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Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 30665

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ran Goldblatt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
New Light Technologies Inc., Washington DC, USA
Interests: remote sensing; image classification; economic development; disaster management; night-time lights; built-up land cover
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Steven Louis Rubinyi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The World Bank, Washington, DC 20433, USA
Interests: remote sensing; built environment; natural environment; population modeling; spatial economics; GIS
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Hogeun Park
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA
Interests: urbanization; land use and land cover change; urban economy; spatial analytics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the early 1990s, with the launch of DMSP-OLS, remotely sensed observations of night-time lights have been a key tool for understanding almost every aspect related to human activity on Earth, without being filtered through national data agencies that are potentially inefficient or biased. Night-time lights can indicate the characteristics of a wide range of human-related aspects, from economic activity and development, urbanization processes, changes in GDP, migration patterns, economic impacts of conflicts, or the impacts of natural hazards on vulnerable populations. Newer sensors, such as VIIRS/DNB, provide night-time light data even at a higher spatial resolution, allowing us to understand variations in human activity and its relation to the natural and the human environment in much higher granularity. With advances in the availability and quality of night-time light data, improvements in data storage capabilities and the development of new methods and workflows for analyzing the data, there is an increase in the number of scientific applications that exploit remotely sensed night-time lights to better understand our world. This Special Issue of Remote Sensing will stimulate progress in the remote sensing research domain related to the utilization of night-time lights in a wide range of scientific domains, including economics, social sciences, disaster management, environmental sciences, ecology, urban research, and more. The issue will bring together original and novel studies demonstrating the applications of remotely sensed night-time lights in a wide range of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary domains. Review contributions are also welcomed.

Dr. Ran Goldblatt
Mr. Steven Louis Rubinyi
Dr. Hogeun Park
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Night-time lights
  • VIIRS
  • DMSP-OLS
  • Economic development
  • Economic activity
  • Data fusion
  • Urbanization processes
  • GDP
  • Poverty
  • Electrification

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Article
Spatiotemporal Patterns of Light Pollution on the Tibetan Plateau over Three Decades at Multiple Scales: Implications for Conservation of Natural Habitats
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(22), 5755; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14225755 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Light pollution (LP), induced by human activities, has become a crucial threat to biodiversity on the Tibetan plateau (TP), but few studies have explored its coverage and dynamics. In this study, we intended to measure the spatiotemporal patterns of LP on the TP [...] Read more.
Light pollution (LP), induced by human activities, has become a crucial threat to biodiversity on the Tibetan plateau (TP), but few studies have explored its coverage and dynamics. In this study, we intended to measure the spatiotemporal patterns of LP on the TP from 1992 to 2018. First, we extracted the annual extent of LP from time-series nighttime light data. After that, we analyzed its spatiotemporal patterns at multiple scales and identified the natural habitats and the species habitats affected by LP. Finally, we discussed the main influencing factors of LP expansion on the TP. We found that the LP area increased exponentially from 1.2 thousand km2 to 82.8 thousand km2, an increase of nearly 70 times. In 2018, LP accounted for 3.2% of the total area of the TP, mainly concentrated in the eastern and southern areas. Several national key ecological function zones (e.g., the Gannan Yellow river key water supply ecological function zone) and national nature reserves (e.g., the Lalu Wetland National Nature Reserve) had a large extent of LP. The proportion of LP area on natural habitats increased from 79.6% to 91.4%. The number of endangered species with habitats affected by LP increased from 89 to 228, and more than a quarter of the habitats of 18 endangered species were affected by LP. We also discovered that roadways as well as settlements in both urban and rural areas were the main sources of LP. Thus, to lessen LP’s negative effects on biodiversity, effective measures should be taken during road construction and urbanization on the TP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
Spatio-Temporal Dynamics and Driving Forces of Multi-Scale CO2 Emissions by Integrating DMSP-OLS and NPP-VIIRS Data: A Case Study in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, China
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(19), 4799; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14194799 - 26 Sep 2022
Viewed by 492
Abstract
The emission of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, is the main factor causing global warming. Due to incomplete statistical data on energy consumption at and below the urban scale of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH), in this study, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System [...] Read more.
