Administering an urban boundary (UB) is increasingly important for curbing disorderly urban land expansion. The traditionally manual digitalization is time-consuming, and it is difficult to connect UB in the urban fringe due to the fragmented urban pattern in daytime data. Nighttime light (NTL) data is a powerful tool used to map the urban extent, but both the blooming effect and the coarse spatial resolution make the urban product unable to meet the requirements of high-precision urban study. In this study, precise UB is extracted by a practical and effective method using NTL data and Landsat 8 data. Hangzhou, a megacity experiencing rapid urban sprawl, was selected to test the proposed method. Firstly, the rough UB was identified by the search mode of the concentric zones model (CZM) and the variance-based approach. Secondly, a buffer area was constructed to encompass the precise UB that is near the rough UB within a certain distance. Finally, the edge detection method was adopted to obtain the precise UB with a spatial resolution of 30 m. The experimental results show that a good performance was achieved and that it solved the largest disadvantage of the NTL data-blooming effect. The findings indicated that cities with a similar level of socio-economic status can be processed together when applied to larger-scale applications.
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