Google announced the collaboration with NASA Earth Observatory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geophysical Data Center, which Google is calling Earth at Night 2012, in a post Monday on Google+.
Although users won’t be able to zoom down to the street level like they can in Google Street View and the satellite view of the standard Google Maps, they can zoom down to the city level, which enables viewing of gas flares produced by oil and gas drilling and exploration in North Dakota and the Middle East, wildfires in Australia, boats crowding the Nile River in Egypt and the lights of New York City and London.
NASA also has released its own interactive version of the imagery overlaid onto a map as part of NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System’s (EOSDIS) Worldview tool. Worldview, first released to the Web in July, includes up-to-date satellite imagery and overlay data from 50 different data streams.
Google Maps continues to increase its live road traffic coverage with expansions announced today in 11 countries including the USA. Google also says that the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan have gotten live traffic for the first time ever today as well.
The expanded traffic information areas include the US, Spain, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, India, Italy, Japan, Germany, France and Brazil.