The world at night

Earth At Night

The World At Night - (accessed 09-29-10)

This is a composite image of the world at night. The white areas are actual lights as seen from space. This feature of the map has some interesting implications. First, one can immediately tell where humans (or at least humans with electricity) are located. In Antarctica for example, there are negligible populations of humans, thus the continent is dark. Second, one can also infer which countries and continents have more developed infrastructures by the intensity and layout of lights. For example, Africa is on the whole much darker than Western Europe, indicating a less-developed infrastructure.

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3 Responses to The world at night

  1. Will says:

    Hi David,

    I really like this image and am wanting to use it for a website that I’m setting up. Do you know what the situation is with copyright etc? Who should I contact for permission to use it?

    Kind regards,


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