This image of the Nighttime Lights - 2012 is combined with data showing the human footprint of global transportation on land, in the air, and by sea. The base map of this image shows nighttime lights visible from space, which indicates areas where people live, work, and consume energy. Red lines represent 87,000 daily flights connecting cities and cultures around the world. Blue lines represent the paths of 3500 commercial vessels over the course of a year, which is only 10% of the total ocean shipping traffic. Green lines represent the world's roads, used by over 1 billion motor vehicles. This colorful globe shows the interconnected nature of the world, but also how much energy we use to move people and goods around the planet's surface.
It's important to note that the nighttime lights data includes all lights at night, not just electricity; for example, both natural and man-made fires as well as gas flaring from fossil fuel extraction can be seen in places like west central Australia, West Africa, and Siberia.