" />
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
piers.scott@sociable.co'

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Your email address will not be published.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
piers.scott@sociable.co'
@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

spacex internet

SpaceX Internet satellites are a direct threat to price-hiking ISPs

Tim HinchliffeJanuary 17, 2017
democratize ai microsoft

To democratize AI Microsoft CEO warns against tech giant worship, hubris

Tim HinchliffeJanuary 16, 2017
microsoft ai

Microsoft’s Acquisition of AI Startup Maluuba is like Hera’s Gift to Pandora

Tim HinchliffeJanuary 14, 2017
technology saves lives

Technology Which Could Save Thousands of Lives on the Road Each Year

Guest ContributorJanuary 14, 2017
ai warfare

‘AI will represent a paradigm shift in warfare’: WEF predicts an Ender’s Game-like future

Tim HinchliffeJanuary 12, 2017
ford

Ford will link smartphones with touchscreens to allow safe, verbal control

Tim HinchliffeJanuary 7, 2017
femtech

2016 Saw Huge Improvements in FemTech; Here’s Why

Melissa ThompsonJanuary 5, 2017
overdraft

Overdrafts are Hitting Millennials and Minorities Hardest: Tech From Around the Globe Which Could Help Us Stay Out the Red

Guest ContributorJanuary 4, 2017
human rights

World’s largest electronics manufacturer may solve human rights violations by replacing workers with robots

Tim HinchliffeJanuary 3, 2017