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What is the Worldwide Reference System (WRS)?

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What is the Worldwide Reference System (WRS)?


The Worldwide Reference System (WRS) is a global notation used in cataloging Landsat data. Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 follow the WRS-2, as did Landsat 5 and Landsat 4. Landsat 1, Landsat 2, and Landsat 3 followed WRS-1.

Shape files for WRS-1 and -2 (path/row boundaries) are available to download.

This file provides all WRS-2 Corner Points: .xlsx (5.9 MB)

Maps of WRS-2 center points and scene outlines:

Worldwide: ascending (nighttime)
  descending (daytime)
CONUS: .pdf (434 KB)
Alaska: .pdf (304 KB)
Hawaii: .pdf (97.7 KB)






The WRS-2 Path/Row to Latitude/Longitude Converter tool allows you to enter any Landsat path and row to get the nearest scene center latitude and longitude coordinates.




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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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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