www.lightpollutionmap.info is a mapping application that displays VIIRS/DMSP/World Atlas overlays/IAU observatories and the user measurements overlay over Microsoft Bing base layers (road and hybrid Bing maps). The primary use is to show VIIRS/DMSP data in a friendly manner, but over time it also included some other interesting overlays that concern light pollution like SQM/SQC, World Atlas 2015 zenith brigtness, clouds, aurora and IAU observatories. If you have a permanent SQM reader installed you can add it to the map by contacting me.
If you want a more detailed analysis of radiance (VIIRS/DMSP) changes over a period of time, please use the Lighttrends application.
Send comments about the map and suggest new features to Jurij Stare
VIIRS: Earth Observation Group, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center.
Aurora 1h forecast: NOAA.
Clouds: EUMETSAT, NOAA, MOSDAC/SAC/ISRO and CIRA.
Observatories: Wikipedia (updated: 16.01.2021).
World Atlas 2015: Falchi, Fabio; Cinzano, Pierantonio; Duriscoe, Dan; Kyba, Christopher C. M.; Elvidge, Christopher D.; Baugh, Kimberly; Portnov, Boris; Rybnikova, Nataliya A.; Furgoni, Riccardo (2016): Supplement to: The New World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness. GFZ Data Services. http://doi.org/10.5880/GFZ.1.4.2016.001 Falchi F, Cinzano P, Duriscoe D, Kyba CC, Elvidge CD, Baugh K, Portnov BA, Rybnikova NA, Furgoni R. The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness. Science Advances. 2016 Jun 1;2(6):e1600377. You can support the authors of World Atlas 2015 by visiting: The New World Atlas of Light Pollution - Paperback and buying it on Amazon
You can now get lightpollutionmap.info for your mobile device. It has the same features as the web version plus a few additional ones (offline mode, high DPI basemaps, mobile friendlier menus) and has NO advertisements. Because of the latter it comes at a small price (less than 5 €).
Left click and drag the map in desired direction or slide your finger if you are using a touchscreen capable device.
Use mouse scroll wheel to change zoom or press +/- buttons on the toolbar. You can also zoom to a desired rectangle by drawing it using shift-left mouse drag. Another way to zoom in is to just double-click the map and it will zoom-in.
The right menu contains controls which you can use to change map contents and view the legend. The menu can be hidden or displayed by clicking on menu button in the top right corner. You can click on the “i“ icon to get additional information about data displayed,
The “Map layers” section of the right menu contains controls which enable you to select a desired overlay, features and base map. Overlay and features have a slider below the selection which you can use to change its opacity. The default opacity is set at 60%. Base
There are two base layers available, Bing Road and Hybrid which is a mix between Satellite and Road type map. These two base maps are provided by Microsoft REST service.
When you have clouds overlay selected, there are two additional controls next to the dropdown menu.
The play icon creates a cloud animation of the last 12h.
Clicking the hour label changes the animation loop speed (it iterates over 4 different speeds, max speed by default).
click on the “cog wheel” to display additional options for the selected feature. You can ie. filter SQM points by the name or date. Observatories option contains additional fields used for finding them and assessing their light pollution levels
Shows the legend of the currently visible overlay and feature.
You can create a list of locations to quickly access them later. To start making an entry click on "Edit". When you click on the "New" button, a new entry will be created (it creates a snapshot of your current map position). You can name it, reposition it (click & drag far left button up/down) or delete it (far right button). Optionally you can add a pushpin to desired coordinates by clicking the pushpin icon (located between name and delete button), then click on the map. Click "Edit" again to exit the edit mode. The list is saved in a cookie on the device where it was created.
The toolbar contains basic tools listed below.
Zooms in the map.
Zooms out the map.
Positions the screen where the user is located. The location is provided by a HTML5 Gelocation API using GPS, GeoIP, Cell network or other means.
Measure the distance and azimuth. Left click to start the measurement, double click to end. Azimuth is available if the line is not segmented and it represents the angle from start of the line to the end. Multiple measurements are supported. To clear all measurements, click again on the ruler icon to deactivate it.
Displays the statistics of VIIRS data per country land and territorial waters for each year.
Prints the map to a PNG image.
Shows or hides the extended toolbar. The extended toolbar can be repositioned by grabbing it by its right side frame.
Shows this document.
The extended toolbar contains various measurement tools and tools for adding your own measurements. You can reposition the toolbar by grabbing it by its right edge and move it.
Left clicking on the map shows a popup displaying clicked coordinates (WGS84 coordinate system in degrees, minutes, seconds format), value of the visible VIIRS/DMSP overlay and elevation (250m SRTM 4 http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org) in meters at clicked location. For World Atlas there is a bit more information available. If no other control is active, this is the default control when left clicking the map unless a feature layer is visible. In such case a feature info is shown first if cliking on a feature point.
