USGS EROS Archive - Landsat Legacy - Tri-Decadal Landsat Orthorectified Single Scenes

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An overview of the Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified single scene data collection consisting of a global set of high-quality, relatively cloud-free orthorectified MSS, TM, and ETM+ scenes from Landsat 1-5 and 7.

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Tri-Decadal Landsat Single Scene - Oregon_Washington

Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified Single Scenes (left to right) MSS, TM, ETM+, ETM+ Pan-sharpened, and Systematic Correction ETM+ (Level 1G) – Area surrounding Mount Hood in Oregon and Mount Adams and Mount Rainer in Washington.  MSS image acquired July 22, 1975 (Entity ID: EMP049R28_2M19750722).  TM image acquired July 23, 1988 (Entity ID: ETP045R28_5T19880723).  ETM+ image acquired October 2, 1999 (Entity ID: ELP045R028_7T19991002).  ETM+ Pan-sharpened image acquired October 2, 1999 (Entity ID: EPP045R028_7F19991002). Systematic Correction ETM+ (Level 1G) Image acquired October 2, 1999 (Entity ID: L71045028_02819991002)
(Public domain)

The Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified data collection consists of a global set of high-quality, relatively cloud-free orthorectified MSS, TM and ETM+ imagery from Landsat 1-5 and 7. This dataset was selected and generated through NASA's Commercial Remote Sensing Program, as part of a cooperative effort between NASA and the commercial remote sensing community to provide users with access to quality-screened, high-resolution satellite images with global coverage over the Earth's land masses. The data collection was compiled via NASA contract with Earth Satellite Corporation (Rockville, MD) in association with NASA's Scientific Data Purchase program.

Ground control points are fixed, and images have been registered to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) map projection and coordinate system and the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84) datum. All image bands have been individually resampled, using a nearest neighbor algorithm. Positional accuracy on the final image product has a Root Mean Square Error of better than 100 meters (MSS) and 50 meters (TM and ETM+). The Landsat data were acquired and processed through a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract with Earth Satellite Corporation, Rockville, Maryland, and are part of NASA's Scientific Data Purchase program.

When possible, data were collected when vegetation was at peak greenness. Peak greenness was determined from global 1-kilometer Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. When peak greenness data were not available, images from other times of the year were substituted.

The Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified data collection consists of approximately 7,500 MSS (Landsat 1-5) images, 7,461 TM (Landsat 4-5) images and approximately 8,500 ETM+ (Landsat 7) images, which were selected to provide three full sets of global coverage over an approximate 25-year interval (circa 1975, circa 1990 and circa 2000). All selected images were either cloud-free or contained minimal cloud cover. In addition, only images with a high-quality ranking in regards to the possible presence of errors such as missing scans or saturated bands were selected.

The following data products are available from the Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified data collection:

Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified MSS  

The average acquisition date for the Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified MSS data is in the mid-1970s relative to a 1990 acquisition baseline for the Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified TM images. +/-3 years of the 1990 baseline). However, individual scenes range from 1972 to 1987. These Landsat data were orthorectified, using geodetic and elevation control data to correct for positional accuracy and relief displacement. Large blocks of Landsat data were adjusted through a patented procedure that uses pixel correlation to acquire tie-points within the overlap area between adjacent Landsat images. The Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified MSS single scene data collection selection consists of approximately 7,500 MSS (Landsat 1-5) images. Digital Object Identification (DOI): /10.5066/P94V1KV7

Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified TM  

The average acquisition date for the Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified TM data is 1990 (+/- 3 years). However, individual scenes range from 1985 to 1996. These Landsat data have been orthorectified, using geodetic and elevation control data to correct for positional accuracy and relief displacement. Large blocks of Landsat data were adjusted through a patented procedure using pixel correlation to acquire tie-points within the overlap area between adjacent Landsat images. Digital Object Identification (DOI): /10.5066/P9I149MA

Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified ETM+ 

The average acquisition date for the Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified ETM+ data is 2000 (+/- 1 year). All scenes were acquired between 1999 and 2001. These data have been orthorectified for co-registration with the earlier (circa 1990) Landsat TM coverage. Digital Object Identification (DOI): /10.5066/P9UFZWVU

Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified ETM+ Pan-sharpened

These data products consist of pan-sharpened versions of the ETM+ scenes above. The pan-sharpening process involved a resolution merging process, which allows the fusion of the higher-resolution panchromatic band (8) with selected lower-resolution multispectral bands (7,4,2) to create a higher-resolution ("pan-sharpened") color image. Digital Object Identification (DOI): /10.5066/P90MVN4R

Systematic Correction (Level 1G) (SLC-on and SLC-off)

The Level 1G (L1G) data product provides systematic radiometric and geometric accuracy, which is derived from data collected by the sensor and spacecraft. The scenes were rotated, aligned, and georeferenced to UTM map projection. Geometric accuracy of the systematically corrected product should be within 250 meters (1 sigma) for low-relief areas at sea level. The SLC-off product includes the original data gaps. Duplicated pixels have been replaced with null values (zero-fill); therefore the image contains alternating stripes of missing data. A scan gap mask is included with the final product. Please click here for more information on SLC-off L1G data. The Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified single scene data collection selection consists of approximately 9,600 Systematic Correction (Level 1G) images. Digital Object Identification (DOI): /10.5066/P9L6UMCC

Processing Parameters

All Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified data products have been pre-processed according to a standardized set of processing parameters.

  MSS TM ETM+ ETM+ Pan-sharpened Systematic Correction
Level of processing Terrain corrected Terrain corrected Terrain corrected Terrain corrected Terrain corrected
Number of bands
(Band designations)
4 7 9 3 (bands 7,4,2) 9
Resolution 57 m 28.5 m 28.5 m 14.25 m 14.25 m
Projection Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
Datum WGS84 WGS84 WGS84 WGS84 WGS84
Resampling Nearest Neighbor Nearest Neighbor Nearest Neighbor Cubic Convolution Modulation Transfer Function
Format GeoTIFF GeoTIFF* GeoTIFF GeoTIFF GeoTIFF

*Includes a separate NLAPS header file.

Coverage Maps

Coverage Maps indicating the availability of MSS products are available for download.

Coverage Maps indicating the availability of TM products are available for download.

Coverage Maps indicating the availability of ETM+ products are available for download.

Coverage Maps indicating the availability of ETM+ Pan-Sharpened products are available for download.

Coverage Maps indicating the availability of Systematic Correction products are available for download.

Access Data

Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified MSS, TM, ETM+, ETM+ Pan Sharpened, and Systematic Correction (Level 1G) single scene data can be searched and downloaded from EarthExplorer. The collections are located under the Landsat Legacy category.