Reducing Urban Glow

Urban glow behind treeline web

Urban glow heat maps

As part of the Reducing Urban Glow project, a network of 75 urban glow sensors have been deployed across the coastal fringe and Bundaberg City. The maps below use open data to visualise the amounts of urban glow across the region.

The intent of these maps is to show the amount of light pollution produced from our urban areas, and furthermore, empower our community to make informed decisions about its use of light - and take positive action to reduce urban glow.

The sensors within this network collect the following data points:

  1. Amount of ambient light in the night sky using Sky Quality Meters (SQMs)
    The principle focus of these sensors is to collect and measure the amount of artificial light emanating from our urban areas. Artificial light is known to have a negative impact on adult turtle nesting site selection and hatchling ocean-finding behaviour by preventing turtles from navigating to and from the ocean. The sensors will, however, detect the light from natural sources, such as the moon on a cloudless night.
     
  2. Presence of clouds directly overhead using Infrared sensors
    Clouds play a significant factor in that they reflect artificial light back toward the earth’s surface and increase the amount of cumulative urban glow. The map below will indicate the presence of cloud cover directly overhead of individual sensors and may help to explain large fluctuations in measurable light over time.

Additional information regarding the sensor network:

  • Each individual sensor is connected wirelessly to long-range wide area network (LoRaWAN) gateway.
  • Sensors are programmed to collect and record urban glow data at a minimum frequency of 5 minutes.
  • At present, updated heat maps are generated every 15 minutes.

An archive of the City and Coastal mapbooks along with the data used to generate the maps can be found on the Australian Government Open Data website.

Coastal map

Click on the map below to view the latest coastal heat glow.

Sky brightness meter - monitoring urban glow

Download the PDF coastal mapbook (approximately 127MB) to view the time lapsed map of urban glow data.

City map

Click on the map below to view urban glow data from across the city.

Sky quality meter city map

Download the PDF city mapbook (approximately 200MB) to view the time lapsed map of urban glow data.

 

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