Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Britain from Above

We all know what the countries of the World look like from space. Italy is a boot, America has a pan handle and Australia is a big smudge. Ever wondered what a countries infrastructure would look like from space? No, well I’m sure some people have. The BBC have a new documentary called ‘Britain from Above’ which uses state of the art computer graphics combined with GPS information from Taxis, planes, ferries and other vehicles to show how the country functions. After the cut you will find some facts and a link to the video on the BBC website.

Hosted by Andrew Marr the show will present imagery of Britain and the daily heartbeat that is the countries commute and communications network. Also included in this series is a look at how the cities have changed and how technologies keep us moving.

Video link

Facts from the show.

• The English Channel is the busiest shipping lane in the world: on a typical day 400 plus vessels travel through the Dover Straits, the biggest of which weigh up to 150,000 tonnes and take 3.5 miles to come to a stop.
• East London's Beckton Sewage Plant - all 280 football pitches worth of tanks, troughs and waterways - is one of the largest in Europe.
• On an average day, Britain's water pipes carry 16 billion litres of water - enough to fill 18 million bathtubs.
• In less than a week the waste sent to sewage plants is clean enough to be able to be pumped back into our taps.
• At the peak of the working day Britons send more than 5,000 text messages per second.
• 109 square miles of British countryside is just used for landfill.
• Between 7 and 10am, 36 million Britons are on the move commuting to the office or school.
• The average road user will spend more than 6 months of their life stuck in traffic jams.
• Every day more than 7,500 civilian aircraft crowd Britain's airspace, carrying more that half a million passengers.
• Over three quarters of a billion pounds in hard cash is transported around the roads of Britain every day. Driving one of the secured vans is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country with sometimes 15 attacks a week.
• Every day the nation's rubbish trucks collect more than 82,000 tonnes of refuse.

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