The Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada’s Alberta Province is largely under control, but the job of estimating the damage is just beginning. Satellite images will be key in that effort. They provide detailed views on conditions across a charred expanse of more than 25,000 acres. Not long ago, pictures from satellites were the province of cold war spy masters. But now, clear pictures of the entire earth in almost real time are widely available, offering critical insights on regional water shortages, real estate development, refugee crises, agricultural productivity and much more. We ask: What are pictures from above teaching us about life on earth?