It is the first satellite map of Earth, showing the real world as
it appears from space.
The work required one year of effort by Van Sant and his technical team using
the world's most powerful graphics
In 1988 during the height of the Cold War every boardroom and schoolroom in the world
maps and globes of the world with every country a different color.
This was also a time of environmental crisis
of great proportions; extinction of species,
industrial poisoning of rivers and lakes worldwide, and depletion
of ozone protection in the atmosphere.
No one knew what the world truly looked like.
On April 15th,
1990, Tom and his team completed the first map of Earth as it appears from space.
The image was first published as
the title page of the 1990 National Geographic World Atlas.
Since 1991 it has been adopted by all U.S. federal agencies,
has been published in
over 300 magazines and atlases, and is the largest selling image in the world.