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Space | © Sweetie187/Flickr
Space | © Sweetie187/Flickr
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10 Cities Seen From Space As 'Lightscapes'

Picture of Mary Pettas
Updated: 5 January 2017
London-based artist Troy Hyde is renowned for his work in graphic design. However, this exhibit is his most entrancing work. Inspired by photos taken of cities at night from space by NASA satellites, Hyde captured these images in a way that brings them to life. Apparently, when seen from such a distance, the electric lights flicker like twinkling stars as they move through hundreds of thousands of miles. Hyde replicated these images in great detail by using a light box and meticulously punching holes in a card, which are blown-up to a life-size image of sorts. Though, it isn’t an image at all – simply light being filtered strategically through a black card that happens to create an amazing visual.

The exhibit, aptly named Lightscapes, can be viewed in person in its original form, but luckily, it has also been transferred to a digital experience through the recreation via gifs. Besides being beautiful to look at, these images are significant and informative about the cities they represent, and just by looking at them, we can derive many facts about population, density, electricity usage, and the spread of a city. It’s wonderful to see familiar cities take shape and to explore the ones we don’t know in such a delightfully simple yet impactful format. Take a look below for a view of the globe from space at night, from the moon or Mars, and enjoy Hyde’s imaginative visions of the cities we know and love from a new perspective.


Los Angeles, California


London, England


Las Vegas, Nevada



The artist says, ‘As the observer views the cities from different angles, the perspectives change, shifting between the recognizable shapes of the cities, defined by the illumination that they emit and the abstract flickering images which this creates…’

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Hong Kong, China


Madrid, Spain


Chicago, Illinois


‘…The impact of human industry is visible; the work captures a contemporary, transient vision of earth which is different from it’s past and will inevitably change…’

Tokyo Bay, Japan


Houston, Texas


Montreal, Canada

‘…The work engages with the issue of light pollution, but is intended to be observational, encouraging the viewer to experience the beauty of the lightscape simultaneously with the uncomfortable recognition of the uncertainty of the future.’