The present study analyses the new Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) lights data to determine whether it can provide more accurate proxies for socioeconomic data in areas with poor quality data than proxies based on stable lights. Our analysis indicates that VIIRS lights are a promising supplementary source for standard measures on population and economic output at a small scale, especially for low population and economic density areas in Africa. The current analysis also suggests that in comparison to stable lights generated by the DMSP-OLS system, data generated by the VIIRS system provide more information to estimate population than output index. However, further analysis and formal statistical models are needed to evaluate the usefulness of VIIRS lights versus
other lights products. With more advanced methods, there is also a potential to generate a synthetic index by combining different lights products to produce a better proxy measure for other indexes.
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