The idea started out of curiosity, to have a look from the top at the landscape, topography and have a better understanding of the geology formation as well as urban planning and nature density, in countries I have lived in, using Google Earth.
Along the way, equipped with curious eyes, I started to see familiar shapes, and letters and I thought if I can see a few letters, can I find the whole alphabet? Thus how the Google Earth Alphabet project started. The first completed set of the alphabet was over Kuwait, then Dubai and recently, Lebanon.
In the Lebanon version, which took just over a year to complete and amongst the 26 letters, the letter O & I were the most abundant, other letters were a lot harder to find such as the J, S & H, and some felt like nearly impossible to find such as Q, R, W, Y and Z.
The challenging yet interesting feature about Lebanon geology is that with every season, the terrains look completely different. A canvas in every season. The letter B for example would not be visible in summer, nor winter, only in spring with most ice from that area has melted, leaving a beautiful zebra-like pattern, and a precious letter B for me to find. Jumping between seasons is made possible via Google Earth’s imagery history featuring, allowing to view the terrain from different past dates, going as far back as 10 years.
130 hours later, scanning 10,452 km² surface space during different seasons, all 26 letters were found and the board was completed with the last letter found adding a sentimental finish, the letter E, which was the recently bombed Beirut Port.
They say sometimes you have to look up, to see broader. With the google earth alphabet project, I am able to look down, from above and see the country which I come from, with a whole new perspective, adding so much more appreciation to land I already dearly love.
I hope one day I will be able to look at our planet the same way, but through a space shuttle, instead of my screen!