As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread across the globe, once-bustling streets in major cities are quickly turning into ghost towns. Airports are grinding to a standstill. Cinemas, concert halls, and theatres are empty. Even New York City's Times Square, the so-called "heart of the world", is eerily quiet.
To get a true sense of this dramatic change, there are better ways than satellite imagery. New images taken by private satellite company Maxar Technologies have documented changes in human activity over the past few weeks in cities, airports, tourist hotspots, and recreational areas all over the world.
From ski resorts to New York City, all locations appear to show distinctly less human activity compared to images taken before the outbreak began in November 2019, or at least before the public started taking precautionary measures to reduce social contact. One exception (that appears to be busier now than earlier in the month) is the airport carpark in Arizona because it shows rental cars laying unused as far fewer people are traveling and using the airport facilities.
Maxar Technologies is also the company responsible for last week's widely shared satellite images that appear to show Iran digging huge new burial trenches in the wake of the COVID-19. You can view those images here. Before that, check out their latest collection of before-and-after images below.