The emission of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, is the main factor causing global warming. Due to incomplete statistical data on energy consumption at and below the urban scale of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH), in this study, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) and Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (NPP-VIIRS) data were combined, and a neural network model and weighted average method based on DN (Digital Number) value were used to obtain CO2 emissions at the municipal and county scales with a resolution of 1 km × 1 km from 2000–2019. Next, a spatial-temporal analysis model and spatial econometric model were used to study the CO2 emissions at different scales of BTH. This study also solved the problem that STIRPAT analysis cannot be carried out due to insufficient urban statistical CO2 emissions data. The results show that the energy CO2 emissions in BTH present a distribution pattern of “East greater than West”, with a trend of first rising and then slowing down. Moreover, the rapid growth areas are mainly located in Chengde and Tianjin. The degree of regional spatial aggregation decreased year by year from 2000–2019. Population, affluence and technology factors were positively correlated with CO2 emissions in Tianjin and Hebei. For Beijing, in addition to foreign investment, factors such as urbanization rate, energy intensity, construction and transportation factors all contributed to the increase in CO2 emissions. Among them, the growth of population is the main reason for the increase of CO2 at the urban scale in BTH. Finally, based on the research results and the specific situation of the cities, corresponding policies and measures are proposed for the future low-carbon development of the cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
Nightlight Intensity Change Surrounding Nature Reserves: A Case Study in Orbroicher Bruch Nature Reserve, Germany
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(16), 3876; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14163876 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 593
Abstract
Persistent global urbanization has a direct relationship to measurable artificial light at night (ALAN), and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program has served an important role in monitoring this relationship over time. Recent studies have observed significant declines in insect abundance and populations, and [...] Read more.
Persistent global urbanization has a direct relationship to measurable artificial light at night (ALAN), and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program has served an important role in monitoring this relationship over time. Recent studies have observed significant declines in insect abundance and populations, and ALAN has been recognized as a contributing factor. We investigated changes in nightlight intensity at various spatial scales surrounding insect traps located in Orbroicher Bruch Nature Reserve, Germany. Using a time series of global nighttime light imagery (1992–2010), we evaluated pixel-level trends through linear regressions and the Mann–Kendall test. Paired with urban land cover delineation, we compared nightlight trends across rural and urban areas. We utilized high-resolution satellite imagery to identify landscape features potentially related to pixel-level trends within areas containing notable change. Approximately 96% of the pixel-level trends had a positive slope, and 22% of pixels experienced statistically significant increases in nightlight intensity. We observed that 80% of the region experienced nightlight intensity increases >1%, concurrent with the observed decline in insect biomass. While it is unclear if these trends extend to other geographic regions, our results highlight the need for future studies to concurrently investigate long-term trends in ALAN and insect population decline across multiple scales, and consider the spatial and temporal overlaps between these patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
Monitoring the Distribution and Variations of City Size Based on Night-Time Light Remote Sensing: A Case Study in the Yangtze River Delta of China
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(14), 3403; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14143403 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Effectively monitoring the size of a city in real time enables the scientific planning of urban development. Models that utilize the distribution and variations in city size generally use population data as inputs, which cannot be obtained in a timely and rapid manner. [...] Read more.
