Relationships between Nighttime Imagery and Population Density for Hong Kong

  • Liu Q
  • Sutton P
  • Elvidge C
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Nighttime imagery is an unusual remote sensing data source that offers capabilities to represent human activities on the Earth's surface through the observation of artificial lighting at night. Previous analyses of images of the earth at night derived from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) have revealed a striking correlation between city-lights and human population density. Nighttime light photographs taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) may have the potential of offering more sophisticated representations of population density with finer spatial and spectral resolution than the DMSP-OLS imagery. The objective of this study is to analyze and map the relationships between the city lights of Hong Kong, China, and representations of population and population density, through comparing two types of nighttime imagery (DMSP-OLS satellite image and ISS photograph) to census population and population density derived from the LandScan population dataset.




Liu, Q., Sutton, P. C., & Elvidge, C. D. (2011). Relationships between Nighttime Imagery and Population Density for Hong Kong. Proceedings of the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network, 31(0), 79.

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