These DMSP images are typically utilized to show regional differences. One example is an image of Jordan in 2005 and Syria in 2011 after their respective wars. The images show those two countries going significantly darker (due to disrupted power supply) compared to neighboring countries.
Dietmar Offenhuber, an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the departments of Art + Design and Public Policy, is using these images for a different purpose. He has completed a project that visualizes temporal changes in urban radiance from 1992 until 2015, making it the first interactive visualization of radiance time series data, allowing users to change the time difference by moving their mouse over the map. The images of the maps are a combination of two different points in time. The blue areas indicate an earlier moment, which darkened over time, meaning there was a decrease in public illumination. The orange areas are from a later time, and signify areas that have increased in public illumination. Black and white areas in the map are ones that showed no change.