Name Analyzing Urban Settlements with Satellite Data
Source Columbia University
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Description This study introduces a correction procedure for inconsistencies between lighted areas from satellite images and actual urban settlements. Previous studies of DMSP-OLS stable night lights have shown encouraging agreement between temporally stable lighted areas and various definitions of urban extent. However, these studies have also highlighted an inconsistent relationship between the actual lighted area and the boundaries of the urban areas considered. Applying detection frequency thresholds can reduce the spatial overextent of lighted area (“blooming”) but thresholding also attenuates large numbers of smaller lights and significantly reduces the information content of the night lights datasets. While more extensive analyses are needed, a linear relationship would be consistent with a physical model for atmospheric scattering combined with a random geolocation error. A Gaussian detection probability model is consistent with an observed sigmoid decrease of detection frequency for settlements < 10 km diameter. Taken together, these observations could provide the basis for a scale-dependent blooming correction procedure that simultaneously reduces geolocation error and scattering induced blooming.
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Lead Institution Columbia University
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Partners NOAA National Geophysical Data Center
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Type Research
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Open source N/A
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Plug & Play N/A
Outputs compatible with indicators from Official Statistics N/A
Status Pilot
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Statistical Institute
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  • Areas of technological innovation
  • Remote Sensing
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    Use of Alternative Data Sources
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    Created On 2014-04-12
    Updated On 2014-04-12
    Status Published
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