Landsat Updates

May 2018 Landsat Level-1 Metadata Changes

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Over the last twelve months the USGS has been working on streamlining and consolidating Landsat Level-1 metadata fields across all sensors in the Landsat archive.  This consolidation effort will ensure consistency for already-archived data, while preparing the archive for the next generation of Landsat missions, starting with the launch of Landsat 9 in December 2020. 

During the week of May 14, 2018, the USGS will finalize this consolidation effort. 

Beginning Monday, May 14, 2018, access to Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 and Level-2 datasets will be intermittently available from all USGS data portals. Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 Collection 1 Level-1 datasets will be fully available on EarthExplorer (EE) by the end of Monday, with Landsat 4-5 TM and Landsat 1-5 MSS becoming available on Tuesday, May 15.  The ordering and processing of Landsat Collection 1 Level-2 on-demand datasets will also resume on Tuesday, May 15. 

After this effort, methods used to access and download Landsat Level-1 products will not change, although some metadata fields will be impacted by this update — including the visible metadata on EE, the metadata downloadable exports from EE, and the metadata downloaded from the Landsat Missions Web Site bulk metadata service.  The following tables display and describe these changes.

NOTE: The Metadata file (MTL.txt) delivered with the Landsat Level-1 products will not be changing.

 

Landsat Level-1 Metadata Field Changes

The following visible metadata fields have been changed:

Landsat Level-1 Metadata Field Changes

Table 1. Field names  changed in the visible metadata on EarthExplorer, EarthExplorer metadata exports, and files downloaded from the Landsat Missions Web Site bulk metadata service.

Landsat Level-1 Metadata Field Removals

Several fields have been removed from the metadata available through the EE full metadata display and metadata exports, because they are no longer applicable, such as the fields listed in the table below

Landsat Level-1 Metadata Field Removals

Table 2. Field names removed from the visible metadata on EarthExplorer, EarthExplorer metadata exports, and files downloaded from the Landsat Missions Web Site bulk metadata service.

Landsat Full-Resolution Browse Changes

In the Level-1 Full-Resolution Browse, Landsat 1-7 previously used RGB 0,0,0 to represent the fill areas of the image.  Going forward, the fill will use NoData (see the images below):

Landsat Full-Resolution Browse Changes

Figure 1. These images display the Landsat Level-1 Full Resolution Browse image, and the changes made to the fill areas of the images. The left image displays RGB 0,0,0, while the right image displays the new value of NoData.

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