Orthorectified Landsat Digital Data Now Available From USGS

December 28, 2005 -- The US Geological Survey (USGS) now offers, at no cost, selected Landsat 4, 5 and 7 satellite data. Orthorectified Landsat data are available for free download from the Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis) at http://glovis.usgs.gov and Earth Explorer at http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov.

The Landsat Orthorectified data collection is a global set of high-quality, relatively cloud-free orthorectified Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) imagery. Selected and generated through NASA's Commercial Remote Sensing Program, the datasets provide two full sets of global coverage over an approximate 10-year interval (circa 1990 and circa 2000) and total nearly 16,000 scenes. Other data sets will be added as they become available, including the Landsat Orthorectified Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data set (circa 1975).

Users can download an entire scene, containing all bands, metadata, jpeg and header information in a single zipped format file. For more information regarding Orthorectified data, please go to http://eros.usgs.gov/products/satellite/landsat_ortho.html or contact USGS Customer Service, EROS, 800-252-4547 or custserv@usgs.gov.

The Landsat Program is the longest running program providing vital images of the Earth’s surface from space. The first Landsat satellite was launched in 1972 and since then, Landsat satellites have been providing a constant stream of moderate-resolution images. In 1999, the Landsat Program took a giant leap forward technologically with the launch of Landsat 7. The instruments on the Landsat satellites have acquired millions of images of the surface of the planet, providing a unique resource for scientists who study agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping and global change research.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.


Wayne Miller,
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Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Dr. Joseph Kerski'
    Yes, *selected* Landsat is free. To access, go to earthexplorer.usgs.gov, then select any of the 3 orthorectified offerings: ETM +, ETM + pansharpened, or TM. Specify additional search criteria as appropriate. If the database finds any matches, it provides a download link on the results page.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Joseph Kerski - Geographer - USGS

      One person found this review helpful.

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  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Jack'
    This article reminds me of several others I've run across over the past few years claiming that if you go to this website all the USGS Satellite data you find will be FREE. This article claims (as does the USGS) that "The US Geological Survey (USGS) now offers, at no cost, . . "
    I really have to wonder if the author of this article actually visited the site of the URL he quotes: "http://eros.usgs.gov/products/satellite/landsat_ortho.html". On the second, maybe third 'page', you'll still run into a "SEARCH AND ORDER" page which presents you with this:
    "All Landsat Orthorectified data currently available from the EDC archive may be searched and ordered online . . ." and at a price of $30.00/ scene or $60.00 per CD.
    Same with the "GLOVIS" site, etc., etc.
    Did the author bother to let the USGS know that their satellite data is now FREE? Does the USGS know their data is now FREE? Is the USGS actually endulging in false advertising?
    I just spent 15 minutes cruising around the site, poking into every nook and cranny looking for all of this FREE DATA but found none!
    Maybe the data is FREE but we pay for the shipping?
    COME ON NOW! Either it is free or it isn't. To the USGS: if it is, then regenerate your website and remove all references to prices.

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