1. Summary

The nighttime of the earth is visualized on Google Maps for East Asia. The detail of this data can be found at Earth in the Night: Nighttime Lights of the World Data by DMSP Satellites.

This page uses Version 4 DMSP-OLS Nighttime Lights Time Series. The resolution is 30 second (about 1km), covering from 65S to 75N degree latitude. Data is divided by year from 1992 to 2012, and also by 6 DMSP satellites from F10 to F18, resulting in the time series of 33 datasets. The target is "stable lights" showing lights from cities, towns, and other sites with persistent lighting, including gas flares. The data quantize the intensity of light into 63 levels, but the value is not proportional to the actual intensity of lights (saturated at bright areas). We also need to calibrate the difference of satellites for precise comparison between different times and places.

2. Google Maps

This page initially shows the data of F18 satellite for the year 2012 (F182012), but you can switch to other datasets by clicking links below. You can see data for the whole globe, but higher resolution data is available for Japan and East to South East Asia. In the terminology of Google Maps, to level 7 for the whole world, and to level 10 around Japan.

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
F10 F101992 F101993 F101994
F12 F121994 F121995 F121996 F121997 F121998 F121999
F14 F141997 F141998 F141999 F142000 F142001 F142002 F142003
F15 F152000 F152001 F152002 F152003 F152004 F152005 F152006 F152007
F16 F162004 F162005 F162006 F162007 F162008 F162009
F18 F182010 F182011 F182012

Credit: Image and data processing by NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center. DMSP data collected by US Air Force Weather Agency.

3. Sites Using this Data

The following sites are using the data of this page.