In 2012 the U.S. Postal Service will celebrate the beauty and diversity of America's landscape as seen from above with the issuance of Earthscapes.
Looking down from window seats on airplanes, passengers may notice lines, circles, rectangles, and other shapes on the land. Depending on the season of the year, they may see areas of green, brown, or red. In winter, they might gaze out on miles and miles of white. Much depends on perspective, whether one’s view is straight down or from an angle, but almost any high place—a skyscraper or mountain, for example—can present viewers with stunning views and information about the Earth.
Geometric shapes give clues to the identity of a man-made structure or a natural feature; they might also reveal something about its purpose, origin, or any associated activity. Long, sinuous lines might be rivers or roads; squares and rectangles could be farmers’ fields or city blocks. Colors are also clues, and these can indicate types of vegetation or construction, and perhaps the current environmental conditions in a region—what season it is or whether the area is experiencing drought or flood.
This stamp pane presents examples of three categories of earthscapes: natural, agricultural, and urban. From the power and glory of nature to the interaction of people with the land—in both agricultural and urban settings—each stamp, within its limited amount of space, represents only a fragment of a geographical area, which may or may not be typical of a particular region.