How to download Landsat images from usgs

The following procedures

  1. Open earthexplorer.usgs.gov on your browser. Make bookmark if necessary
  2. Register or Login if you already have the account. Image
  3. The login page will ask your account user name and passwordImage
  4. Next, we are going to use Jakarta, Indonesia as our case. So put “Jakarta, Indonesia” in the Search criteria tab | Address/Place as indicated on the following image. And leave everything else blank. You can play with all the searching options here, but for now, let just use one searching option.Image
  5. Then select Data sets tab. In this tab, you can select various images from different satellites. I am not an expert to explain all different and details about them, but you could hover your mouse on every item to get a quick look what they are. Additionally, click the i icon for more information opens in new window. For our case, select Landsat archive | L7 ETM+ SLC-off . That is Landsat 7 which takes images from 2003 onward. Image
  6. Leave the additional criteria tab for now, let’s straight to result tab and see what Usgs gives us. You will see there are 100 images available for Jakarta. Click Next or Last to see images in different page Snapshot of images readily available on the left hand side, where you can immediately measure the quality of the image and decide which images will you take and download.Image
  7. With so many images available with different quality, we will need times to manually select appropriate images for our needs. Quality selection of these images, can be done using Additional criteria tab. Again, you can play with all criteria there, we will take Cloud coverLess than 10% that is to select images with cloud cover less than 10%. Click Result at the right bottom side of the selection menu. Now you have about 23 images in 3 pages.Image
  8. Next to the snapshot of your images, you will find number of icons that will help you to briefly explain about the images. Hover on each icons and click them to see what they meant to. The last four right icons respectively means to download, add the image to bulk download, add to basket, and delete the image from the list.Image
  9. To help you select the images, see if the resolution or the bands of the images conform to your needs. Check it from the metadata (the forth icon from the left).
  10. Now, there are two ways to download images. (i) the conventional one, using download button. and (ii) the recommended one using Bulk Download application. 
  11. In the first case, you will notice that some of images don’t have basket icon, that means you can immediately download it without have to order them first. To directly download the selected image, click download icon (the fifth icon from the left). You will always want to take Level 1 images.  The best quality image.
  12. In the second case, you know you can’t download the best quality image (Level 1), if you try to click the download button, but you still need to order them (the text is in italic), in this case, click cancel, and click the basket icon (basket icon will be in green highlight). This means, you agree to order them and download it using Bulk Download Application , you will need to Login to see the page and download the application.Image
  13. Next click View item basket and if everything seems okay, go on to Proceed to check out. The usgs will email you if your orders are ready. 
  14. The following steps assume you have downloaded the bulk download application (BDA) from USGS. 
  15. After you receive the email about your order, Open BDA, then LoginImage
  16. Select where your file will be saved by clicking the folder icon on the right side of the window. Select your order, then click start download.Image
  17. Depending on your internet connection, the download time might vary. 
  18. The downloaded files come in *.tar.gz, you will need to unwrap *gz, and unwrap the *.tar this using unzipper application.
  19. On the next post, I will explain how to open the images using ENVI.
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