Effectively monitoring the size of a city in real time enables the scientific planning of urban development. Models that utilize the distribution and variations in city size generally use population data as inputs, which cannot be obtained in a timely and rapid manner. However, night-time light (NTL) remote sensing may be an alternative method. A case study was carried out on the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) in China, and the rank–size rule, the law of primate cities, and the Gini coefficient were employed to monitor the variation in city size in the study area. The urban areas extracted based on NTL remote sensing were utilized instead of the traditionally used population data to evaluate the variations in city size from 2012 to 2017. Considering the empiricism and subjectivity of the thresholding method, urban areas were extracted from NTL data combined with the normalized differential vegetation index and land-surface temperature data based on the artificial neural network algorithm. Based on the results, the YRD did not fit the distribution of the primate cities from 2012 to 2017. However, this region satisfied the rank–size rule well, which indicated that the development of medium–small cities was more prominent than that of larger cities, and the dispersed force was larger than the concentrated force. Notably, the city size reached a relatively balanced level in the study area. Further, sensitivity analysis revealed that the relatively low extraction accuracy of urban areas of few small cities had little effect on the results of city size variations. Moreover, the validation of city size computed from statistical population data and its comparison with results calculated based on the statistical data of urban areas aligned with the results of this study, which indicates the rationality and applicability of monitoring the variations in city size using the urban areas extracted from NTL remote sensing instead of population data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
Urbanization Level in Chinese Counties: Imbalance Pattern and Driving Force
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2268; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092268 - 08 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
Urbanization level is a key indicator for socioeconomic development and policy making, but the measurement data and methods need to be discussed further due to the limitation of a single index and the availability and accuracy of statistical data. China is urbanizing rapidly, [...] Read more.
Urbanization level is a key indicator for socioeconomic development and policy making, but the measurement data and methods need to be discussed further due to the limitation of a single index and the availability and accuracy of statistical data. China is urbanizing rapidly, but the urbanization level at the county scale remains a mystery due to its complexity and lack of unified and effective measurement indicators. In this paper, we proposed a new urbanization index to measure the Chinese urbanization level at the county scale by integrating population, land, and economic factors; by fusing remote sensing data and traditional demographic data, we investigated the multi-dimensional unbalanced development patterns and the driving mechanism from 1995 to 2015. Results indicate that: The average comprehensive urbanization level at the Chinese county scale has increased from 31.06% in 1995 to 45.23% in 2015, and the urbanization level in the permanent population may overestimate China’s urbanization process. There were significant but different spatial and temporal dynamic patterns in population, land, and economic levels as well as at a comprehensive urbanization level. The comprehensive urbanization level shows the pattern of being high in the south-east and low in the north-west, divided by “Hu line”. The urbanization of registered populations presents high in the northern border and the eastern coastal areas, which is further strengthened over time. Economic urbanization based on lighting data presents high in the east and low in the west. Land urbanization based on remote sensing data shows high in the south and low in the north. The registered population urbanization level is lower than economic and land urbanization. County urbanization was driven by large population size, reasonable industrial structure, and strong government capacity; 38% and 59% of urbanization levels can be regarded as the key nodes of the urbanization process. When the urbanization rate is lower than 38%, the secondary industry plays a strong role in powering urbanization; when the urbanization rate is higher than 38% but less than 59%, the promotion effect of the tertiary industry is more obvious, and the secondary industry is gradually weakened. When the urbanization rate exceeds 59%, the tertiary industry becomes the major driver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
The VIIRS Day/Night Band: A Flicker Meter in Space?
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(6), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14061316 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
The VIIRS day/night band (DNB) high gain stage (HGS) pixel effective dwell time is in the range of 2–3 milliseconds (ms), which is about one third of the flicker cycle present in lighting powered by alternating current. Thus, if flicker is present, it [...] Read more.
