Launched by Spanish astrophysicists, 'Cities at Night' is a website that attempts to identify photographs of cities taken from space.
Inspired by an astronaut's Twitter account, the site aims to use the beautiful photographs in a way that's beneficial to science. For instance, they can help scientists better understand the effects of urban light pollution, which wastes energy, disturbs sleep and adversely impacts wildlife. Alejandro Sanchez from Complutense University of Madrid explains, "We want to make the nighttime images useful for citizens, journalists and scientists. And make this beauty accessible -- but also make people think about if all this waste of energy is really needed."
The initiative has crowdsourced help from volunteers for over 1,000 tasks. The eventual goal is that cities will begin to dim down, saving both money and energy.
'Cities at Night' Makes Cool Photography Useful
1. Nighttime Urban Photography - Increasing interest in nighttime urban photography presents opportunities for innovative solutions in both artistic and scientific fields using photographs to study environmental impacts.
2. Crowdsourced Data Collection - The successful use of crowdsourced volunteers in tasks such as identifying urban cities in photos opens new possibilities for data collection through citizen science.
3. Energy Efficiency - The push for dimming city lights highlights the growing trend for energy-saving initiatives and innovation in creating more efficient lighting solutions.
1. Art and Photography - The interest in nighttime urban photography presents new opportunities for artists and photographers in creating stunning visuals and utilizing collected data for their practice.
2. Environmental Science - Crowdsourced data collection offers opportunities for researchers to gather data for environmental sciences projects through citizen science initiatives.
3. City Planning and Energy - The push for dimming city lights displays the need for innovation and partnerships in energy and city planning industries to find efficient solutions for urban lighting.