Can Landsat Collection Real-Time scenes be used in my research?

Landsat Collections Real-Time (RT) data provide temporary data within 12 hours of acquisition in support of the International Charter to help mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.

The RT tier contains data received from Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 immediately after acquisition. Estimated radiometric and geometric calibration parameters are applied to these scenes. When final radiometric and geometric calibration parameters are calculated (about 16 days for Landsat 8; about 26 days for Landsat 7), the RT scenes are reprocessed with the more precise calibration parameters and placed into either Tier 1 or Tier 2.

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How can I tell the difference between Landsat Collections data and Landsat data I have downloaded in the past?

The first indication you have data processed meeting Collections specifications is that your data will have a Landsat Product Identifier, not the historical Landsat Scene ID. Along with information inherited from the Scene ID, the Landsat Product Identifier includes the processing level, processing date, collection number, and collection category...

What are Landsat Collection Tiers?

Landsat Collection Tiers are the inventory structure for Level-1 data products and are based on data quality and level of processing. The tier definition purpose is to support easier identification of suitable scenes for time-series pixel-level analysis, and provide temporary data that are processed immediately upon downlink to be dispensed...

What are Landsat Collections?

In 2016, the USGS reorganized the Landsat archive into a tiered collection. This structure ensures that Landsat Level-1 products provide a consistent archive of known data quality to support time-series analyses and data “stacking”, while controlling continuous improvement of the archive and access to all data as they are acquired. Learn more:...

What are the band designations for the Landsat satellites?

The sensors aboard each of the Landsat satellites were designed to acquire data in different ranges of frequencies along the electromagnetic spectrum ( View Bandpass Wavelengths for all Landsat Sensors ). The Multispectral Scanner (MSS) carried on Landsat 1,2,3,4 and 5 collected data in four ranges (bands); the Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor on...

What is the naming convention for Landsat Collections Level-1 scenes?

The Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 product identifier includes the Collection processing levels, processing date, collection number, and collection iter category: LXSS_LLLL_PPPRRR_YYYYMMDD_yyyymmdd_CC_TX Where: L = Landsat X = Sensor (“C”=OLI/TIRS combined, “O”=OLI-only, “T”=TIRS-only, “E”=ETM+, “T”=“TM, “M”=MSS) SS = Satellite (”07”=Landsat 7, “08...

After a Landsat scene is collected, when will it become available for search and download?

Landsat scenes directly downlinked to the USGS EROS Landsat Ground Station become available through EarthExplorer within 6 hours after acquisition, and then become visible in GloVis and the LandsatLook Viewe r within 24 hours. Scenes downlinked to other USGS Ground Stations can be available within 1 to 2 weeks. Scenes downlinked to International...

Are there any restrictions on the use or redistribution of Landsat data?

There are no restrictions on Landsat data downloaded from the USGS; it can be used or redistributed as desired. We do request that you include a statement of the data source when citing, copying, or reprinting USGS Landsat data or images. Details are on the EROS Data Citation page. Learn more: USGS Copyrights and Credits statement

What are the best Landsat spectral bands for use in my research?

The Spectral Characteristics Viewer is an interactive tool that can be used to visualize how the bands--or channels--of different satellite sensors measure the intensity of the many wavelengths (colors) of light. This is also known as the relative spectral response (RSR). By overlaying the spectral curves from different features (spectra), one can...
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Date published: April 11, 2019

LCMAP Captures ‘Stories of Change’ with New Datasets

If a new homeowner wants to know the history of their abode, there are places to turn.

County offices list ownership details and building permits, showing the dates of additions, fences and the like. If the house is old enough, local historical societies may even have archived photographs of the home’s exterior at various points in time.

Date published: March 24, 2017

New “Landsat Collections” Help Facilitate Land Change Science

Access to consistent high-quality images to study changes on Earth’s surface is getting easier. The USGS Landsat standard (Level-1) product inventory is now structured by data quality and offers improved calibration. Data designated as Tier 1 provide the highest accuracy and can be reliably used to analyze changes to Earth’s surface over time.

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Landsat image of flooding along Missouri River from March 2019
March 18, 2019

Missouri River Flooding, Landsat - 2019

Landsat 8 image of 2019 flooding along the Missouri River.

April 18, 2018

Landsat in Action - The Accuracy of Landsat with Jeff Masek

Landsat 9 Project Scientist Jeff Masek discusses the ways Landsat data is used and how important it is to have high quality data.
 

March 23, 2018

Landsat in Action - The Importance of Landsat with Curtis Woodcock

Boston University Professor Curtis Woodcock talks about the significance Landsat was had in science and what he hopes to see as the mission continues.
 

December 31, 2017

Landsat Collections

Landsat Collections: Providing a Stable Environmental Record for Time Series Analysis

This video introduces the new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Collection 1 inventory structure. Collection 1 required the reprocessing of all archived Landsat data to achieve radiometric and geometric consistency of Level-1 products through time and across all Landsat sensors

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September 19, 2017

Landsat Collections — What are Tiers?

This is the third video in a series describing the new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Collection 1 inventory structure. Collection 1 required the reprocessing of all archived Landsat data to achieve radiometric and geometric consistency of Level-1 products through time and across all Landsat sensors. This video explains how Landsat Collection Level-1 data products

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June 30, 2017

Landsat Collections - RMSE

Landsat Collections: Providing a Stable Environment Record for Time Series Analysis

This is the second of a three-part video series describing the new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Collection 1 inventory structure. Collection 1 required the reprocessing of all archived Landsat data to achieve radiometric and geometric consistency of Level-1 products through

...
March 31, 2017

Landsat 8 Swath Animation

The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center has created a video animation describing how Landsat 8 orbits the Earth. The video explains the 16-day cycle for capturing imagery of the entire world.
 

Souris River Flooding - 2011

Landsat 7 was overhead on Saturday, June 25, 2011 as the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota exceeded the 1881 flooding record by over 4 feet.

The images below show the area before the flooding on May 16, and again on June 25. This 

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Missouri River Flooding - Landsat

Landsat images from March of 2018 and March of 2019 show a stretch of the Missouri, Platte, and Elkhorn rivers in a full scene that stretches from just north of Sioux City, IA, to south of Omaha, NE. The first image shows the rivers at normal levels. The second highlights the extent of flooding along all three rivers and the cities built along them one year later.