Aside

Finding the truth of a country’s economic state, from space

Surely, most people have seen this comparison of pictures.  The comparison showing the differences in lights in China and North Korea from an image taken in 1992 versus an image taken in 2010.  China changed a lot and of course North Korea not at all.

Well, some people are attempting to sift more truth of the same sort about Laos using images from NASA’s MODIS low earth orbiting satellites.  This article, from The Economist, goes into detail if you’re interested.  You know how it is–despotic government throwing desperate propaganda left and right about prosperity and how well they’re doing.  But apparently they’re selling their lands to other countries, disenfranchising their citizens, etc.

There are 12 years worth of images for the scientists to go through, so they should be able to see some trends.  But the old adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” still seems to be true, and helps, perhaps, to override the untruths.

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