Proxy measures for growth are fun:
Growth in light intensity not only “gives a very useful proxy for GDP growth over the long term;” the authors also found that it “tracks short term fluctuations in growth.” One example shows the dramatic contrast in long term growth between North and South Korea, and gives a picture of how quickly South Korea has developed over the last two decades:
The Korean peninsula. Click for larger image.
Another example illustrates how genocide literally darkened Rwanda in 1994:
Rwanda, before, during and after the 1994 genocide. Click for larger image.
There seems to be some darkening in North Korea too. Effect of the famine?