Cities from Space

This is a pretty cool collection of photos from the ISS of the world's cities from space, sent to me by a friend.  These are an order of magnitude more detailed than you are used to seeing in other earth-lights photos.


  1. skh.pcola:

    Pretty cool stuff. The narrator sounds like he has a brain dysfunction, though. WTF?

  2. Tim Worstall:

    The thing that I think is really cool about such images is that some 50% of the light you can see comes from our products.

    (We supply some 80% of the world market for the magic pixie dust that makes halogen street lighting work.)

  3. eddie:

    The shot of Washington, D.C. was fascinating, in that you could see the perfectly-square boundary of the district.

    The lights in all the other cities revealed their geography or their human activity, and as such the patterns they formed were natural, or reflected things that were human-made but nonetheless dynamically formed. Even the grids of western U.S. cities, despite being planned, still reflect the varying degrees to which human activity actually followed along with those plans.

    But the D.C. square is an administrative boundary, pure and simple. It's an imaginary line on a map, corresponding to nothing whatsoever. The only difference between being on one side of the line and the other side is which government claims dominion over your property, business, activity, and life while you are there. And yet that's enough to make that imaginary line visible from space.

    The El Paso / Juarez border shows something similar, but there the border is very tangible (it's fenced and guarded) and it divides two regions that are significantly different in culture and economy, even given that they are border towns. The D.C. square is intangible, and divides areas that are nearly identical in culture and economy.

    But you can still see it from space.