Urban Radiance, East Asia 1992-2013

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Total Radiance Time Series

In the sequence above, we can see that China has become much brighter over the years, while Japan stayed roughly the same. This impression is also supported by a quantitative view of the total radiance per country. China's increase in brighness is unmatched by other countries in the region.



But of course China is a large country. If we normalize radiance by country size, we get a different picture. Countries such as Japan or Korea have a much higher percentage of their area illuminated.



Radiance and Economic Development

While the composites from the DMSP night lights data set indicates where people live, the strongest correlation exists with economic development.