Earth Institute Research Projects

A Framework For The Validation of Global Nighttime Environmental Products

Lead PI: Mr. Kytt MacManus , Mr. Gregory G. Yetman , Jane A Mills

Unit Affiliation: Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)

September 2017 - August 2020
North America ; Las Vegas, NV ; Nevada ; Chicago, IL ; Illinois ; Mexico
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: We are leveraging data from GPW4 and the U.S. Census Grids (Summary File 1) data collections and evaluating additional demographic and mobility layers from American Community Survey (ACS), Puerto Rico Community Survey (PRCS), and other sources (including big data sources such as Twitter). We are evaluating population estimations produced through the application of annualized growth rates as in GPW4, and those produced through surveys such as ACS and PRCS. In addition to total population, we are considering other demographic characteristics such as Age and Sex Structure. We are evaluating the sensitivity of population estimates to the temporal dynamics of human activity by analyzing events surrounding survey or enumeration dates contemporaneous to data from VIIRS. Are the dynamics of human mobility captured by VIIRS inferable from available population estimates? To what degree, and what other sources of information might be needed to produce such a model?

OUTCOMES: We will produce a brief report which summarizes our exploration results and recommends strategies for operationalizing the VIIRS time series for near real-time population estimation. Additionally, we will produce data packages for the areas studied and make them available for download and use.


NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center


National Aeronautics & Space Administration




NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center


Roman, M.O., Wang, Z., Sun, Q., Kalb, V., Miller, S.D., Molthan, A.L., Schultz, L., Bell, J.R., Stokes, E.C., Pandey, B., Seto, K.C., Hall, D.K., Oda, T., Wolfe, R.E., Lin, G.C., Golpayegani, N., Devadiga, S., Davidson, C., Sarkar, S., Praderas, C.J., Schmaltz, J.E., Boller, R., Stevens, J.H., González, O.M., Padilla, E.E., Alonso, J., Detrés, Y., Armstrong, R.A., Miranda, I., Conte, Y., Marrero, N., MacManus, K., Esch, T., & Masuoka, E.J. (2018). NASA's Black Marble nighttime lights product suite.


earth science data demography socioeconomic human interactions population


Sustainable living