to the National Atlas Home page
About | Fact Sheets | Contact Us | Partners | Products | Site Map | FAQ | Help | Follow us on Twitter 
Part of Project LogoAgricultureBiologyBoundariesClimateEnvironmentGeologyGovernmentHistoryMappingPeopleTransportationWater
to the Interactive Map MakerMap LayersPrintable MapsWall MapsDynamic MapsArticlesMapping Professionals

Map Layer Info

Nighttime Lights of North America

What this map layer shows:

Lights from cities, towns, industrial sites, gas flares, and temporary events such as fires, as "seen" from space, in 1996 and 1997.
opens the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration home page
Background Information
Sample map Sample Map
The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) acquires and manages the Nation's operational environmental satellites, provides data and information services, and conducts related research. The Nighttime Lights of North America map layer was produced by the National Atlas of the United States®, from data provided by the National Geophysical Data Center of NESDIS as part of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The National Geophysical Data Center provides access to public domain global environmental data from satellites and other sources to promote, protect, and enhance the Nation's economy, security, environment, and quality of life.

The Nighttime Lights of North America map layer is an image showing lights from cities, towns, industrial sites, gas flares, and temporary events, such as fires. Most of the detected features are lights from cities and towns. The map layer was derived from cloud-free parts of images taken in 1996 and 1997, during 231 orbits by a Department of Defense satellite. This satellite has a unique ability to detect low levels of visible radiance at night. Further information is available through the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program page.


Map Maker Sample
Population - Nighttime Lights

Data Download
Nighttime Lights