Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Nightlights & Access to Electricity

The World Bank has released the Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2020. The atlas includes a plethora of data visualizations exploring and explaining the global status of 17 different SDG's, including levels of global poverty, educational levels, gender equality and access to clean water. 

As part of the Affordable and Clean Energy sustainable development goal the World Bank is using nightlight satellite imagery to visualize access to electricity. Using an interactive globe you can choose two locations around the world to view a direct comparison of the level of nightlight activity at both locations. 

For example the screenshot above shows (on the left) nightlights in a 150 km radius around Washington, D.C. and (on the right) nightlight activity in a a 150 km radius around Katakwi, Uganda.Both locations have roughly the same population but, as you can see, there is far less access to electricity in Katakwi than in Washington D.C.. 

The use of nightlight imagery is a neat way to visualize access to electricity in different locations across the world. However this is just one of many data visualizations in the Atlas. There are many other data visualizations in every one of the 17 sustainable development goals in the World Bank's Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2020.

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