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Normalization of time series DMSP-OLS nighttime light images for urban growth analysis with Pseudo Invariant Features

Previous studies demonstrated that DMSP-OLS stable nighttime light data are useful data source for delineating urban areas. However, the nighttime light data acquired in different years are not directly comparable, due to the variations in atmospheric condition from year to year and the periodic change in satellite sensor. This makes it difficult to use the time series nighttime light data for urban growth analysis. This paper presents a noveltechnique for normalizing time series DMSP/OLS nighttime light data and deriving urban detection threshold using Pseudo Invariant Features (PIFs). Our technique consists of three steps: (1) estimate an optimal threshold value for urban area detection for a reference year, when high resolution image data are available for some local areas. (2) Based on the irreversible nature of urbanization process, determine a set of PIFs, which are deemed as urban areas and did not exhibit significant change in nighttime light condition during the study period. (3) Normalize the time series DMSP-OLS data sets based on the PIFs and linear regression, determine optimal threshold values for urban area detection for all years based on the reference year threshold value, and extract urban areas accordingly. This technique was successfully applied to time series DMSP-OLS nighttime light images of the Central Liaoning region in China. Patterns of this urban agglomeration’s spatial–temporal evolution from 2000 to 2010 were mapped and analyzed. The reliability and spatial accuracy of this technique were evaluated with multitemporal Landsat TM images. The technique was proved accurate and effective.

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Additional Info

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Author(s) Ye Wei, Hongxing Liu, Wei Song, Bailang Yu, Chunliang Xiu
Last Updated February 11, 2021, 21:41 (UTC)
Created December 7, 2020, 22:14 (UTC)
Stable Link
Date 2014-04-12
Publishing Body Landscape and Urban Planning
Content Type Publications
Primary Category Land Use & Land Cover
Sub Category Urbanization Process
Country Name China
Location-Region/City Liaoning
Location Latitude 41.9437
Location Longitude 122.529
Publishing Organization New Light Technologies