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Google Maps and Earth Lights
August 30, 2007 9:20 PM   Subscribe

We've seen that one picture of earth at night. And we all know what Google Earth is. But someone has put the two together. Be sure to check out the map overlays, including the dusk map.
posted by philomathoholic (33 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
The blog entry is from Feb 06, how was this missed?
posted by philomathoholic at 9:21 PM on August 30, 2007


*Waits to be told that it wasn't missed.* Yes I searched.
posted by philomathoholic at 9:23 PM on August 30, 2007


Well, it's not that exciting.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:24 PM on August 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I talked about Blue Marble and other NASA related add-ons to Google Earth in my old post.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:25 PM on August 30, 2007


Mars looks like I ate mushrooms.
posted by conch soup at 9:34 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately the overlays are slightly out of alignment with the image.
posted by randomstriker at 9:36 PM on August 30, 2007


I agree with randomstriker - I was just looking at Morocco, and all the cities are marked a bit North of where they actually are.
posted by Liosliath at 9:37 PM on August 30, 2007


Man, the scandinavians totally deserve the North Pole, look how few Canadians live as far north as they do. I'd trust the Swedes with it.

Then again, it could just be that Northern Canadians don't need street lamps.
posted by anthill at 9:39 PM on August 30, 2007




What is that bright dot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between South America and Africa? I see no island there. Perhaps a bunch of freighter ships are having a party?
posted by idiotfactory at 9:53 PM on August 30, 2007


This is... okay?
posted by jonson at 9:54 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


idiotfactory: Probably Saint Helena
posted by Burhanistan at 9:57 PM on August 30, 2007


Mars looks like I ate mushrooms.

Space mushrooms?
posted by homunculus at 10:35 PM on August 30, 2007


When I first read this I thought maybe someone reprojected this photo and made a Google Earth overlay out of it. Which would put me in geek heaven.
posted by gubo at 10:46 PM on August 30, 2007


"The underlying 128 megapixel night imagery from NASA uses a map projection different from Google Maps'. The two are aligned near the NYC-Madrid-Tokyo axis only."

North Europe is at least 500 kilometers off, Australia even more.
posted by ikalliom at 10:50 PM on August 30, 2007


Okay, so what's the big bright spot in the southernmost portion of Africa, where Maps doesn't show any city callouts?

Yes, American, geographically-challenged, help a guy out
posted by davejay at 10:56 PM on August 30, 2007


While I'm complaining, does anyone else find it annoying that Google Maps uses the Mercator projection, which is completely ridiculous even within Europe (Spain is so small it looks like it could be a province of Sweden) and more or less the worst possible choice for a world map? (if you're not a navigator)
posted by ikalliom at 11:05 PM on August 30, 2007


idiotfactory said: What is that bright dot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between South America and Africa?

You discovered Atlantis!
posted by amyms at 11:19 PM on August 30, 2007


What is that bright dot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

Rave.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:31 PM on August 30, 2007


It's interesting if predictable that the interstates of the US are more apparent on the night image more than any political border. There's probably something mildly profound to be extrapolated from that but my neurons are telling me to stop trying to be smart for the internet and just fucking go to bed.
posted by bunnytricks at 11:32 PM on August 30, 2007


davejay, it's Johannesburg, they just fucked up the projection.

"The underlying 128 megapixel night imagery from NASA uses a map projection different from Google Maps'. The two are aligned near the NYC-Madrid-Tokyo axis only."

I fail to understand why they didn't just reproject it. GRASS GIS would have done it pretty straightforwardly, and if you're already taking the time to do this, why not do it right? It would have made the "dusk" map look a lot less dumb.

Oh well, I guess it's nice.
posted by blacklite at 12:21 AM on August 31, 2007


(Oh, unless you mean the point way way down there, which is Cape Town.)
posted by blacklite at 12:22 AM on August 31, 2007


My God! It's full of meh!
posted by felix betachat at 12:33 AM on August 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


bright dot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

It's Ascension Island, I think. USAF and RAF bases, various communications stations, etc., and while it was only officially used for rocket launches in 1963-74, I wouldn't be surprised if there's some activity there still, away from prying eyes. The European Space Agency has a tracking center there.
posted by blacklite at 12:36 AM on August 31, 2007


According to these maps, by day I live in London, but at dusk, I live in Brighton. Cool.
posted by rhymer at 1:45 AM on August 31, 2007


Yeah, seems like brighton sure has a lot of lights in the evening.
posted by sebas at 2:44 AM on August 31, 2007


Considering that a lot of these lights are not cities, but natural gas burn-off from oil wells, I've always wondered about that sharp drop off between India and China. Maybe that's a good investment, oil wells in south west China?
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:55 AM on August 31, 2007


What is that bright dot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

R'lyeh?
posted by Mintyblonde at 6:15 AM on August 31, 2007


While I'm complaining, does anyone else find it annoying that Google Maps uses the Mercator projection, which is completely ridiculous even within Europe (Spain is so small it looks like it could be a province of Sweden) and more or less the worst possible choice for a world map? (if you're not a navigator)

No projection can be both equal-area and conformal. If they used a non-conformal projection, shapes and directions would be distorted when you zoomed in. And given that Google Maps is primarily used for things like driving directions, the aesthetic appearance of the full world map was probably not a very high priority.
posted by teraflop at 6:31 AM on August 31, 2007


That nighttime image has been my desktop background image for several years. Thanks philomathoholic for the link. I used it to confirm that during my trip to West Virginia next year, the night sky should be very dark indeed.

Add tags for "map" and "googlemaps"? This is technically Google Maps, not Google Earth. Two different things.
posted by intermod at 6:37 AM on August 31, 2007


NASA's WorldWind program also has as plugin for this, which I detailed this morning on the green and am now feeling like I wasted that time on. Maybe it's more accurate though.
posted by jwells at 7:54 AM on August 31, 2007


I'm disappointed it doesn't go down futher. I wanted to see my house with the lights on.
posted by dammitjim at 8:33 AM on August 31, 2007


Japan just scares the ever living shit out of me. The lights reveal just how densely populated it is. The west cost of Honshu blows my mind. Enormous solid blobs of light with little distance in between.

Honshu looks like a well marbled steak. (Perhaps Kobe beef? hehe)
posted by C.Batt at 9:08 AM on August 31, 2007


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