Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Google Maps at Night

Earth at Night 2012 is a neat use of Google Maps to display what the world looks like after the sun goes down. The Earth at Night map allows you to specify a location and see how much artificial light is emitted from it at night. You can't zoom-in as far as you would in normal Google Map, but you still can center a location on the map.  

This isn't an official new aspect of Google Maps. It was developed through a collaboration of Google, NOAA, and NASA.

Applications for Education
As I navigated around Earth at Night 2012 I had two thoughts about using this in a classroom. First, it could be interesting to have students try to identify places without the benefit of the usual features of a map. Just don't let them use the search box until they're ready to check their answers. Second, browsing Earth at Night reminded me of The World At Night image galleries that put famous and not so famous places into a different perspective.

H/T to TechCrunch and Google Maps Mania.