DMSP OLS: Nighttime Lights Time Series Version 4, Defense Meteorological Program Operational Linescan System

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dmsp eog imagery lights nighttime ols visible yearly


The Defense Meteorological Program (DMSP) Operational Line-Scan System (OLS) has a unique capability to detect visible and near-infrared (VNIR) emission sources at night.

Version 4 of the DMSP-OLS Nighttime Lights Time Series consists of cloud-free composites made using all the available archived DMSP-OLS smooth resolution data for calendar years. In cases where two satellites were collecting data, two composites were produced.

Image and data processing by NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center. DMSP data collected by US Air Force Weather Agency.


927.67 meters


Name Min Max Description
avg_vis 0* 63*

The average of the visible band digital number values with no further filtering.

stable_lights 0* 63*

The cleaned up avg_vis contains the lights from cities, towns, and other sites with persistent lighting, including gas flares. Ephemeral events, such as fires, have been discarded. The background noise was identified and replaced with values of zero.

cf_cvg 0* 126*

Cloud-free coverages tally the total number of observations that went into each 30-arc second grid cell. This band can be used to identify areas with low numbers of observations where the quality is reduced.

avg_lights_x_pct 0* 63*

The average visible band digital number (DN) of cloud-free light detections multiplied by the percent frequency of light detection. The inclusion of the percent frequency of detection term normalizes the resulting digital values for variations in the persistence of lighting. For instance, the value for a light only detected half the time is discounted by 50%. Note that this product contains detections from fires and a variable amount of background noise.

* estimated min or max value

Terms of Use

Terms of Use

NOAA data, information, and products, regardless of the method of delivery, are not subject to copyright and carry no restrictions on their subsequent use by the public. Once obtained, they may be put to any lawful use. The forgoing data is in the public domain and is being provided without restriction on use and distribution.

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Code Editor (JavaScript)

var dataset = ee.ImageCollection('NOAA/DMSP-OLS/NIGHTTIME_LIGHTS')
                  .filter('2010-01-01', '2010-12-31'));
var nighttimeLights ='avg_vis');
var nighttimeLightsVis = {
  min: 3.0,
  max: 60.0,
Map.setCenter(7.82, 49.1, 4);
Map.addLayer(nighttimeLights, nighttimeLightsVis, 'Nighttime Lights');
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