Next Article in Journal
Multiscale Decomposition Prediction of Propagation Loss in Oceanic Tropospheric Ducts
Next Article in Special Issue
Remote Sensing-Based Analysis of Urban Landscape Change in the City of Bucharest, Romania
Previous Article in Journal
Building Extraction and Number Statistics in WUI Areas Based on UNet Structure and Ensemble Learning
Previous Article in Special Issue
An Optimized Filtering Method of Massive Interferometric SAR Data for Urban Areas by Online Tensor Decomposition
Article

An Improved Index for Urban Population Distribution Mapping Based on Nighttime Lights (DMSP-OLS) Data: An Experiment in Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia

1
National Center for Remote Sensing Technology, Space and Aeronautics Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia
2
Geography Department, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 42, Al-Khoud P.C. 123, Muscat, Oman
3
Department of Geography and GIS, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University, Al Shatby P.O. Box 21526, Alexandria, Egypt
4
Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
5
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YR, UK
6
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 11A Datun Road, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefan Auer
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(6), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13061171
Received: 1 February 2021 / Revised: 12 March 2021 / Accepted: 16 March 2021 / Published: 19 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Fusion for Urban Applications)
Knowledge of the spatial pattern of the population is important. Census population data provide insufficient spatial information because they are released only for large geographic areas. Nighttime light (NTL) data have been utilized widely as an effective proxy for population mapping. However, the well-reported challenges of pixel overglow and saturation influence the applicability of the Defense Meteorological Program Operational Line-Scan System (DMSP-OLS) for accurate population mapping. This paper integrates three remotely sensed information sources, DMSP-OLS, vegetation, and bare land areas, to develop a novel index called the Vegetation-Bare Adjusted NTL Index (VBANTLI) to overcome the uncertainties in the DMSP-OLS data. The VBANTLI was applied to Riyadh province to downscale governorate-level census population for 2004 and 2010 to a gridded surface of 1 km resolution. The experimental results confirmed that the VBANTLI significantly reduced the overglow and saturation effects compared to widely applied indices such as the Human Settlement Index (HSI), Vegetation Adjusted Normalized Urban Index (VANUI), and radiance-calibrated NTL (RCNTL). The correlation coefficient between the census population and the RCNTL (R = 0.99) and VBANTLI (R = 0.98) was larger than for the HSI (R = 0.14) and VANUI (R = 0.81) products. In addition, Model 5 (VBANTLI) was the most accurate model with R2 and mean relative error (MRE) values of 0.95% and 37%, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: Saudi Arabia; Riyadh; population; nighttime; DMSP-OLS; NTL; land cover/use Saudi Arabia; Riyadh; population; nighttime; DMSP-OLS; NTL; land cover/use
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Alahmadi, M.; Mansour, S.; Martin, D.; Atkinson, P.M. An Improved Index for Urban Population Distribution Mapping Based on Nighttime Lights (DMSP-OLS) Data: An Experiment in Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1171. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13061171

AMA Style

Alahmadi M, Mansour S, Martin D, Atkinson PM. An Improved Index for Urban Population Distribution Mapping Based on Nighttime Lights (DMSP-OLS) Data: An Experiment in Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(6):1171. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13061171

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alahmadi, Mohammed, Shawky Mansour, David Martin, and Peter M. Atkinson 2021. "An Improved Index for Urban Population Distribution Mapping Based on Nighttime Lights (DMSP-OLS) Data: An Experiment in Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia" Remote Sensing 13, no. 6: 1171. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13061171

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop