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Landsat Update Special Issue September 2019

Landsat Updates are prepared periodically and distributed electronically to provide information about Landsat activities and related topics of interest.

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Landsat Collection 2 Sample Products Now Available

In 2019, the USGS intends to finalize the definition, production timeline, and public release date of Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 products. Landsat Collection 2 will improve data quality and provide more accurate information for use in land change analysis, resulting in more informed decision making.

For the Landsat user community to have sufficient time to augment their current Landsat Collection-based data processing flow, the USGS has made Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 sample data products available for download. For the most current USGS sample products, visit

Collection 2 Characteristics

A primary characteristic of Collection 2 data is the implementation of the Sentinel-2 Global Reference Image (GRI) into updated Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) ground control points for improved geometric accuracy. Landsat Collection 2 will initially deliver Landsat Level-1 data for all sensors, as well as global Level-2 surface reflectance and surface temperature data products for Landsat 8 OLI /Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper (TM). Landsat Collection 2 Level-2 Multispectral Scanner (MSS) products are not available at this time. A Level-2 MSS surface reflectance product will become available upon maturity of an operational atmospheric compensation algorithm. 

Landsat 9 Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2)/Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) data will be processed into the Collection 2 inventory structure and made available for download in early 2021. Additionally, Landsat Collection 2 will include updated, and for some regions of the world, new digital elevation model (DEM) sources while retaining a 3-arc-second resolution.

Landsat Collection 2 will be processed in a cloud computing environment that will facilitate rapid processing of the entire USGS Landsat archive. Furthermore, to improve the user community’s online search, discovery, access, and download of data products, the USGS Landsat archive will be distributed in a Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG) format. A Landsat COG-formatted product contains the same number of bands as the legacy Landsat GeoTIFF product.

Landsat Collection 2 processing is expected to start in early calendar year 2020, and will be made publicly available soon after. Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 Collection 1 data processing will continue for at least one year, and Collection 1 data product downloads will remain available even after Collection 2 is publicly available.

More detailed Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 data characteristic web pages are being prepared Their availability will be broadcast across all USGS Landsat Missions social media platforms and the Collections 2 web page once published.

Note: U.S. Landsat ARD for the conterminous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii will be made available as a standalone product using Collection 2 Level-1 inputs. The Collection 2 U.S. Landsat ARD Data Format Control Book is currently being baselined and will be distributed from this website soon.



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