DigitalGlobe has chosen its top 20 satellite photos of Earth for 2013. The selection inspires everything from awe to guffaws.
The citadel of Aleppo
For the past few years, DigitalGlobe has asked the public to vote on its favorite image captured by the company's constellation of five satellites. CNET was given access to the top 20 nominees that show fantastic, bizarre, and even funny perspectives on spots around the globe. Click through them all here and vote for your favorite on DigitalGlobe's Facebook page.
While not immediately obvious, this view from high above actually shows a war-torn city. No, that's not a bomb crater, it's the citadel of Aleppo, a medieval fortified palace now surrounded by the largest city in Syria. Taken in May, this shot also contains an optical illusion -- when the image is turned upside down the "hole" becomes a "hill," but which is it really?
Dam, that's a lot of water. A view of the Cambambe hydroelectric dam on the Cuanza River in Angola, which provides power for thousands of nearby homes and adds a modern touch to an area that is home to notable Portuguese ruins as well.
Another interesting optical illusion in this photo from April of the Colorado River snaking its way though Utah. Tough to tell if the river has carved its way through its namesake plateau here, built up a green wall, or turned into a massive mutant snake.
In the mood to sign a historic treaty or get lost in Marie Antoinette's old digs? The Palace of Versailles -- seen here in August -- is the place to get it done. While resplendent and elegant at ground level, this historic French palace looks strangely 8-bit from space.
A massive "green tide" event was photographed near the city of Sur, Oman, on February 13, 2013. Caused by an abundance of phytoplankton that can threaten fisheries, the affected area was larger than 500 square miles.
The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia and Gulliver Park in Valencia, Spain, amount to an enormous literary reference. It can be tough to see, but the huge, light-colored fiberglass model in the shot is meant to show the character Lemuel Gulliver of "Gulliver's Travels" trapped and tied to the ground.