The VIIRS day/night band (DNB) high gain stage (HGS) pixel effective dwell time is in the range of 2–3 milliseconds (ms), which is about one third of the flicker cycle present in lighting powered by alternating current. Thus, if flicker is present, it induces random fluctuations in nightly DNB radiances. This results in increased variance in DNB temporal profiles. A survey of flicker characteristics conducted with high-speed camera data collected on a wide range of individual luminaires found that the flicker is most pronounced in high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, such as high- and low-pressure sodium and metal halides. Flicker is muted, but detectable, in incandescent luminaires. Modern light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and fluorescent lights are often nearly flicker-free, thanks to high-quality voltage smoothing. DNB pixel footprints are about half a square kilometer and can contain vast numbers of individual luminaires, some of which flicker, while others do not. If many of the flickering lights are drawing from a common AC supplier, the flicker can be synchronized and leave an imprint on the DNB temporal profile. In contrast, multiple power supplies will throw the flickering out of synchronization, resulting in a cacophony with less radiance fluctuation. The examination of DNB temporal profiles for locations before and after the conversion of high-intensity discharge (HID) to LED streetlight conversions shows a reduction in the index of dispersion, calculated by dividing the annual variance by the mean. There are a number of variables that contribute to radiance variations in the VIIRS DNB, including the view angle, cloud optical thickness, atmospheric variability, snow cover, lunar illuminance, and the compilation of temporal profiles using pixels whose footprints are not perfectly aligned. It makes sense to adjust the DNB radiance for as many of these extraneous effects as possible. However, none of these adjustments will reduce the radiance instability introduced by flicker. Because flicker is known to affect organisms, including humans, the development of methods to detect and rate the strength of flickering from space will open up new areas of research on the biologic impacts of artificial lighting. Over time, there is a trend towards the reduction of flicker in outdoor lighting through the replacement of HID with low-flicker LED sources. This study indicates that the effects of LED conversions on the brightness and steadiness of outdoor lighting can be analyzed with VIIRS DNB temporal profiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
What Can We Learn from Nighttime Lights for Small Geographies? Measurement Errors and Heterogeneous Elasticities
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051190 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2044
Abstract
Nighttime lights are routinely used as a proxy for economic activity when official statistics are unavailable and are increasingly applied to study the effects of shocks or policy interventions at small geographic scales. The implicit assumption is that the ability of nighttime lights [...] Read more.
Nighttime lights are routinely used as a proxy for economic activity when official statistics are unavailable and are increasingly applied to study the effects of shocks or policy interventions at small geographic scales. The implicit assumption is that the ability of nighttime lights to pick up changes in GDP does not depend on local characteristics of the region under investigation or the scale of aggregation. This study uses panel data on regional GDP growth from six countries, and nighttime lights from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) to investigate potential nonlinearities and measurement errors in the light production function. Our results for high statistical capacity countries (the United States and Germany) show that nightlights are significantly less responsive to changes in GDP at higher baseline level of GDP, higher population densities, and for agricultural GDP. We provide evidence that these nonlinearities are too large to be caused by differences in measurement errors across regions. We find similar but noisier relationships in other high-income countries (Italy and Spain) and emerging economies (Brazil and China). We also present results for different aggregation schemes and find that the overall relationship, including the nonlinearity, is stable across regions of different shapes and sizes but becomes noisier when regions become few and large. These findings have important implications for studies using nighttime lights to evaluate the economic effects of shocks or policy interventions. On average, nighttime lights pick up changes in GDP across many different levels of aggregation, down to relatively small geographies. However, the nonlinearity we document in this paper implies that some studies may fail to detect policy-relevant effects in places where lights react little to changes in economic activity or they may mistakenly attribute this heterogeneity to the treatment effect of their independent variable of interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
A Global Assessment of Night Lights as an Indicator for Shipping Activity in Anchorage Areas
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(5), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14051079 - 22 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2684
Abstract
Accurate information on port shipping activities is critical for monitoring global and local traffic flows and assessing the state of development of the maritime industry. Such information is necessary for managers and analysts to make strategic decisions and monitor the maritime industry in [...] Read more.
Accurate information on port shipping activities is critical for monitoring global and local traffic flows and assessing the state of development of the maritime industry. Such information is necessary for managers and analysts to make strategic decisions and monitor the maritime industry in achieving management goals. In this study, we used monthly night light (NTL) images of the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band, between 2012 and 2020, to study the night lights emitted by ships in ports’ anchorage areas, as an indicator for shipping activity in anchorage areas and ports. Using a dataset covering 601 anchorage areas from 97 countries, we found a strong correspondence between NTL data and shipping metrics at the country level (n = 97), such as container port throughput (Rs = 0.84, p < 0.01) and maximum cargo carried by ships (Rs = 0.66, p < 0.01), as well as a strong correlation between the number of anchorage points and the NTL values in anchorage areas across the world (Rs = 0.69, p < 0.01; n = 601). The high correspondence levels of the VIIRS NTL data with various shipping indicators show the potential of using NTL data to analyze the spatio-temporal dynamic changes of the shipping activity in anchorage areas, providing convenient open access and a normalized assessment method for shipping industry parameters that are often lacking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
Night-Time Light Remote Sensing Mapping: Construction and Analysis of Ethnic Minority Development Index
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(11), 2129; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13112129 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
Using toponym data, population data, and night-time light data, we visualized the development index of the Yi, Wa, Zhuang, Naxi, Hani, and Dai ethnic groups on ArcGIS as well as the distribution of 25 ethnic minorities in the study area. First, we extracted [...] Read more.
