Frequently Asked Questions

Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Data

The USGS provides the mapping and digital geospatial foundation for the Nation.

Filter Total Items: 213
Landsat Collection 2 product examples
Search Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 products using EarthExplorer, which is the primary portal used to search all data held in the USGS EROS archives.   While Landsat Collection 2 products are processed and stored in the USGS Cloud Hosting Solution (CHS) environment, downloads are managed through EarthExplorer. The USGS Landsat no-cost...
Color Landsat 8 image of Palm Springs, CA
A Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG) is a GeoTIFF file with an internal organization that enables more efficient workflows in the cloud environment.  It does this by leveraging the ability of clients issuing ​HTTP GET range requests to ask for just the parts of a file they need. Learn more:   Landsat COG Data Format Control Book   USGS Digital...
L8 Collection 2 Full Resolution Browse Samples: Reflective, Thermal, and Quality Band
Similar to Landsat Collection 1 LandsatLook Images, the Landsat Collection 2 Full Resolution Browse Images are .JPG and .TIF images with geographic referencing that are compressed and stretched to create an image optimized for image selection and visual interpretation. They are derived from Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 data and are available to...
National Map Viewer with draw tool open
Base map data layers in The National Map Viewer are for viewing only. This application is designed for visualizing data, combining different data layers, and creating (and printing) your own maps. To download data from The National Map, see the link at the top of the Viewer for the Data Download Client.  None of the base map layers are available...
Global Multi-resolution Terrain Elevation Data 2010 (GMTED2010)
Download free global elevation data products using AppEEARS or  EarthExplorer. Free registration is required. In AppEEARS: Download Aster Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM version 3) 1-arc-second (30m) resolution GeoTIFF format Acquired 2000-2013   In EarthExplorer, select “Digital Elevation” under the "Data Sets" tab and choose an option: ...
Color map of land use and land cover in West Africa, circa 1975
Access global land cover data using two sources on EarthExplorer: Global Land Cover Characterization (GLCC)  Select "Land Cover" under the "Data Sets" tab in EarthExplorer. Then select area of coverage and projection under "Additional Criteria" tab. Derived from 1-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data collected April 1992-March...
Screenshot from NHD Seminar 6 Presentation showing Terrain Catchments
The USGS does not require a specific format when citing data obtained through The National Map; you should follow the citation guidelines provided by instructors or publication editors as appropriate. The following should help you find the information that you need:  Citation for Datasets Author: U.S. Geological Survey Release date: the first...
3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
Status maps showing 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) product availability and recent updates are on the 3DEP Product Availability site. Areas containing recent updates are refreshed on a monthly basis. Download spatial metadata shapefiles showing the updated areas for each product from the 3DEP Product Metadata site. Acquire updated products through...
Lidar-derived Digital Elevation Model over Zion National Park, Utah
Digital elevation data are available through The National Map Download Client. Click the “How To” link at the top of the viewer for detailed instructions on how to find and download data. There is a seperate site for Services. The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital...
1951 USGS legacy topographic map of the Monson West, ME
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States since 1879. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. Download all dates and scales of USGS topographic maps free of charge from the following applications or order paper copies of all...
Sentinel-2A satellite image showing the Crater Lake in Oregon.
The Sentinel-2A MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) data has spectral bands very similar to Landsat 8 (excluding the thermal bands of Landsat 8’s Thermal Infrared Sensor). Source: https://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Landsat.v.Sentinel-2.png (Public domain.)   Learn more: USGS EROS Sentinel-2 Landsat Comparison
Geospatial Data Analysis Corporation corn map of South Africa
Traditional Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) convention distinguishes between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In the Northern Hemisphere, the UTM zone is a positive value or identified as UTM North. In the Southern Hemisphere, the UTM zone is a negative value or identified as UTM South. UTM North scenes in this convention have a false...