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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(8), 777;

A New Urban Index for Expressing Inner-City Patterns Based on MODIS LST and EVI Regulated DMSP/OLS NTL

State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangzhou 510070, China
Key Laboratory of Guangdong for Utilization of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System, Guangzhou 510070, China
Guangdong Open Laboratory of Geospatial Information Technology and Application, Guangzhou 510070, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 29 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Remote Sensing with Nighttime Lights)
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With the rapid pace of urban expansion, comprehensively understanding urban spatial patterns, built environments, green-spaces distributions, demographic distributions, and economic activities becomes more meaningful. Night Time Lights (NTL) images acquired through the Operational Linescan System of the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP/OLS NTL) have long been utilized to monitor urban areas and their expansion characteristics since this system detects variation in NTL emissions. However, the pixel saturation phenomenon leads to a serious limitation in mapping luminance variations in urban zones with nighttime illumination levels that approach or exceed the pixel saturation limits of OLS sensors. Consequently, we propose an NTL-based city index that utilizes the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Surface Temperature (LST) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) images to regulate and compensate for desaturation on NTL images acquired from corresponding urban areas. The regulated results achieve good performance in differentiating central business districts (CBDs), airports, and urban green spaces. Consequently, these derived imageries could effectively convey the structural details of urban cores. In addition, compared with the Vegetation Adjusted NTL Urban Index (VANUI), LST-and-EVI-regulated-NTL-city index (LERNCI) reveals superior capability in delineating the spatial structures of selected metropolis areas across the world, especially in the large cities of developing countries. The currently available results indicate that LERNCI corresponds better to city spatial patterns. Moreover, LERNCI displays a remarkably better “goodness-of-fit” correspondence with both the Version 1 Nighttime Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Day/Night Band Composite (NPP/VIIRS DNB) data and the WorldPop population-density data compared with the VANUI imageries. Thus, LERNCI can act as a helpful indicator for differentiating and classifying regional economic activities, population aggregations, and energy-consumption and city-expansion patterns. LERNCI can also serve as a valuable auxiliary reference for decision-making processes that concern subjects such as urban planning and easing the central functions of metropolis. View Full-Text
Keywords: LERNCI; vegetation coverage; land surface temperature (LST); urban pattern; DMSP/OLS NTL; NPP/VIIRS DNB; WorldPop LERNCI; vegetation coverage; land surface temperature (LST); urban pattern; DMSP/OLS NTL; NPP/VIIRS DNB; WorldPop

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, Y.; Yang, Y.; Jing, W.; Yao, L.; Yue, X.; Zhao, X. A New Urban Index for Expressing Inner-City Patterns Based on MODIS LST and EVI Regulated DMSP/OLS NTL. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 777.

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