What is the Worldwide Reference System (WRS)?

The Worldwide Reference System (WRS) is a global system that catalogs Landsat data by Path and Row numbers. Landsat satellites 1, 2 and 3 followed WRS-1, and Landsat satellites 4,5,7, 8, and 9 follow WRS-2. 

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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 are Landsat 5 TM "no-Payload Correction Data" scenes?

Payload Correction Data (PCD) provides critical information when correcting for geometric distortions inherent to the imaging system and temperature values used to estimate per-scan gains and biases necessary for the radiometric calibration of the instrument's thermal band data. Over 260,000 Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) scenes acquired between...

How do I open Landsat satellite data files?

Many image processing programs (ERDAS IMAGINE®, PCI Geomatica®, ENVI®, IDRISI®, etc.)* can import a variety of image formats, including the GeoTIFF files of Landsat data. Free Multispec software that is included with the USGS lesson plan Tracking Change Over Time can be used for limited spectral analysis. To view Landsat scenes without using...

What are some known issues that users might find in Landsat data?

A number of artifacts and anomalies can happen to any remote sensing data. Banding, dropped scan lines, and detector failures are only a few of the anomalies that can be seen in Landsat data. Go to Landsat Known Issues for details about anomalies that have been discovered and investigated.

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 is the Landsat satellite program and why is it important?

The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. On July 23, 1972, in cooperation with NASA, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1) was launched. It was later renamed Landsat 1. Additional Landsat satellites followed in the 1970s and 1980s. Landsat 7 was...

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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May 24, 2018

Landsat in Action - Infrastructure of Landsat Data with Matt Hansen

Matt Hansen talks about the value of Landsat data as an infrastructure for research and innovation.

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.

February 27, 2018

Landsat's Calibration and Validation

Engineers and scientists from both Landsat and Sentinel missions are working together to calibrate observation data and validate its quality to improve the science using these resources.

Landsat Global Archive Consolidation WRS 2 Scenes

Landsat Global Archive Consolidation WRS 2 Scenes

Landsat Global Archive Consolidation WRS 2 Scenes as of December 31,2020. Visit the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation page for more details. 

Landsat Global Archive Consolidation WRS 1 Scenes

Landsat Global Archive Consolidation WRS 1 Scenes

Landsat Global Archive Consolidation WRS 1 Scenes as of December 31, 2020. Visit the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation page for more details.