Displays statistics of visible VIIRS/WA layer that intersects the drawn polygon. To draw the polygon use left clicks and double left click to finish. The resulting popup can be moved by grabbing its’ frame and repositioning it. The Raw GeoTIFF button will export the original raw data clipped by the polygon. Export is only available for VIIRS overlay.
Displays statistics of visible VIIRS/WA layer that intersects the drawn circle. To draw the circle left click, then move mouse and then left click to finish at desired radius. The resulting popup can be moved by grabbing its’ frame and repositioning it. The Raw GeoTIFF button will export the original raw data clipped by the polygon. Export is only available for VIIRS overlay.
Displays statistics of visible VIIRS/WA layer that intersects the drawn square. To draw the square left click, then move mouse and then left click to finish at desired length. The resulting popup can be moved by grabbing its’ frame and repositioning it. The Raw GeoTIFF button will export the original raw data clipped by the polygon. Export is only available for VIIRS overlay.
By left clicking the map it adds a pushpin marker on the map. To remove markers, left click on them.
Activating this option enables you to add your own SQM (what's an SQM?) measurement to the map.
"Name or location" should contain your name or place name (non-obligatory field).
Local Date/Time field should contain local time (very important!) the measurement was taken. You can either select the date from calendar applet or enter it manually. Must be in YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm format.
SQM value contains the value.
Make sure you check either SQM or SMQ-L device used.
Comment should contain your comments about the measurement or additional information about the place or weather conditions (non-obligatory field).
Press submit to submit the form.
If successful, the form will close and show you your added measurement. Make make sure a filter in SQM options is not active and possibly hiding the added point. Added points cannot be edited or deleted by you, so double check data you enter.
Activating this option enables you to simulate what happens if an area near a specified location changes it's radiance output.
You are first required to specify a location you wish to simulate ie. an observation point. With a click on the map a location is marked and a 200km circle in drawn indicating the area which has an impact on the observation point zenith brightness.
Now you are required to select an area (inside the 200km circle) by drawing a polygon around it. It should take a couple of seconds for the calculation to complete. The calculation uses the currently selected VIIRS overlay!
Description of results:
Observation point - Latitutde and longitude of the selected observation point (clicking it will copy it to the clipboard and toggle decimal/deg format)
Polygon area - The area of the drawn polygon in square kilometers
World Atlas 2015 ref. - World Atlas 2015 value in MPSAS (magnitudes per square arc second) for the observation point
Simulated World Atlas 2015 - World Atlas 2015 value in MPSAS changed by altering polygon radiance
Difference (sim. - ref.) - the difference between simulated and World Atlas 2015 reference MPSAS
Polygon contribution (100%) - A percentage of zenith sky brightness the selected polygon contributes
Polygon contribution (X %) - A percentage of Simulated zenith sky brightness the selected polygon contributes modified by X %
By moving the slider you modify the contribution of the light sources within the polygon by a percentage and instantly see the impact it has on the observation point values. 100% means no change, 50% means a 50% reduction while 500% means a 5 fold increase of the original value.
The method of calculating the contribution of light sources is described in this paper. Acknowledgements: Fabio Falchi and Salvador Bará for providing the suitable PSF.
Located on the upper left corner of the map. Enter a place and by selecting it from a dropdown menu it will reposition the map to it. It is also possible to enter coordinates manually in a “latitude, longitude” format and selecting (or pressing enter) it from a dropdown menu which will zoom to those coordinates.
Located on the bottom left corner of the map. Shows the current map scale
Located on the bottom right corner of the map. Shows the current coordinates of the mouse cursor or last touch if you are using a touchscreen device. Left click on the coordinate display toggles between decimal and degrees/minutes/seconds display modes.
Located on the upper right corner of the right menu. Shows or hides the right menu.
Located under the right menu. A quick way to share the current view of the map on certain social media web sites.
Located on the bottom left corner of the map. Shows attributions associated with visible overlays and base layers.
On 24th of July 2019 I have switched the funding of the website from donations to advertisements.
This was done because donations in the 2019 didn't even cover the server rent costs.
There have been some requests to have an option of not showing advertisements if a donation was made, so I created an option if you donate any ammount you will receive a passkey valid for 3 years, to not see advertisements. If you donated previously and wish to have the key, please let me know. Those who use an Adblocker (about 14% of all visitors) and wish to donate, can also use this Paypal form:
In the last couple of years I have had numerous contributions which helped me with keeeping the site working and developing new functionalities.
Below is a list of people who made a substantional contribution:
First Light Optics Ltd