A GeoEye-1 image of Mount Vesuvius was named the top satellite image of 2013. Voting for DigitalGlobe’s third annual Top Image of the Year contest opened on Dec. 3. In just 28 days, more than 30,000 votes were cast via Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.
During the first round of voting, Galešnjak (Island of Love) in Croatia and Mount Vesuvius in Italy led the polls with the most votes and were featured in Time magazine and MSNBC’s Photo Blog. Not far behind was “Wish,” a large-scale art work in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada with a notable amount of “Likes.”
Once the top five images were chosen and the second round of voting began, it was clear Mount Vesuvius would take the crown—with more than 3,000 votes! “Wish” was the runner-up, and Galešnjak (Island of Love), the early front-runner, fell back to fourth place. The 2013 contest drew 15 times the number of participants compared with 2012.
Mount Vesuvius, a volcano about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) east of Naples, Italy, and a short distance from the shore, is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Although Vesuvius hasn’t erupted since 1944, it is still regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3 million people living nearby and its tendency toward explosive eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.