Cities at Night is a citizen science project whose goal is to create a map like Google maps using the night photographs taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
If you spend a weekend in Paris you take more than 300 photos, imagine how many you would do if you were in space. This is what happens to astronauts. Not only do they take hundreds of photographs taking into account the framing, focus and exposure, but sometimes they program the camera to take photos automatically while they work on their experiments.
NASA has a database of nearly half a million photographs taken by astronauts on the Space Station. Organizing these photographs with a computer is unfeasible since interpreting them requires very complicated algorithms and great computing power.
However, with the naked eye, anyone can distinguish an image in which the stars are seen from another in which a city appears. That’s why we’ve created Cities at Night, a platform with 3 applications for everyone to help classify these precious photographs taken from space.