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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9850890, 8 pages
Research Article

Evaluating Urbanization and Spatial-Temporal Pattern Using the DMSP/OLS Nighttime Light Data: A Case Study in Zhejiang Province

1Institute of Urban and Regional Development, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
2Faculty of Agriculture, Shizuoka University, Shizuoka, Japan

Received 4 September 2016; Accepted 24 October 2016

Academic Editor: Hasi Bagan

Copyright © 2016 Pengfei Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The application of DMSP/OLS nighttime light data provides an effective measure for characterizing urbanization and its spatial-temporal changes. Combined with the social economic statistics and calibrated nighttime data, the nighttime light imagery of Zhejiang province was fully intercalibrated during the period 1992–2013. The backgrounds were explained and the model of region light index (RLI) was built to make further research. The methods of mutation detection, regression analysis, and spatial analysis were adopted in this study. The results show that the urbanization progress of Zhejiang experienced a transformation from rapid development to steady improvement and was accompanied by a changing direction of urban expansion from coastal to inland areas from 2000. Further research indicated that Zhejiang province possessed a relative high level of urbanization, where a spatial pattern of urbanization with one center and four axes was initially formed. It is a novel attempt to investigate the urbanization of Zhejiang province on the basis of the DMSP/OLS night-lighting data, which may provide a significant guideline for the urban planning and development.