DigitalGlobe, a commercial vendor of earth imagery and geospatial products, hosted a satellite imagery contest from 20 of its most stunning shots taken during the 2011. Using Facebook and user likes, DigitalGlobe narrowed the list to the five most liked and then polled its audience to pick the best of the bunch.
The winner (see below) is the Rakaia River in New Zealand. According to DigitalGlobe, the Rakaia is one of the largest "braided" rivers in the country, composed of a network of channels.
Here are some of the runners up:
DigitalGlobe was inducted into the Space Foundation's Hall of Fame last year for its role in commercial Earth-imaging satellites. The Longmont, Colo., company's image gallery has more than 2 billion square kilometers of satellite imagery -- the largest high-resolution collection of commercial imagery in the world, according to its website. According to DigitalGlobe, it has the ability to collect 700 million square kilometers of imagery each year. The company maintains several generations of commercial satellites and states on its website that it will launch a fourth satellite in 2014.
For more 2011 satellite images from DigitalGlobe, including the wildfires in Bastrop, Texas, flooding in Bangkok, Thailand, and Ground Zero, check out DigitalGlobe's Facebook page.
[H/T Daily Mail]