terrestrial RS data

A huge amount of terrestrial remote sensing and GIS data exists – a selection based on the criteria of ecological useful and freely available are listed below and on the subpage.


The data portal do provide “raw” data as well as data products such as land cover maps, vegetation indices, biomass etc.

  • below remote sensing resources are listed
  • auxilliary GIS and other spatial resources are listed on a subpage


Several data archives exist where raw Remote Sensing data can be downloaded as well as pre-processed data (products).

Landsurface Information


The Landcover.org webpage (or the Global LandCov er Facility: GLCF) provides access to raw Landsat data sets, as well as MODIS and AVHRR products. Moreover does it provide elevation data (Digital Elevation Model: DEM) and selected very high resolution imagery. All data sets on landcover.org are free of charge. (Landcover.org)


Glovis is offering access to all Landsat data sets currently in the archive. Non-processed scenes will be processed on demand, hence you might not be able to download it straight away. All Landsat data sets are available free of charge. (glovis.usgs.gov)


Different data sets such as Landsat 8 can be downloaded from EarthExplorer using a map and time selection interface (earthexplorer.usgs.gov)


A variety of NASA data sets can be queried on this plattform.It is the successor of WIST, which is however still online and can be used. (reverb.echo.nasa.gov)


Free access to data through a Brazil-China cooperation for (mainly) Brazil (http://www.cbers.inpe.br/ingles/)

ESA Sentinel

Free access to Sentinel data will be made available through an ESA portal (https://sentinel.esa.int/web/sentinel/sentinel-data-access)


Datasets with a spatial resolution of 6.5m and a potentially high temporal resolution can be searched at the RapidEye data portal (eyefind.rapideye.de), however free data sets are only available after a scientific proposal to the Rapid Eye Science program at DLR (Resaweb).

Earth Observation Monitor

Global provision of MODIS time-series data (NDVI, EVI, LST) and temporal analysis and decomposition by bfast or TimeSat. Interactive map to analyse time-series and download results is provide. (earth-observation-monitor.net)

NASA Earth Observation

Nive page to browse and download images as well as spatial data sets of global products such as water vapor, temperatue, net radiation etc. (http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov)

Coastal Topographic Lidar

Some coastal Lidar U.S. topographic data (https://coast.noaa.gov/dataregistry/search/collection/info/coastallidar)


Landcover Classifications

Various products exist which provide already classified remote sensing data sets based on different landcover legend.


GlobCover is a global 300m landcover classifcation approach based on MERIS onboard ENVISAT for 2004-2006 and 2009 (http://dup.esrin.esa.int/globcover/).


The GLC2000 global landcover data set is available on a 1 km spatial resolution and for the year 2000 based on VEGETATION onboard SPOT 4 (http://bioval.jrc.ec.europa.eu/products/glc2000/products.php)

MODIS LandCover

MODIS Landcover products MCD12 are available on the NASA webpage. A good overview of documentation and download location can be found here: http://www.bu.edu/lcsc/data-documentation/

Global Forest Change

Very important information about forest cover change of the last years can be checked online (earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest) and downloaded (earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest/download.html)


this page by the Map Of Life project is providing 1km consensus land-cover product for biodiversity and ecosystem modelling (www.earthenv.org)


Climate Information

Various data sets for climate related information exist, some which might be relevant here are:


the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) by NASA (http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/) provides (theoretically) 16 times a day precipitation information about each location. However data is only provided for locations between 35°N and 35°S. An informative video can be found here.


Is not a remote sensing product but an interpolation of climate variables. However it is listed here due to its usefulness and lack for alternative data sets (www.worldclim.org).


Digital Elevation Models


A DEM based on ASTER is offering a spatial resolution of 30m with a global coverage (http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/gdem.asp)


The SRTM DEM is providing a global 90m spatial resolution elevation model and for the US 30m (http://glcf.umd.edu/data/srtm/)



Alert Systems

Unlike the other resources, the alert system resources are providing you with alerts rather than the actual data.


A fire alter system is provided on this webpage (https://firealerts.conservation.org/) as well as a fire risk system (http://firerisk.conservation.org/). Both provide the user with an alert message if fires can detected within their area of interest.

more information about Land Cover Change products and others will be added soon

Other webpages

Other webpages which list relevant Earth Observation data for biodiversity and conservation are: