How Bright is Africa at Night? Explore Night Time Luminosity in Africa through Data
When you look at maps of the world at night, you can see that major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Moscow, and Tokyo seem to not “turn off for the night”. These major cities seem so brightly lit compared to smaller, rural areas.
Decades ago, we might have seen that most of Africa was completely dark at night. However, Africa, as a continent, has been rapidly developing. I wanted to investigate how much of Africa is illuminated at night, along with the rest of the world.
The data I used can be found here.
I’d also like to give a huge thanks to datainspacefor putting together this data set!
Please note that the data does not continue all of the countries in Africa.
Here is my data viz:
- Please note that areas are measured in regions.
- Here you can see that the biggest the diamond symbol, the higher amount of light there is at night in that city.
- Regions in Egypt, South Africa, and parts of Algeria and Nigeria had very large amounts of light during the night.
- Night-time illumination could also be a proxy for poverty.
- Regions with dwellers that make a higher overall income compared to others will be able to afford to have building/homes that can be lit up late into the night.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo is known for its widespread poverty, and from the visualization, the regions have little to no amounts of light during the night. Therefore, we can confirm that the night-time illumination variable is a proxy for poverty.