If your hometown's been shot by astronaut/prolific shutterbug Chris Hadfield, it's probably viewable on this interactive map.

Chris Hadfield is the 35th commander of the International Space Station, the first Canadian to walk in space and a relentless demon of photography.

Since boarding the spacecraft in December, he's fed his half-million Twitter followers a steady diet of pupil-popping images taken from out his window as he speeds along at 17,239 m.p.h., such as a monstrous cyclone eating Madagascar, glacial runoff "burping" into the Atlantic and what he rightfully calls "one of the coolest space sights on Earth, the Richat Structure of Mauritania." Hadfield is so obsessed with documenting the planet that the only thing that makes him angry in space is having to go to bed: "My resolution has been to make the absolute most of it -- to spend as little time sleeping as I can," he recently told reporters.

But Hadfield is interested in more than the natural corrugations, volcanic smoke plumes and bathymetric mysteries of our ever-transforming globe. He's also slowly building a photo collection of the world's cities as seen from 230 miles up in the ether. And now, thanks to the work of a devotee in Canada, if the commander has snapped your hometown you can find the image on an interactive map bursting at the seams with visual gold.

David MacLean, who teaches computer mapping at the Nova Scotia Community College in Lawrencetown, was so wowed by Hadfield's daily photos that he thought, as reported in the Ottawa Citizen, "Wouldn’t it be nice to have a catalog of where they are?" So he made one, using a basemap hosted by Esri and a Google Drive database of locations that he and his students continually update. You can zoom in on cities to see Hadfield's full-sized photos, along with comments that he tweeted out with them. (A few of the images were taken by fellow astronaut Thomas H. Marshburn.) Another option lets you switch the base map to different settings, like "streets," "Bing Maps Aerial" and "National Geographic."

MacLean has written that his mantra is "a picture is worth 1,000 words; a map is worth 1,000 pictures; a GIS is worth 1,000 maps." In this case, his estimation of the map's cool factor is spot-on for lovers of astro photography. For a quick rotation of the world's cities seen in ant size, check out Cape Town bumping up against the sun-dappled ocean, the vast flatness of Chicago, huge sea swirls off of Mumbai and Boston, glowing foggily in the night.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  2. Amazon HQ2

    New York’s Ejection of Amazon Is the Start of a Movement

    NYC lawmakers who led a resistance campaign against HQ2 are declaring victory. And already, they have plans to escalate their opposition to tax incentives.

  3. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  4. Equity

    Capturing Black Bottom, a Detroit Neighborhood Lost to Urban Renewal

    “Black Bottom Street View,” now exhibiting at the Detroit Public Library, thoughtfully displays old images of the historic African American neighborhood in its final days.

  5. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?