Day 54: In Your Face Outer Space

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February 23, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

I’ve been on sort of a sci-fi kick recently.  I’m working my way through the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson and loving it so far.  Space, it seems to me, is very big.  We humans, despite sometimes recognizing just how small we are in the cosmic scheme of things, are capable of some tremendous feats, especially when we let our imaginations run wild.  I’m finding more and more that as I delve into the plausible future that the Mars books play out, the more I begin to imagine how I would like the real world to turn out.  Fundamentally, sci-fi offers a different perspective on things, and encourages readers (or at least me) to think differently about life, the universe and everything.  But such a fresh perspective doesn’t necessarily need to come from fiction.  In fact, it might be even more influential if we were to take account of the amazing universe that really is around us.  It’s easy to get caught up with existence here on Earth – the day-to-day routines we’ve all got going on – and really sort of forget about everything else there is.  I’m guilty of that as much as anyone else, I assure you, but I’ve been trying to remedy that recently by acknowledging and even appreciating just how immense and awesome thing are, beyond our little planet.  Today’s project is a means of achieving that sort of perspective, and will hopefully help a lot more of us take note of the 99.9999% of the universe we don’t consider from day to day.

PopView 3D Moon Map is creating – you guessed it – a 3D map of the moon.  The whole moon.  In 3D.  On your desktop (or your wall, if you’d like).  You can now explore the craters, the valleys, the rifts, the seas, the mountains that cover the surface of our only moon.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1651739037/popview-3d-moon-map

The spectacularly detailed PopView 3D Moon map will be available to the Kickstarter community for the next 28 days. It’s spectacular on an iPad, where you can zoom in and out and investigate every crater on the surface covered by the map, and it’s also gorgeous on the wall, where future astronauts can gaze at the distant surface and imagine the possibilities.

PopView has pioneered the art and science of 3D cartography, and has demonstrated how incredible this mapping technique can be with their 3D maps of Mars and Earth.  Now they’re setting their sights on Luna, and for the next 13 days (March 7), offering an amazing new way for us Terrans to see things that only a lucky few have ever witnessed firsthand.  For backing this project, you’ll get a copy of their lunar map (in either digital or large, printed form), and they’ll even throw in some 3D glasses if you haven’t got one lying around already.  I’m taking this chance to see a little further and in a new way – maybe you’d be interested in joining me?

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