Maps  /  , ,

New images of Earth at night

Apr 17, 2017

NASA just released a composite map of the world at night using satellite imagery from 2016. This is the first nighttime map since 2012, but the team behind the work hopes for bigger things with a more real-time system.

For instance, daily nighttime imagery could be used to help monitor unregulated or unreported fishing. It could also contribute to efforts to track sea ice movements and concentrations. Researchers in Puerto Rico intend to use the dataset to reduce light pollution and help protect tropical forests and coastal areas that support fragile ecosystems. And a team at the United Nations has already used night lights data to monitor the effects of war on electric power and the movement of displaced populations in war-torn Syria.

Be sure to check out the high-res versions to see all the little pockets of light around the world.

Become a member. Support an independent site. Make great charts.

See What You Get

Learn to Visualize Data See All →

How to Make Square Pie Charts in R

Instead of traditional pie charts that rely on angles and arc lengths to show parts of a whole, try this easier-to-read version.

How to Make Ternary Plots in R, with ggplot2

When you want to compare between three parts of your data, ternary plots might be a good option. Here is how to make them.

How to Make Animated (GIF) Heatmaps in R

Using color as the visual encoding, show changes over time in two dimensions.

How to Animate Packed Circles in R

Pack circles, figure out the transitions between time segments, and then generate frames to string together.

Favorites

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2017

It was a rough year, which brought about a lot of good work. Here are my favorite data visualization projects of the year.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

What Qualifies as Middle-Income in Each State

The meaning of “middle-income” changes a lot depending on where you live and your household size.

Shifting Incomes for American Jobs

For various occupations, the difference between the person who makes the most and the one who makes the least can be significant.