What is Earth Lens?

For over forty years, astronauts have orbited Earth, looking down and admiring their home planet from space. Armed with cameras, they take photos of Earth - for scientific reasons, for people back home, or just because something looks interesting.

Earth Lens takes these photos - published by NASA - and curates them, letting you easily see the best photos from different missions. We launched with four missions' photos - SkyLab 2 (May 1973), SkyLab 3 (July 1973), SkyLab 4 (November 1973) and ISS Expedition 36 (2013).


The source images for Earth Lens are provided by NASA and are in the public domain. Earth Lens does not claim copyright on the processing we perform on these photographs.

The source code for the Earth Lens site is also public domain under the CC-0 license and is available on GitHub.

Some of the geographic name data comes from GeoNames and is licensed under the CC-BY-3.0 license.

The team behind Earth Lens

Earth Lens is an entirely volunteer effort, and was built by a core team of four people, with many others helping to rate and classify the thousands of photos.

The core team

Russ Garrett, Alex Lee, Andrew Godwin & Mazz Mosley


Adam Johnson, Alex Stapleton, Ben Firshman, David Brownlee, David Thompson, Elly Williams, James Aylett, James Coglan, Louise Downe, Mark Hurrell, Mark Norman Francis, Meri Williams, Neil Kimmett & Ryan Alexander

Made on an island

Earth Lens is a /dev/fort project, meaning that it was created in just one week, in isolation, on the Isle of Eigg in Scotland.

For six days we lived and worked together in Glebe Barn, sharing both design and product work and household work like cooking and cleaning, on an island that houses just 100 people. Between walks and meals, we designed, implemented and curated the first version of Earth Lens.

We recommend