When do I need an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account to access Landsat data in the cloud? Is there a cost for that?

Landsat data continue to be freely available through traditional USGS tools such as EarthExplorer, but if you prefer to access the data in the cloud, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account is required. 

Landsat data are available in the cloud via the AWS Oregon us-west-2 region. There is no charge for the Landsat data, but charges from the cloud vendor might apply for any storage, processing, and egress when using the direct access capability. These charges might depend on the type of account that you have. Contact Amazon with specific questions on cost.  

Learn More: Landsat Commercial Cloud Data Access 

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Are Landsat data in the cloud still considered to be within the public domain?

Yes. Regardless of how it is accessed, Landsat data are controlled by the USGS and considered to be an official USGS record in the public domain. Permission is not required for use. We do request that you acknowledge the USGS as the source. Learn More: USGS Copyrights and Credits statement Landsat Commercial Cloud Data Access

How long does it take to create Landsat Collection 2 Level-2 products after a Landsat scene is acquired?

Landsat Level-2 Surface Reflectance and Surface Temperature products require Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 scenes that have been processed to Tier 1 or Tier 2, as well as additional auxiliary data. For Landsat 7, the timeframe from acquisition (Real-Time (RT)) to Tier 1 or Tier 2 takes approximately 25-27 days. For Landsat 8 scenes, the timeframe...

How do I search and download Landsat Collection 2 data products?

Search Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 products using EarthExplorer (earthexplorer.usgs.gov), 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...

How do I search for and download Landsat data?

Landsat data products held in the USGS archives can be searched and downloaded at no charge from a variety of sources. Visit the Landsat Data Access web page for information about how Landsat data products can be downloaded individually or in bulk. Landsat imagery not found in the USGS archive might have been collected by one of the USGS...

Can Landsat satellite acquisition requests be made for a specific date and location?

Data acquisition requests are not available to the public. The Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 satellites each acquire data on a continual basis in accordance with their respective Long Term Acquisitions Plans. The Landsat Acquisitions page has calendars and information about daily schedules. Learn more: Landsat 8 Long Term Acquisitions Plan Landsat 7...

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...
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Date published: December 2, 2020

Every Pixel in its Place: How Collections Unlock the Potential of the Landsat Archive

Landsat satellite data have never been as valuable or as useful to the science and applications community as they are today.

Landsat research was once largely a before-and-after affair, in which scientists would compare one date of imagery to another to find differences on the landscape.

Date published: December 2, 2020

USGS Releases the Most Advanced Landsat Archive to Date

USGS sets earth observation precedent with Landsat Collection 2 Dataset.

Date published: December 1, 2020

EROS Releases Collection 2, Boosting Cloud Access, Accuracy, Value of Landsat Archive

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center is pleased to announce the December release of Landsat Collection 2, the most significant upgrade to the Landsat archive to date.

Date published: June 8, 2020

Continuous Monitoring of Land Surface Change Over 30 Years Using the Landsat Record

The USGS Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection project has released a new suite of land-cover change products for the conterminous U.S.

Date published: March 17, 2020

Landsat Data Moving to Public Cloud in Early 2020

The USGS is placing a copy of its consolidated Landsat global data inventory into a commercial cloud in early 2020.

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Color satellite image, with photos of Chris Barnes and Chris Barber and the Eyes on Earth podcast logo
December 14, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 40 – Landsat Collection 2

Landsat data is more useful today than at any other point in its nearly 50-year history. The USGS Collections strategy is a major reason why. Landsat Collections align and correct satellite acquisitions from 1972 through the present to make the data easier to work with through time. The USGS has now released Collection 2, an upgrade that improves geometric accuracy,

Landsat 8 image showing northeast Mongolia
November 19, 2020

Landsat 8 image showing northeast Mongolia

Landsat 8 image acquired on November 19, 2020 over northeast Mongolia (Path 127 Row 26). The image is shown using the shortwave infrared 1, near infrared, and red bands (bands 6,5,4).

Landsat Scene ID LC08_L1TP_127026_20201119_20201119_01_RT

August 3, 2020

Landsat in the Cloud: Will my workflow be supported?

Will my existing workflow still be supported? Landsat downloads will continue to be available via EarthExplorer, LandsatLook, and other familiar USGS tools as they are today, without a noticeable difference to the user. The Landsat record will also remain free and open, with downloads available at no charge to the user.

June 10, 2020

Landsat Data in the Cloud

The Landsat series of Earth-observing satellites has been continuously acquiring land surface imagery since 1972. Over 8.5 million Landsat scenes are currently available for download. Soon it will all be accessible from a cloud environment, in a cloud optimized format that gives you more flexible, customized access. In the past, users could spend 80% of their time

Clouds, blue sky
December 31, 2016

Cloud Hosting Solutions is the USGS cloud service provider.

USGS’s goal is to establish the most efficient, effective, and transparent portfolio of IT service delivery solutions for meeting our scientific data mission needs utilizing modern technology available via the Cloud-based solution offerings.

Example of the Landsat 8 Collection 2 products
May 3, 2013

Example of the Landsat 8 Collection 2 products

Left: Landsat 8 Collection 2 level-1 top of atmosphere reflectance image, center: Landsat 8 Collection 2 level-2 atmospherically corrected surface reflectance image, and right: Landsat 8 Collection 2 level-2 surface temperature image for an area over the Sapta Koshi River in Bairawa, Nepal (path 140 row 41) acquired on May 3, 2013.