London-based artist Marc Khachfe was "blown away" by the images taken of cities at night by the astronauts on the International Space Station. But when he tried to print out poster-sized versions, he found them too blurry. So, he developed a technique to replicate them on Earth.
As designboom magazine explains:
[Using] open map data, Khachfe has composited the visual information with data and layered it with CGI to mimic the glow of streets and buildings. Finally, photoshop merges all the layers together [so that] colors, brightness and glow augment the reality of each image. The compositions expose where light from each urban scene is most prominent, for example, the famous Las Vegas strip radiates with an extra intensity. The artistic interpretations are geographically accurate and match the visual characteristics of the real images as closely as possible.
Khachfe has thus far recreated 11 cities—including San Fancisco (above)—and is currently working on more than 50 others.
See more of Marc Khachfe's work at his website