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Shining Cities On The Hills: Check Out This Map Of Texas Cities Showing Their Brightness In Peaks

Jacob Wasilkowski/Petrichor Studio
Mountains of light in Texas, looking west from the Gulf Coast.

It brings new meaning to “Texas Hill Country.”

This map called Earth at Night, Mountains of Light was developed by cartographer Jacob Wasilkowski using NASA satellite imagery to map the world according to nighttime brightness.

“Perhaps it was an underlying thought to get people thinking about the effects of our urbanized areas on our nighttime environments,” Wasilkowski told The Washington Post. “I also wonder if we don’t often consider what day versus night means when looking at maps — maybe we even assume daytime when there are bright colors on a thematic map, or looking at daytime satellite imagery maps — and I have been curious lately what that means for maps and visualizations dealing with 'nighttime data.’”

If you check out West Texas, you might notice the light peaks don’t necessarily correspond to cities — some of those are oil fields where natural gas is flared to dispose of it.

Anyhow — waste a few minutes navigating these mesmerizing peaks of human-made light.

(Note: The map starts in Egypt, so you might have to do some scrolling to find your neck of the woods.)

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.