Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD)
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has improved Landsat data quality and usability through the creation of Analysis Ready Data (ARD) for the conterminous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Landsat ARD greatly reduces the preparatory work currently required to do time-series analysis for understanding landscape change for operational and science users. Landsat Collections Level-1 scenes are the input for generating Landsat ARD. ARD provides users with significant flexibility in how they access Landsat data. For example, users have the ability to tailor data requests according to specific needs in terms of geospatial regions of interest, spectral bands, and collection dates to generate customized data cube stacks for the purposes of data reduction, time series analysis, and interpretation.
The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellites co-managed by USGS and NASA, and offers the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. Every day, Landsat satellites orbit Earth and provide essential information to help land managers and policymakers make informed decisions about our natural resources and environment. All Landsat data are distributed by the USGS at no charge from EarthExplorer, GloVis, and the LandsatLook Viewer. To learn more about the Landsat Program please visit https://landsat.usgs.gov/ or follow us on Twitter @USGSLandsat or Facebook @NASA.Landsat.
Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US
Content created by Andy Dykstra and Linda Owen (Contractors to USGS EROS)
Brian Sauer —
Downloading lots of Landsat data and applying
these algorithms is complex.
ARD is really a product that takes the burden
off the user.
Landsat Analysis Ready Data are new data products
available from the USGS.
These products are processed to the highest
scientific standards for time series analysis,
taking Landsat Collections Level – 1 terrain
corrected scenes and generating data ready
to be analyzed without any further processing
Brian Sauer —
With the scenes as we use them in Landsat
today, they’ll drift as the satellite drifts
east to west, west to east.
Those scenes will actually shift a little
bit within the WRS2 specification that we
When we do ARD, we take those scenes and we
fix them into a grid system.
So when people go to the upper left corner
of a horizontal and vertical number, which
is how they’re gridded up, they know exactly
where that location is.
And the data is always there in that location.
Each ARD tile is a 5,000 pixel square.
Every Landsat scene with data over that tile
contributes to the stack.
Whether the tile is full or partially covered,
all the data Landsat acquires for an area
is ready for analysis.
ARD also includes information on the usability
of each pixel.
Brian Sauer —
It includes pixel level metadata, so that
people that are using it in applications can
quickly filter out the data that they may
not be interested in.
A common example is clouds.
So they can quickly go and get a stack of
data, filter out those clouds, and use it
in their application.
So, we’re trying to take the burden off
the user, so they can use the data readily
in their application and their, whatever algorithm
they’re trying to apply it to the data.
Analysis Ready Data is the best way to get
every pixel of data from Landsat.
ARD products from Landsat 4 and above are
available to search and download from Earth