Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The view from your app

David Hayes, a blog reader from New Zealand, recently sent me this beautiful photo:

"Milky Way over Piha Beach", by David Hayes, is released under the CC BY 3.0 license.

It's taken from Piha Beach on the West Coast of the North Island. David's photo gave me the idea that maybe we could finally establish something like APOD for light pollution. With a nod to Andrew Sullivan's famous "View from your Window", let's launch a "view from your app".

While you can find some examples of good and bad lighting in various places around the web, there isn't one good go-to location. Furthermore, since most of the images don't have license information, you can't use them in public talks or flyers, books, etc. about light pollution. With this in mind, in order of importance I'm looking for photos of:

1) Good lighting installations (these are the most desperately needed, to show municipalities what their streets could look like)
2) Awful lighting installations (especially examples where the lighting is so bad that it defeats the intended purpose, e.g. an illuminated sign that can't be read because of the glare of a bare bulb)
3) Polluted night skies and skylines (ideally showing a handful of stars poking through the skyglow)
4) Photos (or videos) of insects attracted to lamps (including daytime shots of dead insects under/inside the lamp) 
5) Paired images showing polluted and natural skies taken with the identical camera and settings
6) Time lapse video of urban scenes at night
7) Photos of people using the app
8) Beautiful celestial views, like the one sent in by David (to remind us of what we're missing). Images with clouds obscuring the Milky Way would be particularly welcomed (since they are so difficult to find online) or images that show a historical site (e.g. Stonehenge) authentically lit.

If you want your work to be featured, you must include the following in the text of your email:

I, [Full name], the author of the attached work entitled "[Title]", hereby release it under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This will give anyone in the world the right to use and modify your image (including for commercial use), provided that they attribute you as the author. This license will also allow your image to be used on the Wikipedia, and in any pamphlets, books, or talks about light pollution, without the authors needing to contact you.

Since APOD already exists, I don't intend to feature "standard" astrophotography, and because this blog is a side project, please understand that it won't be a daily feature, and I may take considerable time to reply and to post your image. Please include some information about where and when the photo was taken. Looking forward to seeing your photos!

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