Remote sensing of night lights differs from other sources of remote sensing in its ability to directly observe human activity from space as well as in informing us on a new type of anthropogenic threat, that of light pollution. This special issue focuses on studies which used newer sensors than the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program - Operational Line-Scan System (DMSP/OLS). Most of the analyses focused on data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) nighttime sensor (also called the Day/Night Band, or VIIRS/DNB in short), for which the first instrument in the series was launched in 2011. In this editorial, we provide an overview of the 12 papers published in this special issue, and offer suggestions for future research directions in this field, both with respect to the remote sensing platforms and algorithms, and with respect to the development of new applications.
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