Data Set ID:

SMEX03 Landsat Thematic Mapper Imagery: Georgia, Version 1

This data set provides imagery developed from Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) data for use in studying land cover features during the Soil Moisture Experiment 2003 (SMEX03).

This is the most recent version of these data.

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Data: Data integrity verified

Documentation: Key metadata and links to supporting documentation available

User Support: Assistance with data access and basic data usage

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Data Format(s):
  • GeoTIFF
Spatial Coverage:
N: 31.96, 
S: 30.9, 
E: -83.36, 
W: -83.97
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):TM
Temporal Coverage:
  • 20 July 2003
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Michael Cosh

Geographic Coverage

Once you have logged in, you will be able to click and download files via a Web browser. There are also options for downloading via a command line or client. For more detailed instructions, please see Options Available for Bulk Downloading Data from HTTPS with Earthdata Login.

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.

Cosh, M. 2007. SMEX03 Landsat Thematic Mapper Imagery: Georgia, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description

This data set provides imagery developed from Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) data for use in studying land cover features during the Soil Moisture Experiment 2003 (SMEX03).

For this study, TM bands 2, 3, and 4 were combined to make false color composites.

  • Vegetation appear as shades of red. Brighter reds indicate thicker vegetation.
  • Soils with little or no vegetation appear as shades from white (sands) to green or brown, depending on moisture and vegetation content.
  • Water appears blue.
  • Urban areas appear as blue-gray.
  • Clouds and snow appear bright white.

Data are provided as a GeoTIFF image file with associated TIFF world file (TFW) containing georeferencing information. GeoTIFF defines a set of publicly available TIFF tags that describe cartographic and geodetic information associated with TIFF images. GeoTIFF enables referencing a raster image to a known geodetic model or map projection. The initial tags are followed by image data, that in turn may be interrupted by more descriptive tags. By using the GeoTIFF format, both metadata and image data can be encoded into the same file.

The TFW file provides georeference information for the image with the same file name and is a text file with six numbers. Refer to Table 1 for a description of the TFW file contents.

Table 1: TFW File Rows
Row Description
the dimension of a pixel in map units in the x direction
rotation term for row
rotation term for column
the dimension of a pixel in map units in the y direction
x coordinate for upper left corner
y coordinate for upper left corner
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File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention:

Example File Names: TM5_GA_072003.tif and TM5_GA_072003.tfw



MM = month
DD = day
YY = year

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File Size

File sizes are approximately 18.1 MB for the .tif file and 1 KB for the .tfw file.

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Total volume is approximately 18.2 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

Southernmost Latitude: 30.90° N
Northernmost Latitude: 31.96° N
Westernmost Longitude: 83.97° W
Easternmost Longitude: 83.36° W

Spatial Resolution

The Landsat TM data are high-resolution 30 m data.


Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Zone 15.

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Temporal Coverage

20 July 2003

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Parameter or Variable

Infrared Imagery (Band 4)
Visible Imagery (Bands 2 and 3)

Parameter Description

Bands 2, 3, and 4 as blue, green, and red are used to generate a false color image that can be used to identify land cover and vegetation.

Parameter Source

TM scenes from Landsat 5 were acquired during the study period. The following table details the Landsat coverage for the dates of the study.

Table 2: Landsat Coverage Details
Date Landsat
Path / Row
July 20
18 / 36

Sample Data Record

False Color Image of the Tifton Area
Figure 1: False Color Image of the Tifton Area, Sample from Image File TM5_GA_072003.tif.

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Software and Tools

Software and Tools

A program which recognizes the GeoTIFF file format is recommended for this image.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Michael H. Cosh
USDA ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab
Beltsville, MD 20705


The investigators would like to acknowledge the following people: The many graduate students and volunteers who worked to collect the field data. The Soil Moisture Experiment 2003 Science Team and the Southeast Watershed Research Laboratory (USDA-ARS) for their assistance. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration for their generous contributions to the study. This work was supported by the NASA Aqua AMSR, Terrestrial Hydrology and Global Water Cycle Programs.

Document Information


15 November 2007


1 May 2008 - Updated new USGS Landsat web page

No technical references available for this data set.

How To

V0 Programmatic Data Access Guide
Data from the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) can be accessed directly from our HTTPS file system. We provide basic command line Wget and curl instructions for HTTPS file system downloads below. For questions about programmatic access to NSIDC... read more