The Lights of The United States & Southern Canada at Night

The Nighttime Lights of the World data set contains the first satellite-based global inventory of human settlements, derived from nighttime data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). The DMSP-OLS has the unique capability to observe faint sources of visible-near infrared emissions present at the Earth's surface, including cities, towns, villages, gas flares, and fires. The National Geophysical Data Center NGDC has developed algorithms for producing georeferenced fire and nighttime lights products.  The above map is a composite of many photographs for the 48 U.S. states and Southern Canada.  Other regions of the world are available at the web site Night Time Lights of the World.  A section of the above map is reproduced below to indicate the location of cities within the Nebraska vicinity.

Chicago "J-1" is located in the right upper corner of the image. The dark area is Lake Michigan.  Southwest of  Chicago the large bright area at "I-4" is St. Louis and going west almost in the middle is Kansas City at "G-3-4".  Continuing west to the left middle edge at "A-3" are the Denver lights with Boulder just to the north and Colorado Springs just to the south.  The cities along I-80 can be seen at "G-1", Des Moines, "F-2", Omaha (Lincoln is just to the southwest), "E-2" Grand Island and "C-D-2", North Platte, NE.

The above is a "negative" image showing lights of the city as black and darkness as white.  The string of cities connecting the major cities in the midwest is clearly visible in this format.  Interstate 80 from Chicago to western Nebraska is evident as is Interstate 70 from St. Louis through Kansas City and on into Denver.