You are here

Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)


    Landsat TM Image (San Diego, CA)

NOTE:  2016 Collection Management Implementation Plans

In 2016, the USGS will implement a collection management scheme for Landsat Level-1 products. This new scheme will provide a quality-controlled selection of radiometrically calibrated and consistently geolocated data with sufficiently geographically aligned pixels to support time series analysis through the full Landsat record. A number of changes are being made to support this effort, including incorporating new Landsat product identifiers and placing the scenes into a tier structure. More details about the Landsat Collection plans can be found on

The Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor was carried onboard Landsats 4 and 5 from July 1982 to May 2012 with a 16-day repeat cycle, referenced to the Worldwide Reference System-2. Very few images were acquired from November 2011 to May 2012. The satellite began decommissioning activities in January 2013.

Landsat 4-5 TM image data files consist of seven spectral bands (See band designations). The resolution is 30 meters for bands 1 to 7.  (Thermal infrared band 6 was collected at 120 meters, but was resampled to 30 meters. The approximate scene size is 170 km north-south by 183 km east-west (106 mi by 114 mi).

Product Processing Parameters

Most Landsat 4-5 TM scenes are processed through the Level 1 Product Generation System (LPGS). Some TM scenes are processed through the National Land Archive Production System (NLAPS). All Landsat 4 TM scenes were processed through NLAPS prior to April 15, 2009.

Product Type L1T Terrain Corrected*
Pixel Size 30-meters (prior to February 25, 2010: thermal Band 6=60 meters)
Output Format GeoTIFF
Resampling method cubic convolution (CC)
Map Projection UTM – WGS 84
Polar Stereographic for the continent of Antarctica.
Image Orientation Map (North Up)
Distribution> FTP Download Only
Delivery Time Immediate for scenes already processed and ready for download.
1 to 3 days to process data and make available for download. 

* While most Landsat scenes are processed with the Standard Terrain Correction (Level 1T), some scenes do not have the ground-control or elevation data necessary to perform these corrections. In these cases, the best level of correction is applied. (See Landsat Processing Details for details on correction levels.)

Specific Level 1T scenes are available for most of the globe under the Global Land Surveys (GLS) collections of 1975, 1990, 2000, 2005, and 2010. These datasets can be found on EarthExplorer or the USGS Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis)

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