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Be Han Solo With Google Street View's Millennium Falcon POV

It is now completely acceptable to exclaim "Punch it, Chewie!" from your desk at work, thanks to a new custom version of Google Street View. The technology allows users to see the world from the cockpit of Han Solo's Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader's TIE fighter, or Luke Skywalker's X-Wing, while sound effects and music from the Star Wars franchise play through their device's speakers.

The Star Wars Street View map automatically takes you to see Big Ben as if you're commanding the Millennium Falcon, the Atomium building in Brussels if you choose Vader's TIE fighter, and Times Square in New York City if you're an X-Wing kind of pilot. Still, with some manual maneuvering, you can see any location in the world that is accessible with Google Maps. Popular Science reports that a fan is responsible for the modified interface, which might explain why it's a little difficult to use the map (there is no search function) and why the graphics of the cockpits are relatively basic.

Ahead of the December 17 opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Google recently launched its own Star Wars-themed app modifications, which include sound effects, lightsaber icons, and updates to the vehicles and icons in Google Maps.

Star Wars Street View

Star Wars Street View
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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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