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Princeton study: Nighttime images help track disease from the sky
Date:12/8/2011

ing the use of nighttime lights with other large-scale population-tracking methods such as the monitoring of mobile-phone usage. When used alone, both methods have their shortcomings, Bharti said. Nighttime lights imagery is susceptible to weather conditions, while mobile-phone usage data is biased in the portion of the population it can represent, she said. Bharti and her co-authors hope that when nighttime imagery is combined with other techniques, the measures will be complementary.

In addition, Bharti said, the team is looking at uses for nighttime satellite data outside of epidemiology that also involve mass migration, such as tracking population displacement during a war or following a natural disaster.

"We now have a technique that allows us to observe and measure changes in population density," Bharti said. "This short-term use of nighttime lights data could apply to a number of different situations beyond seasonal migrations and infectious diseases, such as humanitarian and disaster aid. We're excited about the potential this method has for other important global health issues. "


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Contact: Morgan Kelly
mgnkelly@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University
Source:Eurekalert  

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