Landsat Missions

Landsat Data Access

Landsat data products held in the USGS archives can be searched and downloaded at no charge from a variety of sources. This page provides details about which data access portals may work best, based on the data desired. 

The table below provides a quick reference to each data download/order source per product. Details about the data portals and products are listed below the table. 

Landsat Data Access Portals

  Landsat Collections
Level-1 Scenes
U.S. Landsat
Analysis Ready Data Tiles
Level-2 Scenes
Landsat   Level-3  
Graphical interface used to define areas of interest by address, zip code, place name,
or using the map. Queries can be applied to multiple collections simultaneously
X X X* X
Visualization viewer that provides access to select datasets within the USGS remote sensing archive
Viewer used to access Landsat data in the USGS archive
ESPA On-Demand Interface
Processing system that allows higher-level data processing requests
EarthExplorer API  (Request access to the API HERE)
Allows users to search and download imagery as well as retrieve metadata from the
EROS inventory by using simple HTTP communications through various programming languages
X X   X
EarthExplorer Bulk Download Application (BDA)
Useful for downloading large quantities of Landsat Level-1 scenes and can be used to automatically retrieve them with little to no user interaction
X X   X
Allows users to interact with using simple HTTP communications through the programming language of their choice
ESPA Bulk Downloader
Can be utilized to automatically download completed scenes
*Processing required; immediate downloads not available
1Landsat Collections Level-1 Scenes include: Top of Atmosphere (TOA) Reflectance 
2 U.S. Landsat Analysis Ready Data Tiles include: Top of Atmosphere (TOA) Reflectance, TOA Brightness Temperature, Surface Reflectance, Provisional Surface Temperature, and Pixel Quality Assessment

3 Landsat Level-2 Scenes include: Surface Reflectance (on-demand processing), SR-derived Spectral Indices
4 Landsat Level-3 Tiles include: Dynamic Surface Water Extent, Burned Area, and Fractional Snow  Covered Area   
Landsat Bulk Metadata Service
Extract scene metadata from the Landsat inventory for Landsat-related datasets.
X X    


Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 Scenes

All Landsat 1-5 Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI)/Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) Collections Level-1 scenes are made available for download at no charge from EarthExplorer, GloVis, or the LandsatLook Viewer.  Newly acquired Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 scenes become available for download typically less than 12 hours after data acquisition.  

On the EarthExplorer Data Sets tab, Level-1 scenes can be found under the Landsat category, Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 subcategory, as shown in the image below.

The EarthExplorer Data Set tab displays Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 datasets

Landsat Level-1 Bulk Orders

The EarthExplorer Scene List Upload tool allows users to upload text files, and EarthExplorer Metadata exports or fast and easy downloading of Landsat and many other datasets found on EarthExplorer. 

Landsat Level-1 Bulk Downloads

The Bulk Download Application is an easy-to-use tool for downloading large quantities of Landsat Level-1 scenes, and can be used to automatically retrieve them with little to no user interaction. The application will automatically iterate through the scene list and download each until all have been processed. Downloads can be paused, skipped, and resumed easily.

On the EarthExplorer Results tab, scenes can be added to a bulk order by selecting the gold folder, as highlighted in the image below.

EarthExplorer Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 Bulk Download Selection

U.S. Landsat Level-2 Analysis Ready Data (ARD) Tiles

ARD Tiles contain products that are consistently processed to the highest scientific standards and level of processing required for direct use in monitoring and assessing landscape change. ARD tiles contain Top-of-Atmosphere Reflectance, Top-of-Atmosphere Brightness Temperature, Surface Reflectance, Provisional Surface Temperature, and Pixel-level Quality Assessment data. U.S. Landsat Level-2 ARD are available for the Conterminous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii, and are downloadable at no charge from EarthExplorer.

On the EarthExplorer Data Sets tab, ARD Tiles can be found under the Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) section, as shown in the image below.

Landsat Surface Temperature data available under ARD in EarthExplorer

Landsat ARD Tiles Bulk Downloads

Like in the Level-1 Scenes section described above, the Bulk Download Application can be used to download a large number of ARD Tiles. 

Landsat Level-2 Science Scenes

Currently, Level-2 Surface Reflectance scene-based data are processed by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Science Processing Architecture (ESPA) On Demand Interface.  Users can access ESPA directly or use EarthExplorer to submit Surface Reflectance processing requests:

ESPA: Requests submitted directly to ESPA require scenes be listed one per line within a text file (.txt). Along with Surface Reflectance processing, ESPA allows users to select several additional products and basic processing services:

  • Source products (Original input Level-1 product or metadata)
  • Top-of-Atmosphere Reflectance, Surface Reflectance, or Band 6 Top-of-Atmosphere Brightness Temperature products
  • Surface Reflectance-based Spectral Indices: NDVI, NDMI, NBR, SAVI, EVI
  • Customizable output options: data format, reprojection, modifying the image extents, and pixel resizing
  • Inter-comparison and output product statistics plotting

All orders submitted through ESPA are processed within 2-5 days, depending on the size of the order and the quantity of orders in the system. An email confirmation is provided when the order is received, and another email is sent when the data is processed and includes a download link.

Landsat Level-2 Bulk Ordering and Downloading

The ESPA Application Programming Interface (API) allows users to interact with using simple HTTP communications through the programming language of their choice.

The ESPA Bulk Downloader can be utilized to automatically download completed scenes.

EarthExplorer: Requests for Surface Reflectance data processing for individual Landsat scenes can be submitted from EarthExplorer. These requests will be sent to the ESPA On-Demand interface for processing and data delivery.

On the EarthExplorer Data Sets tab, Surface Reflectance scenes can be found under the Landsat Collection 1 Level-2 (On-Demand) section. 

Landsat Level-3 Science Tiles

Landsat Level-3 Burned Area, Dynamic Surface Water Extent, and Fractional Snow Covered Area products are generated from U.S. Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) Surface Reflectance data and are available to download from EarthExplorer. 

On the EarthExplorer Data Sets tab, Level-3 products can be found under the Landsat Collection 1 Level-2 (On-Demand) section, as shown in the image below. 

EarthExplorer Landsat Level-3 Datasets