Using toponym data, population data, and night-time light data, we visualized the development index of the Yi, Wa, Zhuang, Naxi, Hani, and Dai ethnic groups on ArcGIS as well as the distribution of 25 ethnic minorities in the study area. First, we extracted the toponym data of 25 ethnic minorities in the study area, combined with night-time light data and the population proportion data of each ethnic group, then we obtained the development index of each ethnic group in the study area. We compared the development indexes of the Yi, Wa, Zhuang, Naxi, Hani, and Dai ethnic groups with higher development indexes. The results show that the Yi nationality’s development index was the highest, reaching 28.86 (with two decimal places), and the Dai nationality’s development index was the lowest (15.22). The areas with the highest minority development index were concentrated in the core area of the minority development, and the size varied with the minority’s distance. According to the distribution of ethnic minorities, we found that the Yi ethnic group was distributed in almost the entire study area, while other ethnic minorities had obvious geographical distribution characteristics, and there were multiple ethnic minorities living together. This research is of great significance to the cultural protection of ethnic minorities, the development of ethnic minorities, and the remote sensing mapping of lights at night. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
Examining the Economic and Environmental Impacts of COVID-19 Using Earth Observation Data
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010005 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4638
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has infected almost 73 million people and is responsible for over 1.63 million fatalities worldwide since early December 2019, when it was first reported in Wuhan, China. In the early stages of the pandemic, social distancing measures, such as lockdown [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has infected almost 73 million people and is responsible for over 1.63 million fatalities worldwide since early December 2019, when it was first reported in Wuhan, China. In the early stages of the pandemic, social distancing measures, such as lockdown restrictions, were applied in a non-uniform way across the world to reduce the spread of the virus. While such restrictions contributed to flattening the curve in places like Italy, Germany, and South Korea, it plunged the economy in the United States to a level of recession not seen since WWII, while also improving air quality due to the reduced mobility. Using daily Earth observation data (Day/Night Band (DNB) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Suomi-NPP and NO2 measurements from the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument TROPOMI) along with monthly averaged cell phone derived mobility data, we examined the economic and environmental impacts of lockdowns in Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Washington DC from February to April 2020—encompassing the most profound shutdown measures taken in the U.S. The preliminary analysis revealed that the reduction in mobility involved two major observable impacts: (i) improved air quality (a reduction in NO2 and PM2.5 concentration), but (ii) reduced economic activity (a decrease in energy consumption as measured by the radiance from the DNB data) that impacted on gross domestic product, poverty levels, and the unemployment rate. With the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases and declining economic conditions, such knowledge can be combined with unemployment and demographic data to develop policies and strategies for the safe reopening of the economy while preserving our environment and protecting vulnerable populations susceptible to COVID-19 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Article
The Dimming of Lights in China during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(17), 2851; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12172851 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 6960
Abstract
A satellite survey of the cumulative radiant emissions from electric lighting across China reveals a large radiance decline in lighting from December 2019 to February 2020—the peak of the lockdown established to suppress the spread of COVID-19 infections. To illustrate the changes, an [...] Read more.
A satellite survey of the cumulative radiant emissions from electric lighting across China reveals a large radiance decline in lighting from December 2019 to February 2020—the peak of the lockdown established to suppress the spread of COVID-19 infections. To illustrate the changes, an analysis was also conducted on a reference set from a year prior to the pandemic. In the reference period, the majority (62%) of China’s population lived in administrative units that became brighter in March 2019 relative to December 2018. The situation reversed in February 2020, when 82% of the population lived in administrative units where lighting dimmed as a result of the pandemic. The dimming has also been demonstrated with difference images for the reference and pandemic image pairs, scattergrams, and a nightly temporal profile. The results indicate that it should be feasible to monitor declines and recovery in economic activity levels using nighttime lighting as a proxy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Technical Note
Evaluating Road Lighting Quality Using High-Resolution JL1-3B Nighttime Light Remote Sensing Data: A Case Study in Nanjing, China
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(18), 4497; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14184497 - 09 Sep 2022
Viewed by 540
Abstract
A good lighting environment for roads at night is essential for traffic safety. Accurate and timely knowledge of road lighting quality is meaningful for the planning and management of urban road lighting systems. Traditional field observations and mobile observations have limitations for road [...] Read more.
