Data that have been processed to allow analysis with a minimum of additional user effort are often referred to as Analysis Ready Data (ARD). The ability to perform large scale Landsat analysis relies on the ability to access observations that are geometrically and radiometrically consistent, and have had non-target features (clouds) and poor quality observations flagged so that they can be excluded. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has processed all of the Landsat 4 and 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) archive over the conterminous United States (CONUS), Alaska, and Hawaii, into Landsat ARD. The ARD are available to significantly reduce the burden of pre-processing on users of Landsat data. Provision of pre-prepared ARD is intended to make it easier for users to produce Landsat-based maps of land cover and land-cover change and other derived geophysical and biophysical products. The ARD are provided as tiled, georegistered, top of atmosphere and atmospherically corrected products defined in a common equal area projection, accompanied by spatially explicit quality assessment information, and appropriate metadata to enable further processing while retaining traceability of data provenance.
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