What is Cities at Night?

 

samanta

Cities at Night is a citizen science project that aims to create a map, similar to Google maps, of the earth at night using night time colour photographs taken by astronauts onboard the ISS.

When visiting Paris for the weekend, one easily takes over 300 tourist pictures; imagine how many you would take if you were out in space. That is exactly what happens to the astronauts out in space. They easily take hundreds of photographs of earth and although some of those contain carefully selected frames, focus and exposure, many of the pictures are taken automatically so that the astronauts can continue working on their experiments.

sample-img11NASA has a database with almost half a million pictures taken by the astronauts on the International Space Station.To organise all this data with the use of computers would be infeasible since it would take extremely complex algorithms to interpret the photographs.

The human eye, however, knows immediately if the camera was pointing at a city or simply at the stars. For this reason we created Cities at Night, a platform with 3 apps with which anyone can help while enjoying beautiful pictures taken from space.

Video 

The Game. NightKnights.eu

We are testing the new game that will help us with the map. Code by Cefriel Night Knights makes you play with a partner while sorting out pictures. Get points when you both agree on the classification and download the pictures you like the most directly from NASA servers.

nightknights

nightknights2

Play night knights

Have you tried the 3 apps?

Help classify pictures astronauts took from the ISS

TRY APPLICATION

VIEW TUTORIAL

1

Dark Skies

 

 

With this application you can help identify the city shown in the picture.

TRY APPLICATION

VIEW TUTORIAL

3

Lost at Night

 

;

 

With this application you can help georeference a picture so it will appear in the right place and position on the map.

TRY APPLICATION

VIEW TUTORIAL

2

Lost at Night

 

 

 

RUN TASKS

Building the map

 

Currently, the best available map of the earth at night is the Black Marble Map. It was created with data from the Suomi NPP Satellite using the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) camera. The images used to build the map, have a scale of about 750 metres per pixel. The map has been made entirely with black and white photography. The colours that you see in the black marble map are not real; instead they are an artistic manipulation.

  •  Bluemarbel 
  •  

    With the Cities at Night project we are building a map of the earth at night entirely in real colour for the first time. Furthermore, we are using pictures with up to 150 times more resolution than the images used to build the Black Marble Map. Depending on the type of lens, the ISS images used by Cities at Night can reach a resolution of up to 5 metres per pixel, which is a significant improvement from the VIIRS images with a resolution of approximately 750 metres per pixel.

    Google engine

    More maps

  • Both the Black Marble Map and the Cities at Night Map help us locate the best stargazing places. And even more importantly, both maps can help us detect excessive amounts as well as inefficient types of light; making these maps an important tool in protecting our planet from harmful light pollution.

    Stars 

  •  

    Scientific research documentation 

     

    Space agencies words 

    NASA

    @NASA

    Captura de pantalla 2016-07-07 a las 12.50.17

    NASASCaN

    @NASASCaN

    Captura de pantalla 2016-07-13 a las 23.02.09

    ESA

    @esa

    Captura de pantalla 2016-07-07 a las 12.35.36

    ESA Italia

    @ESA_Italia

    Captura de pantalla 2016-07-13 a las 23.02.22

    ESA

    @ESA_Italia

    Captura de pantalla 2016-07-13 a las 23.02.17

    ESA España

    @esa_es

    Captura de pantalla 2016-07-07 a las 12.50.07

     

    Our Partners 

    • Stars4all
    • UCM
    • IAA
    • CEGEP
    • ESA
    • Gateway
    • Google
    • Crodcrafting