A good lighting environment for roads at night is essential for traffic safety. Accurate and timely knowledge of road lighting quality is meaningful for the planning and management of urban road lighting systems. Traditional field observations and mobile observations have limitations for road lightning quality evaluation at a large scale. This study explored the potential of 0.92 m resolution JL1-3B nighttime light remote sensing images to evaluate road lighting quality in Nanjing, China. Combined with synchronous field measurements and JL1-3B data, multiple regression and random forest regression with several independent variable combinations were developed and compared to determine the optimal model for surface illuminance estimation. Cross validation results showed that the random forest model with Hue, saturability, ln(Intensity), ln(Red), ln(Green) and ln(Blue) as the input independent variables had the best performance (R2 = 0.75 and RMSE = 9.79 lux). Then, this model was used to map the surface illuminance. The spatial scopes of roads were extracted from Google Earth images, and the illuminance within roads was derived to calculate the average, standard deviation and coefficient of variation to indicate the overall brightness level and brightness uniformity of the roads. This study provides a quantitative and effective reference for road lighting evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Technical Note
Exploring VIIRS Night Light Long-Term Time Series with CNN/SI for Urban Change Detection and Aerosol Monitoring
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(13), 3126; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133126 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
There is a great need to study the decadal long-term time series of urban night-light changes since the launch of Suomi NPP, NOAA-20, to future JPSS-2, 3, and 4 in the next decades. The recently recalibrated and reprocessed Suomi NPP VIIRS/DNB dataset overcomes [...] Read more.
There is a great need to study the decadal long-term time series of urban night-light changes since the launch of Suomi NPP, NOAA-20, to future JPSS-2, 3, and 4 in the next decades. The recently recalibrated and reprocessed Suomi NPP VIIRS/DNB dataset overcomes a number of limitations in the operational data stream for time series studies. However, new methodologies are desirable to explore the large volume of historical data to reveal long-term socio-economic and environmental changes. In this study, we introduce a novel algorithm using convolutional neural network similarity index (CNN/SI) to rapidly and automatically identify cloud-free observations for selected cities. The derived decadal clear sky mean radiance time series allows us to study the urban night light changes over a long period of time. Our results show that the radiometric changes for some metropolitan areas changed on the order of 29% in the past decade, while others had no appreciable change. The strong seasonal variation in the mean radiance appears to be highly correlated with seasonal aerosol optical thickness. This study will facilitate the use of recalibrated/reprocessed data, and improve our understanding of urban night light changes due to geophysical, climatological, and socio-economic factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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Technical Note
Pandemic Induced Changes in Economic Activity around African Protected Areas Captured through Night-Time Light Data
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020314 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3504
Abstract
The importance of tourism for development is widely recognized. Travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 have brought tourism to a halt. Tourism is one of the key sectors driving change in Africa and is based exclusively on natural assets, with [...] Read more.
The importance of tourism for development is widely recognized. Travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 have brought tourism to a halt. Tourism is one of the key sectors driving change in Africa and is based exclusively on natural assets, with wildlife being the main attraction. Economic activities, therefore, are clustered around conservation and protected areas. We used night-time light data as a proxy measure for economic activity to assess change due to the pandemic. Our analysis shows that overall, 75 percent of the 8427 protected areas saw a decrease in light intensity in varying degrees in all countries and across IUCN protected area categories, including in popular protected area destinations, indicating a reduction in tourism-related economic activities. As countries discuss COVID-19 recovery, the methods using spatially explicit data illustrated in this paper can assess the extent of change, inform decision-making, and prioritize recovery efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
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