Google Maps now has an added bonus available for users. The tech giant has unveiled its new Earth at Night feature, which allows users to view the globe using imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.
The stunning images on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s new feature show the twinkling lights of populations all over the globe during the nighttime hours. The animation was taken using the Suomi NPP satellite, which is jointly operated by NOAA and NASA.
The satellite utilized a powerful Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite sensor to capture 2.5 terabytes’ worth of photos. Scientists then filtered out as many of the clouds as they could and sewed the images onto NASA’s Blue Marble maps.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Earth at Night feature is entirely interactive, enabling users to examine each content and see what each content looks like at night from space. In its description of the new feature, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) wrote, “It took 312 orbits to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth’s land surface and islands. The new data was then mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet.”
Last week NASA released its first images from Black Marble, an updated version of the agency’s iconic Blue Marble, which was created by sifting through satellite image sequences to get rid of as many clouds as possible. Black Marble is the view of Earth at night, while Blue Marble shows Earth during the day.
At this point Black Marble is not an official Google Maps feature, and the company has not released any details on whether it will ever become one. To check out these stunning new images, click here.