Inter-calibration and Urban Light Index of DMSP-OLS Night-Time Data for Evaluating the Urbanization Process in Australian Capital Territory

  • Christopher D. Elvidge
  • Himangshu Kalita
  • Upasana Choudhury
  • Sufia Rehman
  • Bismay Ranjan Tripathy
  • Pavan Kumar


The magnification mechanism of human settlement is called urbanization, involving various other activities such as population transition, resource consumption, etc. leading to various growing patterns of urban augmentation. The assessment of such spatial pattern is crucial in developing a sustainable urban agglomeration. Night-time light (NTL) data is an important machination for such assessment and detailed monitoring. In this paper, DMSP-OLS (the Defence Meteorological Satellite Program/Operational Linescan Program) datasets have been used to assess the urban straggle of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and to delineate the urban extent from 1992 to 2012, at an interval of 3 years. DMSP-OLS has the unique capability to detect synthetic lights from cities, towns, industrial sites, ports, etc. Moreover, using ARC GIS calligraphies, 20 random points were selected from the extracted area of interest (AOI). Pixels values of those 20 random points are derived from the given time series dataset (1992–2012). A regression value was extracted from each year by using a second-order polynomial equation. A polynomial regression model is also constructed by taking the regression values and the time series as the two variables, respectively. Urban light index (ULI) is also constructed for analysing the progression of urbanization in ACT from 1992 to 2012 with the help of a derived formula. Furthermore, a unit circle buffer zone having a radius of 20 km is established by taking the centre of each built-up zone as the focal point of the constructed buffer, to compare easily the rate of expansion of urbanization. The present paper indicates the growing potential of the DMSP-OLS night-time satellite data to define the urban light space information, which truly describes the attributes of urban sprawl, and to delineate the evolution of urban morphology and urban extension.


Australian Capital Territory DMSP-OLS night-time data Inter-calibration Urban light index Urbanization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher D. Elvidge
    • 1
  • Himangshu Kalita
    • 2
  • Upasana Choudhury
    • 2
  • Sufia Rehman
    • 3
  • Bismay Ranjan Tripathy
    • 2
  • Pavan Kumar
    • 3
  1. 1.Applied Earth Sciences, National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationStanford UniversityBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Remote Sensing and GISKumaun UniversityAlmoraIndia
  3. 3.Department of GeographyJamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiIndia

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