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An Interactive Map of Earth Photos Tweeted by Astronauts

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There's not a lot of downtime for the astronauts on the International Space Station. When they're not busy running scientific experiments, they're getting in some exercise or doing space walks. But luckily for the earthbound, they make time to snap gorgeous photos of our planet in a way we'd otherwise never get to see them, and then post those photos on Twitter.

Now, all of those photos from ISS Expeditions 40 and 41 have been catalogued into one interactive map—created by Dave MacLean of Nova Scotia's Centre of Geographic Sciences—that allows users to easily find the photos, look at them, and discover if astronauts have snapped a space photo of their hometowns. (There are also maps for previous ISS missions; you can see 38/39 here, 36/37 here, and 34/35 here.)

The map features photos taken by the two astronauts and two cosmonauts who are currently in space: Alex Gerst, Reid Wiseman, Макс Сураев, and Oleg Artemyev. Each pin on the map is color-coded according to who did the tweeting; clicking on the pin allows you to see the photo and follow a link to the original tweet. You can also see the current location of the ISS (on a one-minute delay).

MacLean told the Daily Mail that he created the map "to enable lots of people to see the world from ISS perspective over time—and not let a tweet slip by." He notes in the map's details section that his mantra is "a picture is worth 1000 words; a map is worth 1000 pictures; a GIS is worth 1000 maps."

(H/T io9)

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Land Cover CCI, ESA
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Afternoon Map
European Space Agency Releases First High-Res Land Cover Map of Africa
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Land Cover CCI, ESA

This isn’t just any image of Africa. It represents the first of its kind: a high-resolution map of the different types of land cover that are found on the continent, released by The European Space Agency, as Travel + Leisure reports.

Land cover maps depict the different physical materials that cover the Earth, whether that material is vegetation, wetlands, concrete, or sand. They can be used to track the growth of cities, assess flooding, keep tabs on environmental issues like deforestation or desertification, and more.

The newly released land cover map of Africa shows the continent at an extremely detailed resolution. Each pixel represents just 65.6 feet (20 meters) on the ground. It’s designed to help researchers model the extent of climate change across Africa, study biodiversity and natural resources, and see how land use is changing, among other applications.

Developed as part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project, the space agency gathered a full year’s worth of data from its Sentinel-2A satellite to create the map. In total, the image is made from 90 terabytes of data—180,000 images—taken between December 2015 and December 2016.

The map is so large and detailed that the space agency created its own online viewer for it. You can dive further into the image here.

And keep watch: A better map might be close at hand. In March, the ESA launched the Sentinal-2B satellite, which it says will make a global map at a 32.8 feet-per-pixel (10 meters) resolution possible.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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National Low Income Housing Coalition
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Live Smarter
How Many Hours You Need to Work to Pay Rent in Each State
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National Low Income Housing Coalition

According to a recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a full-time worker in the U.S. must earn, on average, $17.14 per hour to comfortably afford a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent [PDF]. That said, even the nation’s highest minimum wage—which, starting in 2020, is slated to be pegged at $15 in Washington D.C.—isn’t enough to meet these numbers.

This raises the question: How many hours would the average minimum wage worker in each state need to work per week to afford their one-bedroom abodes, without paying more than 30 percent of their overall income? (Spoiler: Those earning the bare federal minimum of $7.25 per hour would need to work 94.5 hours per week—the equivalent of 2.4 full time jobs—to achieve this feat.)

The NLIHC broke down their comprehensive nationwide findings in the map above:

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