In my last post I mentioned lights at night. Long time readers know I've whined about streetlights and their waste of electricity (and their lack of motion sensors). This incredibly beautiful poster (composite image of earth taken at light exposed for the lights and merged with landforms, clouds removed) definitely influences my opinion on street lights, as do the plight of the astronomers dealing with light pollution or merely sitting on my back porch unable to see the stars most nights.
However on the flip side, I have enjoyed flying over our beautiful country staring out the window, and the shapes of our cities outlined by lights is as entertaining as the view of all the landforms (and both are more than the in flight movie that has been very edited for objectionable content)!
I often try to take pictures of the lights of the city as we are landing but the exposures are so slow that the lights blur (though that can be a cool effect -- see images at left )
Anyway, I have seen cities that look like neuronal cells, cities that are very grid based, cities that clearly illustrate the underlying geographic forms and cities that outline new development by the color temperature of the newer streetlights. But I haven't been able to capture these images to share. However NASA seems to have figured out a stable platform from which to take these pictures (they are a bit higher orbit than united airlines flies!)
Note: images are copyright bryn forbes 2007