Liu, HL; Luo, NX; Hu, CC (2020). Detection of County Economic Development Using LJ1-01 Nighttime Light Imagery: A Comparison with NPP-VIIRS Data. SENSORS, 20(22), 6633.

Nighttime light (NTL) remote sensing data have been widely used to derive socioeconomic indicators at the national and regional scales to study regional economic development. However, most previous studies only chose a single measurement indicator (such as GDP) and adopted simple regression methods to investigate the economic development of a certain area based on DMSP-OLS or NPP-VIIRS stable NTL data. The status quo shows the problems of using a single evaluation index-it has a low evaluation precision. The LJ1-01 satellite is the first dedicated NTL remote sensing satellite in the world, launched in July 2018. The data provided by LJ1-01 have a higher spatial resolution and fewer blooming phenomena. In this paper, we compared the accuracy of the LJ1-01 data and NPP-VIIRS data in detecting county-level multidimensional economic development. In three provinces in China, namely, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi, 20 socioeconomic parameters were selected from the following five perspectives: economic conditions, people's livelihood, social development, public resources and natural vulnerability. Then, a County-level Economic Index (CEI) was constructed to evaluate the level of multidimensional economic development, with the spatial pattern of the multidimensional economic development also identified across the study area. The present study adopted the random forest (RF) and linear regression (LR) algorithms to establish the regression model individually, and the results were evaluated by cross-validation. The results show that the RF algorithm greatly improves the accuracy of the model compared with the LR algorithm, and thus is suitable for the study of NTL data. In addition, a better determinate coefficient (R-2) based on the LJ1-01 data (0.8168) was obtained than that from the NPP-VIIRS data (0.7245) in the RF model, which reflects that the LJ1-01 data offer better potential in the evaluation of socioeconomic parameters and can be used to identify, both accurately and efficiently, multidimensional economic development at the county level.