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"Space Station Earth" is a digital map that turns our entire planet into a cold and otherworldly spaceship. Our terrestrial home transforms into George Lucas' scourge of the Galaxy—the dreaded Death Star.
The map's designer Eleanor Lutz created this custom piece of space cartography using Mapbox Studio, a online service that lets users and companies build their own maps. Fast Company points out that this service is often used by big companies, such as Facebook or Foursquare, to create maps to fit their brand. Instead, Lutz says she was inspired by her own love of science fiction, particularly from genre staples like The Matrix, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Craft.
But CityLab's John Metcalfe identifies the map's uncanny resemblance to the Galactic Empire's technological terror. Lutz fosters this Death Star vibe by removing all bodies of water and replacing them with a standard space backdrop. All major cities were replaced with a "colonies" moniker and oversized icons resemble the onboard lights of a planet-sized space station.
With the estimated cost of building our own Death Star hovering around the $852 quadrillion mark, this will probably be one of few Earth-inspired Death Stars we ever see—at least in this galaxy anyway.