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Open Access It Used To Be Dark Here

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Nighttime satellite imagery from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) has a unique capability to observe nocturnal light emissions from sources including cities, wild fires, and gas flares. Data from the DMSP OLS is used in a wide range of studies including mapping urban areas, estimating informal economies, and estimations of population. Given the extensive and increasing list of applications a repeatable method for assessing geolocation accuracy would be beneficial. An array of portable lights was designed and taken to multiple field sites known to have no other light sources. The lights were operated during nighttime overpasses by the DMSP OLS and observed in the imagery. An assessment of the geolocation accuracy was performed by measuring the distance between the GPS measured location of the lights and the observed location in the imagery. A systematic shift was observed and the mean distance was measured at 2.9 km.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • The official journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - the Imaging and Geospatial Information Society (ASPRS). This highly respected publication covers all facets of photogrammetry and remote sensing methods and technologies.

    Founded in 1934, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Our mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies.
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