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Global Land Survey (GLS)


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) collaborated on the creation of the global land datasets using Landsat data from 1972 through 2008. Each of these global datasets was created from the primary Landsat sensor in use at the time: the Multispectral Scanner (MSS) in the 1970s, the Thematic Mapper (TM) in 1990, the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) in 2000, and a combination of TM and ETM+, as well as EO-1 ALI data, in 2005.

NASA and the USGS have again partnered to develop the Global Land Survey 2010 (GLS2010), a new global land data set with core acquisition dates of 2008-2011. This dataset consists of both Landsat TM and ETM+ images that meet quality and cloud cover standards established by the earlier GLS collections. Data acquired in 2011 were used to fill areas of low image quality or excessive cloud cover.

Unlike Landsat 7, the Landsat 5 satellite does not have an onboard solid-state recorder. Therefore, direct downlink to a ground station is the only way to acquire Landsat 5 TM data. To obtain Landsat 5 TM imagery for areas outside the United States, the USGS negotiated agreements with ground stations around the globe to downlink and send data to the USGS Landsat Ground Station. These agreements made thousands of additional Landsat 5 TM scenes available for GLS consideration.

GLS 2010 will continue to grow as we complete the collection. Additional details about Global Land Surveys and a status graphic showing the GLS 2010 progress can be found at

The following data products are available from the Global Land Survey data collection

Survey Instrument Data
GLS 1975 Landsat 1-3 Multispectral Scanner (MSS) Images acquired from 1972 - 1983
Landsat 4-5* Multispectral Scanner (MSS) Images acquired from 1982 - 1987
*Landsat 4-5 data were used to fill gaps in the Landsat 1-3 data
GLS 1990 Images acquired from 1987 - 1997
Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper (TM)
GLS 2000 Images acquired from 1999 - 2003
Landsat 7 ETM+
GLS 2005 Images acquired from 2003 - 2008
Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM)
Landsat 7 ETM+
GLS 2010 Images acquired from 2008 - 2011
Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM)
Landsat 7 ETM+

All Global Land Surveys collections contain the standard Landsat bands designated for each sensor. Band Designations can be found at

Full-resolution data may be downloaded at no charge.


GL S2010 GLS 2005 GLS 2000 GLS 1990 GLS 1975
Level of Processing Terrain Corrected Terrain Corrected Terrain Corrected Terrain Corrected Terrain Corrected
Number of bands 8 8 8 7 4
Resolution Pan 15.0m 15.0m        
Thermal Reflection 30.0m 30.0m 30.0m 30.0m  
Projection Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
Datum WGS84 WGS84 WGS84 WGS84 WGS84
Resampling Cubic Convolution Cubic Convolution Cubic Convolution Cubic Convolution Cubic Convolution
Download Available Available Available Available Available

*Many scenes process to complete Terrain Correction (L1T). Some scenes may process to Systematic Correction (L1G) only.

Data Use and Citation Policies

For information on how to cite USGS data plus guidance on usage restrictions,
please see our Data Citations and Use page at

Contact Information for User Assistance

Long Term Archive User Services
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57198-0001

Phone Number: 605-594-6151
Toll Free: 800-252-4547
Fax: 605-594-6589

Business Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Central Time