The Determination of Sky View-Factors in Urban Environments Using Video Imagery

D. G. Steyn*, J. E. Hay, Ian D. Watson, Glenn T. Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A technique is described whereby sky view-factors may be determined using a video camera equipped with a fish-eye lens. The video image is digitized and then analyzed to distinguish between "sky" and "non-sky" pixels. View-factors are calculated for each pixel and then summed for all "sky" pixels to yield a composite sky view-factor for the image. The technique is illustrated by applying it in three urban locations, all of which are characterized by high building densities (and hence complex skylines). The three images processed have sky view-factors in the range 0.15 to 0.46 (as independently determined). It is shown that the present technique produces values in close agreement with these and appears quite robust when compared with calculations based on the work of Johnson and Watson.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-764
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1986


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