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SPOT - North American Data Buy


    Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho
    SPOT 5 multispectral image © CNES 2010

The USGS contracted with SPOT Image Corporation to acquire and provide Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite data for calendar years 2010, 2011, 2012 and up through June 30, 2013. Under the North America Data Buy agreement, SPOT Image provided moderate-resolution data from their SPOT4 and 5 satellites over the conterminous United States and parts of Canada and Mexico through the receiving capabilities at the USGS EROS Center. Limited coverage of Alaska and Hawaii was also provided through other receiving stations in the later years. The French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), owns and operates the SPOT satellite system. SPOT Image Corporation is a subsidiary of the SPOT Image group, which provides worldwide distribution of their imagery.

Under the licensing arrangements of the North America Data Buy contract, access is limited to U.S. Federal civil Government agency users and U.S. State and local government users. The 2011 contract expands usage to include U.S. tribal governments. Qualified users must be logged in to EarthExplorer to gain access to this dataset. An explanation of data restrictions and limitations is displayed when accessing these collections and must be agreed upon before gaining access to these data.

The USGS SPOT 4 and 5 datasets provide North American coverage between 53° north latitude and 23.5° north latitude in calendar year 2010. The coverage for 2011 extends from 55° north latitude to 23.5° north latitude.

Both SPOT satellites carry imaging instruments that operate with panchromatic and multispectral sensors. The SPOT 4 payload includes two High Resolution Visible and Infrared (HRVIR) sensors. SPOT 4 was retired from service in January 2013. SPOT 5 utilizes two High Resolution Geometric (HRG) instruments. Each sensor has a swath of 60 km and has an oblique viewing capability of 27° on each side of vertical. The sensors can operate independently to observe separate targets or in tandem to cover a larger swath in a single pass. Each scene in this collection is approximately 60 km by 60 km and is referenced to World Geodetic System 84 (WGS 84) datum.

Sensor Characteristics





Spectral band


SPOT 4 HRVIR M Monospectral 0.61 - 0.68 µm 10 m
I B1 : green 0.50 - 0.59 µm 20 m
B2 : red 0.61 - 0.68 µm 20 m
B3 : NIR 0.79 - 0.89 µm 20 m
B4 : SWIR 1.58 - 1.75 µm 20 m
SPOT 5 HRG A/B Panchromatic 0.51 - 0.73 µm 5 m
J B1 : green 0.50 - 0.59 µm 10 m
B2 : red 0.61 - 0.68 µm 10 m
B3 : NIR 0.79 - 0.89 µm 10 m
B4 : SWIR 1.58 - 1.75 µm 20 m

SPOT Products

All SPOT scenes acquired via the North America Data Buy were initially processed to Level 1A (L1A) by SPOT Image Corporation and are made accessible to authorized users through EarthExplorer. In addition to the L1A dataset, USGS EROS also offers a Level 1Gst (L1Gst) product.

  •  Standard Correction (Level 1A) provides corrections to compensate for radiometric variations due to detector sensitivity. This product is intended for users who wish to do their own geometric image processing. Digital Image Map (DIMAP) is the SPOT product data format.

DIMAP typically contains the following files: IMAGERY.TIF = image file in GeoTIFF format METADATA.DIM = XML metadata file ICON.JPG = Image.icon PREVIEW.JPG = Quicklook STYLE.XSL = Style sheet used to apply HTML formatting to XML file.

  •  Systematic Terrain Correction (Level 1Gst) provides radiometric and systematic geometric corrections, derived from spacecraft ephemeris data, while employing a USGS Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for topographic accuracy. L1Gst scenes are available in GeoTIFF format.

The L1A and L1Gst products are available for download in both panchromatic and multispectral modes. A panchromatic scene is a single-band image, and a color product is derived from the multispectral bands. File size may vary from 30 to 250 megabytes (MB) depending on imaging mode and level of processing.

User Access

This collection of SPOT 4 and 5 data is subject to the terms and conditions stated in the North America Data Buy agreement between SPOT Image and the USGS.

  •  Users accessing the imagery affirm they are affiliated with a U.S. civil Government agency at the Federal, State, or local level. User affiliation extends to U.S. tribal government agencies for the 2011 contract.
  •  For each dataset, a specific license/use agreement is provided with the data describing the terms and conditions; it is the responsibility of the user to adhere to these terms and conditions.
  •  Users accessing the imagery agree to use this imagery for noncommercial purposes only.
  •  Users will not use the imagery for purposes of monetary reward by means of the sale, resale, loan transfer, hire, or other form of commercial exploitation.
  • · Users may generate an unlimited number of hardcopies and softcopies of the data for their internal use.
  • · Users may permit those outside the licensed user group to see hardcopies or softcopies of the imagery, with appropriate copyright marks. However, softcopies of the imagery shall not be given to those outside the licensed user group.
  • · Users accessing the imagery may generate any derived product from the licensed data but need to acknowledge that this imagery remains the property of the CNES. Use of the data in published work shall be attributed to CNES and must retain the copyright: © CNES (date of image).
  • · The USGS will not be held responsible or liable for misuse or misrepresentation by the end users and is not required to enforce these provisions beyond communicating them to the user.


Qualified users are recognized through the EarthExplorer registration process and must be logged in to gain access to this dataset. Users must accept the restrictions stated in the End User License Agreement (EULA) in order to download data.

The North America Data Buy agreement limits the use of the 2010 SPOT 4 and 5 data to U.S. Federal, State, and local civil government agencies. Qualified users for the 2011 calendar year include U.S. Federal, State, tribal, and local civil government agencies.

Additional Information:

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

Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and
does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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