Assessing the relationships between DMSP/OLS nightlights and building height across the world

Authors: Haiming Qin*, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Cheng Wang, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Topics: Remote Sensing
Keywords: nightlight, building height, relationship
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galerie 2, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)’s Operational Line-scan System (OLS) radiance calibrated nightlight imagery can provide spatially explicit observations of artificial lighting sources across human settlements at night. The correlations between DMSP/OLS nightlights data and key socioeconomic variables such as population density, economic activity and energy use have been studied in several studies. In this study, the relationships between the building height and DMSP/OLS nightlights data across the world were first explored. The spaceborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) waveform data were decomposed to extract the relative heights of ground targets. Associated with the MODIS land cover data, the building height in urban regions across the world were acquired. Then the relationships between the urban building height and nightlight data across the world were assessed. Results showed that the nightlight value increased with the building height with different trends in many developing countries. However, the relationships between the urban building height and nightlight data in many developed country were not obviously, which were caused by many other factors, such as urban greenery and the street lighting at night. These results illustrate that the relationships between nightlight data and building height data vary from country types, and they were affected by other factors in developed countries.

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