World Sunlight Map. The darkness looks a little creepy.
November 28, 2004 4:48 PM   Subscribe

World Sunlight Map. A neat little map showing the encroaching blob of darkness as parts of the world slip in and out of nighttime.
posted by Salmonberry (33 comments total)
Looking at the different projections was more interesting than seeing where it's daytime and where it's night.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 5:05 PM on November 28, 2004

'shopped. It's a composite of several maps.
posted by riffola at 5:05 PM on November 28, 2004

I always preferred the Fuller Projection to any of the three on that page. It distorts neither size nor shape, at the expense of being non-rectangular.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:08 PM on November 28, 2004 [1 favorite]

There is a similar real time map displayed on American Airlines Boeing 777's (at least on my last flight from Dallas to London). Gives you a nice visual aid in calculating when to pop the melatonin to mitigate jet lag.
posted by phoffmann at 5:25 PM on November 28, 2004

All I want for christmas is a screensaver that depicts a world map without clouds rotating so I always know where it's dark or sunny in the world.

but this is good.
posted by clockworkjoe at 5:29 PM on November 28, 2004

I'd be very surprised if this site wasn't powered by Xplanet.

Clockworkjoe, you should look into it - you can certainly get it to do what you want.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:46 PM on November 28, 2004

The way he generates that image (according to the How This Works page) is by simulating the sunlight on texture maps of the Earth and Moon in xplanet. That's a pretty cool workflow there.
posted by breath at 5:46 PM on November 28, 2004

Fantastic, Salmonberry. Many thanks.
posted by blucevalo at 6:00 PM on November 28, 2004

see also the KDEWorldCLock
posted by mce at 6:05 PM on November 28, 2004

Very cool. Thanks.
posted by rooftop secrets at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2004

[this is cool]
posted by neckro23 at 6:57 PM on November 28, 2004

Cool, Salmonberry - thanks. Now I will always know which way to position my beach chair ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:14 PM on November 28, 2004

posted by blacklite at 7:14 PM on November 28, 2004

Now this is a fuzzy clock.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:16 PM on November 28, 2004

Approaching blob of darkness? Some of us watch and fear the approaching blob of deadly daystar fire and burnination.

Also, for Windows users: Sunclock, with user-definable maps.

These are called gray-line clocks by amateur and professional radio operators, and were probably invented by same as they use the twilight period for radio propagation.

I used the Sunclock almost hourly for a while when I was heavily communicating with my brother while he lived in London, a friend in New Zealand, a friend in Toronto, a friend in Tokyo, another in Barcelona, and a few others across the globe. It made it much, much easier to check what part of their waking/sleeping cycle they were in before chatting them up or getting to work on something.

Combine a grayline clock with some feeds, a few webcams windows, audio streams of scanners, news tickers and other fun toys all grouped together on your second desktop and it lends itself nicely to that oft-sought but hard to accomplish super-villian-control-panel look.
posted by loquacious at 7:38 PM on November 28, 2004

posted by punishinglemur at 8:13 PM on November 28, 2004

What I think some people here are missing is that these projections use near real-time cloud maps from the Xplanet folks courtesy of the University of Dundee.

This makes these images about 10^5 cooler then the generic sunlight maps of Konfabulator or such.

[this (and XPlanet) are good]

This scripts to assemble these flat images from the XPlanet data are genuine contributions to the internets. This is sooo going to be my desktop on one of my work monitors. I would have loved this during hurricane season.
posted by PissOnYourParade at 8:17 PM on November 28, 2004

Very cool. I have recently been discussing with my students in China how suprising it can be to many foreigners when they travel in China that there is only one time. I explain how that means it is getting dark much earlier in Beijing than it does where we are in Sichuan and while some like the idea of time zones most like the ease of only one. This'll be great to show them. Thanks.
posted by geekyguy at 8:35 PM on November 28, 2004

Yes, the cloud cover overlay is very cool.

I've been running EarthDesk (For Mac OSX) on my desktop for about a year now. It's very handy to simply glimpse at my desktop and know that the sun is about to rise in New Zealand or set in Italy or whatever... I never thought I would need that information as often as I do.

EarthDesk runs great and is very configurable with 11 different projections... but I always thought it would be REALLY cool to have realtime weather patterns as well. Now I have to go scour the web for an EarthDesk weather plug-in.
posted by evoo at 9:17 PM on November 28, 2004

this is very cool!

evoo: if you find it, let me know!
posted by vacapinta at 9:21 PM on November 28, 2004

[this is neat*infinity!]

I'm gonna update my wallpaper every 3 hours for the rest of my life, I think.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:24 PM on November 28, 2004

I am totally mesmorised by the Star Alliance screensaver. It has the light/dark thing, plus it has little coloured dots representing the planes of the airlines in the alliance which move according to their timetables (interesting to watch in relation to the light/dark). You can run it in real time or accelerated time, and with cylindrical or mercator projection. And in the office, we play "guess the airport code" as it highlights particular flights..
posted by AnnaRat at 9:51 PM on November 28, 2004

That's really nifty Anna, thanks!
posted by Salmonberry at 10:10 PM on November 28, 2004

I explain how that means it is getting dark much earlier in Beijing than it does where we are in Sichuan

Q: do the localities begin/end their day according the sunrise/set, or according to the clock?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:14 PM on November 28, 2004

EarthView is a dynamic desktop wallpaper and screen saver, which displays beautiful views of the earth with daylight and night shadows. It produces high quality images for every screen resolution - even beyond 1600x1200! The program supports map and globe views, urban areas, city lights, clouds and much more. Many options allow total customization of all view parameters.
posted by crunchland at 10:23 PM on November 28, 2004

World Watch has been available for Linux/Unix distros running KDE for years. It will run as a screensaver, a tiny desktop applet in the taskbar or as an active desktop wallpaper.

Also, the proprietor of the World Sunlight Map has a damned decent political/current events weblog that I've been reading regularly for some time.
posted by crasspastor at 10:34 PM on November 28, 2004

Q: do the localities begin/end their day according the sunrise/set, or according to the clock?

FFF: According to the clock. Students here begin their day at 6am and it ends at 10pm with lights out in the dorms at 11pm as they do in many places across China.

I have tried to explain that with multiple time zones it will get light and dark at about the same time across all of America but the simplicity of one time holds its appeal. It will be interesting to see the adjustments if it should ever change in China. An amazingly large country for only one time zone.
posted by geekyguy at 10:38 PM on November 28, 2004

Here's a different Sunclock that I like using.
posted by neurodoc at 12:00 AM on November 29, 2004

I was in the Dublin, Ireland airport yesterday and saw one of these Geochron moving map displays. They're a bit expensive ($1595USD for the standard, $2580USD for the boardroom). I thought it was very cool, and this thread reminded me to go google to find one.

Now that I know how expensive they are, I'm going with one of the software solutions you all have so graciously listed above.
posted by cactus at 12:39 AM on November 29, 2004

the clouds make all the difference.
[this is good]
posted by exlotuseater at 3:34 AM on November 29, 2004

It isn't accurate. There are certain parts of the globe which are getting darker each day
posted by Cancergiggles at 3:49 AM on November 29, 2004

Then there is the freeware OSXplanet, ( with clouds, storms, volcanoes, earthquakes etc. IMHO it is pretty cool.
posted by keijo at 8:08 AM on November 29, 2004

« Older Hard-Boiled Wonderland   |   When I said I wanted to be your dog... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments