking at satellite images and bird’s eye views like those given by Bing. One really cool landmark in my area is readily apparent on both, the DAWES ARBORETUM hedge letting at the nearby arboretum. That letting, comprised of arborvitae shrubs, stretches an impressive 2,040 feet! It was planted in 1930 and 1940, then replanted in 1990-91.

The famous Dawes Arboretum hedge letters.

Bing Maps bird's eye view of Dawes Arboretum hedge letters in Newark, Ohio

My husband and I were dating when they replanted; at the time, the new hedges looked like little green cotton balls, but they’ve grown together into the familiar letters. For many years, pilots used it as a point of reference en route to Columbus International Airport, so large are those letters. The map can be found here. You can find more information about the hedge lettering at the Historical Marker Database.

When I posted the Florida image to Facebook, my friend Elaine told me to look at Brownfield, TX on Google maps. So, I did:

Satellite image of the circular fields surrounding Brownfield, Texas.

Wow! The satellite image shows the circular fields surrounding Brownfield, Texas. That’s some dry country, and the irrigation systems are center-pivot irrigation systems (also called central-pivot irrigation systems). The water source is at the center of the hub. A pump powers the water through the long assembly of pipes and nozzles that slowly rotates the circle like the hands on a clock. How cool are those things when seen from that lofty perspective?

If you think that’s something, check out these crop circles in the vicinity of Garden City, Kansas.

Satellite view of circular fields with center pivot irrigation in Garden City, Kansas.

I’ll leave you with a wonderful HD video depicting wonders seen from space, the Garden City, Kansas, region in particular. I tried to get the embedded video to begin at 4:40 in the film, but for some reason it’s not working. If you want to skip to that point, drag the slider to 4:40. It’s breathtaking. Watch the whole thing if you have time, and watch it in HD on the biggest monitor you can.

After seeing that, do you understand the reason for this entry’s title?

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