Global Land Survey(GLS)

Data Access

The Global Land Survey (GLS) collection of Landsat imagery is designed to meet a need from scientists to use a carefully coordinated collection of high resolution imagery for global modeling, including for the climate and carbon cycles. GLS replaces GeoCover, which was collected first into three epochs around 1975, 1990 and 2000. The GLS collection improves upon GeoCover by using more accurate elevation data (SRTM) for terrain correction and also by adding another epoch centered around 2005. Imagery from all seven Landsat sensors, plus the Landsat experimental sensor, ALI, are included in the collection. See Table 1 for which sensors appear where, and coverage and status.

Epoch Sensors Coverage ESDI FTP Hard Media
1975 MSS map,list not yet not yet not yet
1990 TM map, list yes yes not yet
2000 ETM map, list yes yes not yet
2005 TM, ETM, ALI map, ali zoom, list not yet not yet not yet

Availability: GLS 1975, 1990, 2000, and 2005 are available to the public for free at the US Geological Survey. The GLCF also distributes GLS through the Earth Science Data Interface (ESDI), through open FTP and distributes whole epochs through hard media orders. The GLS scenes are band separate, in UTM coordinates, WGS-84 datum, are distributed in GeoTIFF format, and are compressed using Gzip. The current status of the availability of GLS epochs through the GLCF is shown in Table 2.

Epoch Number of scenes Total size ETM+ scenes TM scenes MSS scenes ALI scenes
2005 8651* 1.64 TB* 6076* 2034* none 541*
2000 8756 2.18 TB 8756 none none none
1990 7375* 975 GB* none 7375* none none
1975 7525* 250 GB* none none 7525* none

* Sizes are subject to change, depending on 'final' versions from USGS. GLS 1975 collection estimates are based upon GeoCover. The GLCF shall endeavor to provide complete collections.

How to Cite This Data Set

Citation Format:Author (Publication Date), Collection Name, Epoch, Sensor name, Image Name, Publisher, Publisher Location.

Citation Parameters Example:

  • Author: USGS
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Collection Name: Global Land Survey
  • Epoch: 1975, 1990, 2000 or 2005
  • Sensor name: Landsat MSS, TM, ETM+ or EO-1 ALI
  • Image Name: {specify 30 or 60} meter scene{specify ID from file name or naming convention}
  • Publisher: United States Geological Survey
  • Publisher Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Full Example Citation: USGS 2009, Global Land Survey , 2000, Landsat ETM+, 30m scene p102r062_7dx19991002, USGS, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Intellectual Property Rights

Use is free to all if acknowledgement is made; effectively held by University of Maryland; but ultimately held by US public.


Source for this data set is the Global Land Cover Facility,

Web Accessibility
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