CIESIN Thematic Guide to Night-time Light Remote Sensing and its Applications

Doll CNH (2008). CIESIN Thematic Guide to Night-time Light Remote Sensing and its Applications. Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA (December 2008)

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Abstract

Night-time light imagery stands unique amongst remote sensing data sources as it offers a uniquely 'human' view of the Earth's surface. The presence of lighting across the globe is almost entirely due to some form of human activity be it settlements, shipping fleets, gas flaring or fires associated with swidden agriculture. This extensively illustrated guide introduces users to the types of night-time light data available, its characteristics and limitations. It details the distinguishing features of the stable lights, radiance calibrated and time series Average DN datasets. The latter currently spans the period 1992-2003. The spatial and temporal characteristics of the datasets are presented using a range of techniques including temporal color composites. Preliminary analysis of this time series reveals considerable differences in brightness between data collected from different platforms. The second part of the guide examines how this interesting data source has been used and may be used to derive useful information about human presence and practice on Earth. Topics range from population and light pollution to economic activity, greenhouse gas emissions and using night-time lights to help with disaster management. Consideration is also given to the ecological ramifications of night-time lighting. With these elements set out, the final section explores other potential sources of night-time light data and how future systems may enhance our existing capabilities to understand the human environment through this the observation of lights at night.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Postdoctoral Scholars (PDS)
Bibliographic Reference: Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA (December 2008)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:41
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2016 12:30
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/8704

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