Abstract: Nocturnal lighting is a primary method for enabling human activity. Outdoor lighting is used extensively worldwide in residential, commercial, industrial, public facilities, and roadways. A radiance calibrated nighttime lights image of the United States has been assembled from Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). The satellite observation of the location and intensity of nocturnal lighting provide a unique view of humanities presence and can be used as a spatial indicator for other variables that are more difficult to observe at a global scale. Examples include the modeling of population density and energy related greenhouse gas emissions.