A harmonized global nighttime light dataset 1992–2018

Xuecao Li, Yuyu Zhou, Min Zhao & Xia Zhao

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0510-y

Abstract: Nighttime light (NTL) data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)/Operational Linescan System (OLS) and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite provide a great opportunity for monitoring human activities from regional to global scales. Despite the valuable records of nightscape from DMSP (1992–2013) and VIIRS (2012–2018), the potential of the historical archive of NTL observations has not been fully explored because of the severe inconsistency between DMSP and VIIRS. In this study, we generated an integrated and consistent NTL dataset at the global scale by harmonizing the inter-calibrated NTL observations from the DMSP data and the simulated DMSP-like NTL observations from the VIIRS data. The generated global DMSP NTL time-series data (1992–2018) show consistent temporal trends. This temporally extended DMSP NTL dataset provides valuable support for various studies related to human activities such as electricity consumption and urban extent dynamics.

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