Radiance Light Trends

This web application allows you to examine changes in nighttime light emissions (nearly) worldwide, from 1992 up until last month. This text explains where the data comes from, what need to know about the data sources to understand the charts you generate, and who developed the app. If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to use our tutorial to get started looking at the data quickly.

The emissions data come from two satellite sensors. From 1992 to 2013, data comes from the Operational Linescan System of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites. From 2012 to the present, data comes from the Day/Night Band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument (VIIRS DNB). The instruments have a number of important differences, and for that reason it is not possible to have a single record running from 1992 to today”.

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