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Christmas Gift Guide

The citadel of Aleppo

Slow the Cuanza

Fire down under

Colorado River/snake?

The 8-bit palace

Great Barrier Reef

"Green tide"

Croatia's love isle

Quack!

Manam volcano

Mount Vesuvius

Deserted

An abstract mine?

Infant isle

Ender's island?

Sochi style

A good cay

Poor Gulliver

Face to face

Are those axons?

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?

Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
This false color satellite image shows fires and smoke near Dunalley, Australia, in January. The red areas show healthy vegetation.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
Awesome from all angles: Australia's Great Barrier Reef from orbit as of April 2013.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
Someone at DigitalGlobe must have gotten in to trouble for this one, because this shot of Croatia's "Island of Love" was taken on February 16, 2013, a full two days after Valentine's Day.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
It's not just a satellite photo of a harbor in Hong Kong. It's also a photo of a giant rubber duck large enough to be seen from space.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
This Papua New Guinea island is home to the Manam Volcano and has been uninhabited since its last eruption in 2004.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
Volcanoes make for some of the most dramatic satellite views, particularly if their histories are as checkered as our grumpy friend Mount Vesuvius, shown here in February.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
Where's Waldo? Not in Namibia's Namib Desert, but if you look hard enough you can kind of make out a face of some sort.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
What would have happened if Jackson Pollock had been the coder behind the original SimCity? Perhaps something like this view of Niger's Arlit Uranium Mine.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
Welcome the latest terrestrial addition to our globe -- this new island was created by an earthquake off Pakistan's Gwadar coast.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
I swear I've seen this in a sci-fi flick somewhere, but this real-world artificial island in Doha, Qatar, spans nearly 4 million square meters.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
History literally under construction -- this shot shows Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
It's tough to see the boundaries between land, air and sea in this photo of the Schooner Cays of the Bahamas.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
Another large-scale artwork, this one from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is titled "Wish."
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
Tell me what you see: The brain's synapses, the Matrix, or Shiyuan Park in Xian, China.
Caption by / Photo by Getty/DigitalGlobe
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