New Map Spotlights Light Pollution In The Rural West
Light pollution is usually associated with big towns and cities. But a new kind of light pollution map shows it’s also a problem in rural areas, including in the Mountain West.
New Mexico-based cartographer Tim Wallace, with the data visualization company Descartes Labs, recently created a map that merges nighttime light imagery and population data. That revealed “areas that create an outsized amount of light per person living there,” he wrote on Twitter.
“There were definitely some spots in the Mountain West,” Wallace said. “In Colorado I remember one in particular where it was not labeled on Google Maps or on OpenStreetMap. You look at it overhead on high-resolution satellite imagery and it just looks like some kind of complex.”