Powering Landsat Power Tools


2 min read

Amazon Web Services just opened Landsat on AWS, a publicly available archive of Landsat 8 imagery hosted on their reliable and accessible infrastructure. This investment by the AWS open data team has a big impact on our work to make satellite imagery more accessible.

Libra is an open source Landsat imagery browser that we built with Astro Digital. Libra now has options on some scenes to download individual bands related to specific types of imagery analysis like NDVI, or Urban False Color. The most recent Landsat–8 images are now available for download up to two days sooner. Last week we rolled out a new version of landsat-util, our open source utility for processing Landsat imagery. The new version is much faster and allows you to build false color composites on the fly. These improvements to Libra and landsat-util are possible because we started using Landsat on AWS, which is a publicly available archive of Landsat 8 imagery hosted on Amazon S3 that is publicly available today.

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Libra now allows you to download the satellite bands for advanced analysis

Our newest releases of Libra and landsat-util utilize Landsat on AWS for 2015 imagery. Landsat on AWS provides 2015 imagery as unzipped individual bands. AWS makes this imagery available extremely quickly, often within hours of capture. We can pull only the data that we need and to work with it immediately.

Landsat 8 imagery is an incredibly powerful resource. It is some of the most valuable open data produced by the US Government. Our partners rely on Landsat data for everything from evaluating droughts to tracking conflict. However, until now, individual bands of Landsat imagery has never been available via predictable download endpoints that we can integrate into our tools.

Libra and landsat-util now allow our partners to get imagery sooner and process it faster. Speed and ease are critical to our partners who use this data to respond to natural disasters, prevent hunger, and monitor elections.

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Landsat images of the Gulf of Guinea, processed with landsat-util

Thanks to the AWS team and collaborators — Frank Warmerdam at Planet Labs, Charlie Loyd at Mapbox, and Peter Becker and others from ESRI — for building a Landsat archive with developers in mind.

Libra and landsat-util are open source and on Github. Go ahead and fork or contribute.

What we're doing.