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Maps & Geospatial: Remotely Sensed Data

Data and information about the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere using aerial sensors.


There is considerable (although not perfect) overlap in the datasets that are accessed through many of the federal data clearinghouses. Each data clearinghouse has somewhat different search and download (e.g. spatial and thematic subsetting, files formats and conversion etc.) functionality. As such, we encourage you to explore several different federal data clearinghouses while searching for remote sensing data.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA is one of the largest producers of remote sensing data and derived data products (i.e. the results of analyses of remote sensing data). NASA program data is archived and sometimes distributed from a network of Distributed Area Archive Centers (DAAC). Below are some websites to download general NASA remote sensing data followed by links to each DAAC.

Links to NASA program specific DAACs. All of the following data clearinghouses provide access to remote sensing datasets as well as the outputs of models based on remote sensing data inputs and other data that is commonly used in investigations along with remote sensing data.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

USGS is responsible for several national data clearinghouses that distribute remote sensing datasets.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA administers several programs that produce often nationwide remote sensing datasets for agricultural and forestry applications.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA is a minor producer of remote sensing data in the U.S. government although they do distribute some remote sensing data.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration