These images of cities from space are not what they seem
These high-quality images may look like photographs of world cities taken from the International Space Station at night, but they are painstakingly constructed from public map data and finessed by artist Marc Khachfe.
Khachfe saw the stunning photographs of cities from space taken by astronauts on board the ISS and wanted to blow them up for his office wall. When he tried he found that they weren’t of high enough quality to work in large format, so he set about creating his own high-quality versions.
Khachfe finds Open Street Map data on roads, buildings, waterways and coastlines for each city, then uses his skills as a compositor to layer the information with CGI tricks to mimic the glow of streets and buildings.
He has tried to get New York right six times but has never been happy with the result -
“The building data is so vast that my machine struggles with it. If I try to cut corners, I’m not happy with the result. I’m a perfectionist.”