Photo Cred - Chris Hadfield

NASA has over 1.8 million photos of Earth and the space organization needs your to help figure out what and where the hell they photographed, including Montreal.

A collection of photos dating back to the 1960s, with new images added daily, the mass amount of images were taken by astronauts on the International Space Station who simply didn't know what they were photographing, which is where you come in.

Since computers and algorithms aren't very good at telling the difference between light-emitting objects (stars, cities, celestial bodies), the general public are being asked to map out these interstellar images, in hopes of better understanding urban energy efficiency in cities around the world.

The Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) is spearheading three different projects that normal people can help out with. Here they are:

  • Dark Skies: a simple sorting of images, classifying them as a city, star, or other.
  • Night Cities: Discerning the specific spot a night space-pic photographed in a city via your knowledge of local geography
  • Lost at Night: Like Night Cities, but more difficult, as you have to identify the city based on little to no reference point

Help put Montreal on the map by identifying the city in the last two sections. Think of this as the ultimate test of your Montreal geography, because if you can identify Montreal just from a night picture taken all the way from space, you can spot the city anywhere.

Read up more on the initiative and its history at NASA's official post.

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte 

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