Data Set ID: 

IceBridge LVIS L1A Geotagged Images, Version 1

This data set contains geotagged images taken over Greenland by the NASA Digital Mapping Camera paired with the Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS), an airborne lidar scanning laser altimeter. The data were collected as part of Operation IceBridge funded campaigns.

This is the most recent version of these data.

Version Summary: 

Initial release

STANDARD Level of Service

Data: Data integrity and usability verified

Documentation: Key metadata and user guide available

User Support: Assistance with data access and usage; guidance on use of data in tools

See All Level of Service Details

Data Format(s):
  • JPEG
Spatial Coverage:
N: 90, 
S: 60, 
E: 180, 
W: -180
Platform(s):B-200, C-130, DC-8, G-V, HU-25C, P-3B, RQ-4
Spatial Resolution:
  • Varies x Varies
Temporal Coverage:
  • 25 August 2017 to 20 September 2017
Temporal ResolutionVariesMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):J. Blair, Michelle Hofton

Geographic Coverage

Other Access Options

Other Access Options


As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Blair, J. B. and M. Hofton. 2020. IceBridge LVIS L1A Geotagged Images, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [Date Accessed].
5 December 2019
Last modified: 
23 January 2020

Data Description

The images in this Level-1A product were collected by the NASA Digital Mapping Camera, which was mounted alongside the Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS), as part of Operation IceBridge campaigns. Related data sets include IceBridge LVIS L1B Geolocated Return Energy Waveforms, which contains the geolocated laser waveform data for each laser footprint collected by the LVIS instrumentation, and IceBridge LVIS L2 Geolocated Surface Elevation Product, which contains canopy top elevations, ground elevations, and relative heights derived from the Level-1B data.


The data files include images of various terrains, such as sea ice, ocean surface, and glaciers.

File Information


The data files are provided in JPG (.JPG) format. Each data file is paired with an associated XML file (.xml), which contains additional metadata.

File Contents

Figure 1 shows an example image from the file IOLVIS1A_GL2017_0920_R1803_043816.JPG.

Figure 1. Image of snowy and icy terrain, taken on 20 September 2017.

Naming Convention

Example file names:


The files are named according to the following convention, which is described in more detail in Table 1.


Table 1. File Naming Convention
Variable Description
LOYYYY Campaign identifier: LL = location (GL = Greenland); YYYY= four-digit year of campaign
MMDD Two-digit month, two-digit day of start of data collection
RYYMM Date (two-digit year, two-digit month) of data release
nnnnnn Number of seconds since UTC midnight of the day on which data collection started
ext File type: .JPG (JPG data file) or .JPG.xml (XML metadata file)

Spatial Information


Coverage for this data set includes parts of the Arctic, Greenland, and surrounding ocean areas, as noted by the spatial extents below:

Southernmost latitude: 60° N
Northernmost latitude: 90° N
Westernmost longitude: 180° W
Easternmost longitude: 180° E


Spatial resolution varies with aircraft altitude. The nominal spatial resolution is 3.1 km by 2.0 km (0.35 m per pixel) at a nominal flight altitude of 27,000 ft.

Coordinate System

International Terrestrial Reference Frame 2008 (ITRF08), WGS-84 ellipsoid

Temporal Information


25 August 2017 to 20 September 2017


IceBridge campaigns are conducted on an annually repeating basis. Arctic, Greenland, and Alaska campaigns are typically conducted during March, April, and May; Antarctic campaigns are typically conducted during October and November.

Data Acquisition and Processing


The images provided in this data set were taken with a downward-facing (nadir) Canon EOS 5DS R camera with an image resolution of 50.3 Megapixels (8896 px by 5920 px). The lens model is a Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZE. Frame overlap is approximately 75%.

Acquisition and Processing

Imagery is stored via Ethernet on a supporting computer running the EOS camera utility software to monitor and control image exposure. Frame capture is controlled using an external intervalometer. The intervalometer provides a Transistor-Transistor-Logic (TTL) pulse to the navigation system, which enables precise timing, positioning, and attitude for each image capture.

Images are acquired at 5-second intervals. The image name contains the acquisition time in number of seconds since UTC midnight of the day on which data collection started. Each image is tagged with data regarding the precise time of the acquisition, as well as position and orientation of the camera at time of acquisition; this includes latitude, longitude, altitude, roll, pitch, and yaw.

Quality, Errors, and Limitations

Currently, there are no known errors or limitations in this data set.

Software and Tools

The data files can be viewed using any software that recognizes the JPG format. Frame ID markers (requires Google Earth to view KMZ files) are available at the NASA LVIS-ABoVE campaign website.

Related Data Sets

IceBridge LVIS L0 Raw Ranges
IceBridge LVIS L1B Geolocated Return Energy Waveforms
IceBridge LVIS L2 Geolocated Surface Elevation Product

Related Websites

LVIS data product website at NSIDC
LVIS website at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
ABoVE website at NASA

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Bryan Blair
Geodesy and Geophysics Laboratory, Code 61A
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Michelle Hofton
Department of Geographical Sciences
2181 LeFrak Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


This work was supported through funding from Hank Margolis (NASA - SMD - ESD Terrestrial Ecology).

No technical references available for this data set.

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