" />
Technology

Google brings NASA’s Black Marble to Google Maps in amazing detail

Google brings NASA’s Black Marble to Google Maps in amazing detail

After bringing light to Apple users this morning with the release of Google Maps for iOS Google is now bringing darkness to Google Maps users.

Last week NASA released amazing images of the Earth at night taken by its Suomi NPP satellite.  Describing them as the most detailed images of the Earth after dark, NASA’s images were almost too big for most users to view.  In fact, so fine are the images that they show the world’s cities, towns, roads, and even ships at sea as they light up the sky with man made light.

But such was the detail of the graphics that the largest, most detailed, image of the planet was over 385 MB in size (about the same as a long YouTube video).

Downloading and viewing such an image was difficult for most users so Google has taken the high resolution image and applied it to its Google Maps process to create an interactive view of the Earth at night, which you can explore as you would any map on Google.

And that’s what makes this such a valuable collaboration between Google and NASA – you can see the names of the cities, towns, villages and roads that illuminate the sky at night.

NASA image of Europe and the Middle East at night on Google Maps

NASA image of Europe and the Middle East at night on Google Maps

As with any Google Map you can explore the world using the standard zoom and scan controls you’re used to.  But unlike NASA’s edition of the map Google lets you search for specific locations and cities using a standard search field.  Zoom in on the European continent and you can see roads that connect Moscow to Paris and discover the names of the towns and villages along the way.

If you want to explore the map in even more detail you can download the NASA KML file of the Earth at night and open it in Google Earth.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Technology
@pdscott

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

More in Technology

cryptocurrency value bitcoin

Bitcoin value based mostly on belief, trust in people behind cryptocurrency startups

Tim HinchliffeAugust 16, 2017
social bots fake news

Social bots and fake news: A reminder to protect your online brand

Zac LavalAugust 15, 2017
smartphone doctor hospital tech

Are smartphones the future of medicine?

Daniel SanchezAugust 15, 2017
Ada Lovelace: more than the world’s first computer programmer

Ada Lovelace: more than the world’s first computer programmer

Ben AllenAugust 14, 2017
Blockchain Still Going Strong as Delaware Medical Society Announce Its Use for Medical Records - The Sociable

Blockchain still going strong as Delaware Medical Society announces its use for medical records

Ben AllenAugust 14, 2017
simulation augmented reality alternative reality

Will you dare to leave Plato’s cave? Leading minds weigh-in on simulation theories

Zac LavalAugust 14, 2017
flooding nobel

Tech teams-up with Nobel laureate to measure potential flooding, issue warnings

Ben AllenAugust 11, 2017
From Dating to Sexting: The Stats Behind Technology’s Effect on Love Life

From dating to sexting: the stats behind technology’s effect on love life

Ben AllenAugust 11, 2017

What smart cities look like outside the US

Omar ElorfalyAugust 11, 2017