Landsat Missions

Landsat Data Access

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There are a number of ways to access data held in the USGS archives, which are described below.

There are no restrictions on Landsat data downloaded from USGS EROS, and it can be used or redistributed as desired. However, a statement of the data source when citing, copying, or reprinting USGS Landsat data or images is requested. Details can be found on the EROS Data Citation page.

Landsat Level-1 Data Products

Most Landsat Level-1 Data Products are available for immediate download. For scenes not immediately downloadable, a processing order can be placed. After successful processing, an email notification is returned with the direct download location.

Before downloading Landsat data, it is important to understand that a number of files will be included, and how the individual band files work together in image processing software to create a final RGB color image. Please see these pages for more details:

Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 Data Products

All Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 data products held in the USGS archives can be searched by using:

EarthExplorer – Provides a graphical user interface to define areas of interest (AOI) by place name, address, zip code or creating an AOI on the interactive map. Queries can be applied to multiple collections simultaneously.  (Landsat Collection 1 Data Sets are listed under the Landsat Archive section on the Data Set tab. User login required to download data and/or metadata.)

GloVis – A next-generation global visualization viewer provides access to select data sets within the USGS remote sensing archive.

LandsatLook Viewer – Allows rapid online viewing and access to the USGS Landsat Pre-Collection image archives.

Landsat Pre-Collection Level-1 Data Products

EarthExplorer – As of April 30, 2017, new Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 data acquisitions are no longer processed into the Pre-Collection archive, but only into Collection 1 archive.  As the Landsat archives complete transition to Collection 1, the Pre-Collection Data Sets under the Landsat Archive section will be removed: in October 2017, the Landsat 8, Landsat 7, and Landsat 4-5 TM Data Sets will be removed.   The Landsat 1-5 MSS Data Set will remain until the data has been completely processed into Collection 1, which is slated to start in late 2017.

Landsat Data File List Ordering Tool

The File List Ordering Tool allows text file, metadata export, and scene list uploads for more effective downloading and/or ordering for all datasets visible on EarthExplorer.  User login required.

Bulk Download Application (BDA)

The Bulk Download Application (BDA) is an easy-to-use tool for downloading large quantities of data visible on EarthExplorer. Once scenes are added to a Bulk Order via Earth Explorer, the Bulk Download Application can be used to automatically retrieve them with little to no user interaction. The application will automatically iterate through the scene list and download each until all have been processed. It allows the user to re-arrange, pause, skip, and resume downloads at will.

Higher-Level Science Data Products

Surface Reflectance and other higher-level science data products for Landsat Collection 1 data products can be requested through the pages described below.

USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Science Processing Architecture (ESPA) On Demand Interface – Allows text file (*.txt) uploads of Landsat Collection 1 Level-1 or MODIS scenes, and the selection of select  Climate Data Records and other Higher-Level Landsat data products (such as top-of-atmosphere (TOA) reflectance, surface reflectance (SR), SR-based spectral indices (NDVI, NDMI, NBR, SAVI, EVI), as well as customizable output options and output product statistics plotting.

Orders submitted through ESPA are processed within 2-5 days, depending on the size of the order. Email notifications are sent after the order is placed, and also after the data is processed and ready to download.

ESPA Application Programming Interface (API) – enables users to write their own clients to interact with all bulk ordering and downloading capabilities.

EarthExplorer – Allows ordering of only surface reflectance (SR) data products. Requests originating from EarthExplorer are sent to the ESPA On-Demand interface for processing and data delivery. Note: Data processed by ESPA are not accessible using the EarthExplorer interface or Bulk Download Application (BDA).

Bulk Download Options for High Level Science Data Products

ESPA Application Programming Interface (API) – enables users to write their own clients to interact with all bulk ordering and downloading capabilities.

ESPA Bulk Download Client – A python-based tool that retrieves all completed scenes per user and/or order and places them into a target directory.


Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.


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Landsat Updates

The Landsat Update is an informal communication tool, prepared periodically and distributed electronically to USGS Landsat partners, to provide information about Landsat activities and related topics of interest.

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Page Last Modified: 06/22/17 05:09 pm