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Question:

How can I tell the difference between Landsat Collection 1 data and Landsat data I have downloaded in the past?

Answer:

The first indication you have data processed meeting Collections specifications is that your data will have the new Landsat Product Identifier, which replaces the Landsat Scene ID.

Along with information inherited from the Scene ID, the new Landsat Product Identifier also includes the processing level, processing date, collection number, and collection category (noted in red in the graphic below.)

Landsat Product Identifier

The Scene ID is listed in the metadata file (MTL.txt) delivered with the Level-1 data product, and is also visible and searchable (along with the new Collection 1 Landsat Product ID) in the online metadata on EarthExplorer.

The Landsat Collections Web page contains the details about the Collection 1 effort.