Image Processing Reference
In-Depth Information
17.1
Introduction
Nighttime satellite imagery provided by the Defense Meteorological Satellite
Program's Operational Linescan System (DMSP OLS) provides a unique, fascinat-
ing, and powerful view of human activities at one km spatial resolution globally.
The DMSP OLS data products are particularly valuable because of their time of
observation, spatial resolution, global scope, and availability in time series. Most
other satellite observations of the earth are obtained during daylight hours in which the
signal received is reflected solar radiation, emitted thermal radiation, or 'bounced'
radiation from active sensors. Nighttime satellite imagery captures radiation pri-
marily from lightning, fires and most importantly: human sources such as city lights,
lantern fishing, and gas flare burns (Fig. 17.1 ). All of these different sources of
nocturnal emissions of radiation are distinguishable due to
the way the data products are produced. Consequently these
data products are used to map fire, lightning, lantern fishing,
urban extent, population, population density, CO 2 emis-
sions, anthropogenic environmental impact, impervious
surface, and economic activity. This chapter will provide an
overview of the DMSP OLS sensor and how the nighttime
satellite image data products are produced, briefly describe
several applications of these data products for mapping and
estimating various human activities, present some of the
problems and potential of this imagery for mapping exurbia in the conterminous
United States, and, explore the use of this imagery for mapping population, rural
electrification, and wealth in Guatemala.
nighttime
satellite imagery
captures
radiation
primarily from
lightning, fires
and human
sources
Fig. 17.1 Global composite DMSP OLS image of the Earth at night
 
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