Google Earth View: 1,000 stunning new images of planet released

Google has released a new collection of images which it believes represent the 1,000 most stunning landscapes on planet Earth.

The images are snapshots from its Google Earth platform, a global database of the topography of our planet.

The newly released images represent the biggest update to its Earth View feature.

From the scarlet remains of a Bolivian volcano and the elegant squares of Barcelona, to the deeply furrowed mountains in Tibet; the images cover every corner of the planet.

The project started when a Google product manager, Gopal Shah, was flying over San Francisco.

China, Egypt, Anosy and the United States all seen from Google's satellites. Credit: Google Earth View

Looking down from the plane window, he spotted a "strange but kaleidoscopically beautiful vista" far below.

Getting home, he opened Google Earth to look deeper at the salt ponds where microorganisms create a stunning hue of colours.

"With that simple act, Earth View was born."

Iran, Algeria, Madagascar and Australia seen in the images in the project. Credit: Google Earth View
Somolia, Bolivia, the Lake District and western Scotland seen on the project. Credit: Google Earth View

"When you see Earth from Space and you seen these repeating patterns and these interesting and abstract images, there's just something that strikes you about how beautiful the planet is on every scale," he continued.

Mr Shah explained how he "feels like a photographer," with the exception he is using digital images already taken, rather than being out in the real world taking his own.

Android users may recognise some of the images; many have been used as backgrounds on the Google-backed devices.

Forests in Wales, the Shetland Islands, central London and the Menai Strait seen from Space. Credit: GEV

In 2014, the beauty of the natural world was taken, via the Google project, to the heart of the USA's biggest city.

Several of the images were displayed on the world's largest billboard in Times Square.

Google has now launched a new version of its software, allowing users to browse images using a map.

Germany, Australia, China and Bolivia seen in the newly-released images. Credit: Google Earth View

At the time of writing, there are only a handful of images of the United Kingdom included in the project.

They include white sand beaches in the Outer Hebrides, the mountains of the Lake District, forests in south Wales and The Regents Park in central London.

Mr Shah said he hopes the project will bring people together, referring to a "spiritual moment" described by astronauts when they see the world from a macro-perspective.