URBAN LANDSCAPE SPATIAL PATTERN ESTIMATION OF CITIES IN SHANDONG PROVINCE USING NIGHTTIME LUMINOSITY DATA
China’s cities have been undergoing rapid and intense urbanization processes in the past few decades. Shandong is a coastal province which is located in East China with big economy and population scales, and which also plays an important role in the rapid process of China’s modernization. The DMSP/OLS dataset has been widely used for the urban development assessments in long time-series and large spatial scales situations. In this paper, we used a time series of nighttime light data to estimate the landscape spatial pattern changes of cities in Shandong province from 1994 to 2012. Nine landscape metrics were calculated and analyzed to figure out the spatial patterns of urban area developments of the cities in Shandong province. The landscape metrics include the number of patches (NP), the landscape total area (TA), the aggregation index (AI), the largest patch index (LPI), the mean patch area (AREA_MN), the landscape shape index (LSI), the total edge length (TE), the edge density (ED), and the mean radius of gyration (GYRATE_MN). The experimental results reveal that, in 1994–2012, the total urban area of cities in Shandong province expanded for 1.17 times, the average urban area increased by about 93.00%, the average annual growth rate of the TE metric is 2.67 %, while the ED metric decreased about 1.44 % annually. Bigger cities in this area show relative slower urbanization development processes, such as Jinan and Qingdao. Coastal cities represented much more rapid expansion velocities than inland cities. In the middle area of Shandong province, the connectivity between developed urban areas was constantly increased.