Satellite photography alphabet

The Google Earth Alphabet has upper and lower case and numbers and punctuation formed inadvertently by geographic features visible from space.

Upper case

Lower case

Numbers and punctuation

(via Making Light)


  1. I’ve also thought this stuff was cool, from my earliest “Sesame Street” days. There’s something very appealing about letters and numbers formed in structures, etc.

  2. Fantastic! The lowercase is especially impressive. It is not clear to me who collected these images: a Google project? A Making Light project?

    Now I want to be able to type in MS Word using “satellite photography” font.

    1. > It is not clear to me who collected these images

      I did. It was just for fun.

      It took me about a week to find all the characters.
      After only a few hours I had about most of the alphabet, when my girlfriend said, ‘you can’t use lower case and capitals in one alphabet’. Hmmm… that had already crossed my mind, and I knew she was right. So then I needed to find two full alphabets.
      I also had found some characters that looked like numbers and punctuation. And when I found the &, I knew I had to include numbers and punctuation as well.

      KMZ-file is here:

      Thomas de Bruin

  3. A personal sticking point: these are aerial photographs, but not necessarily satellite photographs. Most aerial photos in Google Maps/Earth are taken from airplanes.

  4. Neat. But Mr. Doctorow, please be judicious in your use of the phrase “visible from space”. Since almost everything is visible from orbit provided a lens of sufficient magnifying power, the unqualified expression “visible from space” is practically meaningless. When followed by “with the naked eye” the term enters a whole new realm of impressiveness, and I feel most people using or reading the shorter version tend to assume this qualification is implied. (As, “the Great Wall of China is visible from space”). Most of the features illustrated in this article, though, would likely not be visible from space with the naked eye.

Comments are closed.