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Special Issue April 2020: Landsat Collection 2 Overview

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Example of Landsat Collection 2
Example of the Landsat Collection 2 Level-2 Surface Reflectance science product over Seattle, Washington. Landsat 5 TM image acquired October 6, 2010 (bands 4,3,2)

In mid-2020, Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 surface reflectance and surface temperature scene-based products will be publicly available for download. Landsat Collection 2 will improve data quality and provide more accurate information for applications using Landsat, including time-series analysis, resulting in more informed decision-making.

Landsat Collection 2 marks the second major reprocessing effort on the Landsat archive by the USGS that results in several data product improvements that harness recent advancements in data processing, algorithm development, and data access and distribution capabilities. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) changed to a Collections based Landsat Archive in 2016 ensuring radiometric and geometric consistency within a collection and providing a stable environmental record. If significant changes are required, all data will be reprocessed, and a new collection released.

A primary characteristic of Collection 2 is the substantial improvement in the absolute geolocation accuracy of the global ground reference dataset, improving interoperability of the Landsat archive through time. Collection 2 also includes updated global digital elevation modeling sources and calibration and validation updates.

Collection 2 is comprised of Landsat Level-1 data for all sensors since 1972, as well as global Level-2 surface reflectance and surface temperature scene-based products from 1984 to present within defined constraints.

Collection 1 based products, including Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS and Landsat 7 ETM+ Collection 1 Level-1, U.S. Landsat ARD, and Level-3 Science Products data processing and downloads, will remain available for at least one year after Collection 2 is publicly released.

Visit the Landsat Collection 2 web page to review summaries of the characteristics of Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 data products.

Updated Landsat Collection 2 Sample Products and Metadata

For the Landsat user community to have enough 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.

Please note: Updated Collection 2 sample products are now available from the Landsat Sample Products page that incorporate minor corrections that were identified during verification of the Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 products. Users are strongly encouraged to replace any previously downloaded Collection 2 sample products with the latest sample products. 

Additionally, several changes have been made to the Level-1 metadata delivered with the Landsat Collection 2 product, including what metadata fields are visible on EarthExplorer and in the bulk metadata files. Please visit the Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 Metadata Additions and Changes page for more information on these changes.

Example of the Landsat Collection 2 products
Example of the Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 and Level-2 sample products from path 140 row 41, acquired on May 3, 2013. Left: Level-1 Top of Atmosphere. Middle: Level-2 Surface Reflectance. Right: Level-2 Surface Temperature.

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

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