Ice fields near Adelaide Island, off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Click for more photos

GeoEye-1 satellite images

Ice fields near Adelaide Island, off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: GeoEye

  • Ice fields near Adelaide Island, off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Towra Point Nature Reserve at Botany Bay, Kurnell, Sydney.
  • White lines in the Gobi desert in northwestern China, believed to be used as targets for calibrating satellite and radar imaging systems.
  • Tens of thousands of people gathered at St. Peter?s square to celebrate Easter Mass at the Vatican.
  • Space Shuttle Endeavour at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, awaiting the launch of its last flight to the International Space Station.
  • The Pausylipon Archeological Site and the Seiano Grotto, near Naples, Italy.
  • The Embarcadero Marina Park off San Diego Bay in Southern California.
  • The Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. during the 2012 centennial celebrating 100 years of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
  • The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant more than 10 months after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Oshika Peninsula on March 11, 2011.
  • The eastern coast of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, just three days after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Oshika Peninsula on March 11, 2011.
  • The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.
  • The construction progress of London's 2012 Olympic Stadium in August 2011.

The creators of the GeoEye-1 satellite have released a set of stunning images that show how our planet has changed in the four years since its launch.

Google, which had its logo emblazoned on the satellite's launch vehicle back in 2008, has exclusive online use of the mapping data produced by the satellite. The data is made available by Google via its Google Maps and Google Earth apps.

Within Google Earth, users can switch on a 'GeoEye Featured Imagery' layer, which highlights available imagery within the interactive interface, with links to full-resolution versions and location/event information.

GeoEye-1, which is owned by geospatial satellite imagery company GeoEye, was the highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite in the world at the time of its launch and is worth roughly US$502 million.

It is capable of portraying individual details as small as 41cm. Though Google only has access to details of objects 50cm large, the maximum detail able to be captured prior to the GeoEye-1 was 60cm.

The satellite is capable of capturing up to 700,000 square kilometres of imagery every day, while GeoEye's archive houses over 500 million square kilometres of imagery.

Significant images captured with the GeoEye-1 include the 2009 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama, urban expansion in China and the 2011 9.0-magnitude earthquake in Japan.