129  |  Views of the World with Robert Simmon


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This week we have Robert Simmon on the show to discuss satellite imagery. Robert is a data visualization engineer at Planet Labs, where he creates visualizations of the earth from satellite sensor data. Previously a Data Visualizer and Designer at NASA, Robert is also known as “Mr. Blue Marble” for the image of Earth he created, which Apple later adopted as their default image for the iPhone lock screen.

On the show we talk about satellite imagery and what it takes to transform satellite data into something that is enlightening and intelligible. We also talk about the multiple parallels between satellite images and data visualization, the key role that color plays in creating effective visualizations, and Robert’s amazing color guide “Subtleties of Color.”


Related episodes


1. Welcome to Data Stories! (00:00:27)

2. Our podcast is listener-supported, with no ads; please consider making a contribution (00:01:04)

3. Introducing Robert Simmon, formerly of NASA and currently of Planet (00:01:51)

4. Robert on the Blue Marble (00:04:30)

5. How satellite Earth photos work (00:09:27)

6. Parallels between satellite images and data visualization (00:14:12)

7. How Robert thinks about color in the satellite images (00:22:53)

8. On the Overview Effect (00:39:04)

9. Robert’s recommendations for listeners getting started with satellite imagery (00:48:10)

10. Get in touch with us and support us on Patreon (00:50:29)

147 episodes available. A new episode about every 17 days averaging 47 mins duration .