Yesterday at a press conference in the Flatiron district in NYC, I and a few other journalists were treated to a showing and presentation of some spectacular video footage of the Earth from space by UrtheCast.

From my report for Popular Mechanics, published today:

They are billed as the first color HD videos of the Earth from space, and they’re startling. These shots of Boston, Barcelona, and London are rock-steady, with cars clearly visible moving on highways. Only the subtle swaying of buildings gives away the fact that the videos were shot from the International Space Station, which flies 250 miles overhead at 17,000 miles per hour.

UrtheCast managed to get a pair of cameras installed on the outside of the Russian side of the International Space Station early last year. The $90 million Vancouver-based startup plans to start distributing pay-per-view video-from space imagery to government agencies, corporations, media outlets…and, of select areas, for free to everyone else.

Here’s the shot of Boston released by the company this morning:

Boston, U.S.A. from UrtheCast on Vimeo.

Read my full report and see two additional videos plus a couple of stills on