It's no longer a challenge to get astonishingly sharp photos of the Earth from space, but video? That's another matter. UrtheCast is about to open the floodgates, however. It just released the first batch of full-color, high-definition video of Earth recorded from the International Space Station. In many ways, the extremely sharp footage (with detail down to 3.3 feet) of Barcelona, Boston and London is like an internet mapping site come to life -- all those pathways are suddenly full of moving boats and cars. The Iris imaging system that recorded these movies won't be fully operational until the summer, but the preview suggests that its customers will get plenty of insights into traffic and other activity that's harder to track from the ground.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.