All MODIS Version 6.1 data products from 7 July 2023 onward may be subject to more frequent non-recoverable data loss due to the Flight Operation Team (FOT) transition to Lights-Out-Operations (LOOps). Please see our website for further details and updates.
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
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General Questions & FAQs
The answer is yes! There are several ways to programmatically access NSIDC data products and metadata using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). We also provide the ability to access data using an FTP client.
For the snow cover and sea ice products, users can use MODIS Collections 6 and 6.1 together.
OPeNDAP, the Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol, is a NASA community standard DAP that provides a simple way for researchers to access and work with data over the internet.
Data products from VIIRS are created to be similar to MODIS data products to ensure the continuity needed for the development of snow and sea ice climate records beyond the life expectancy of MODIS. The temporal resolution and spatial extent are identical in MODIS and VIIRS.
The lag time between observations and availability of MODIS products is only a few days. Lag time may be extended due to satellite maneuvers and extra quality assurance required for the geolocation data after the maneuver.
Because MODIS sensors have flown on both the Terra and Aqua satellites, NSIDC offers parallel products derived from MODIS on each satellite. Terra and Aqua products are very similar with a few key differences:
MODIS is an optical sensor, which has inherent limitations in observing sea ice and snow. Unlike a passive-microwave sensor, which can detect microwave energy through clouds, MODIS cannot observe the surface when cloud cover is present.
MODIS provides global coverage every one to two days in 36 spectral bands. Spatial resolution of the MODIS data varies by band from 250 m to 1 km. By contrast, the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor has five spectral bands with a spatial resolution of 4 km or 1 km.
This short article describes the customization services available for ICESat-2 data using Earthdata Search
The Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) snow cover is an index that is related to the presence of snow in a pixel and is a more accurate description of snow detection as compared to Fractional Snow Cover (FSC). Snow typically has very high visible (VIS) reflectance and very low reflectance in
How to Articles
Many NSIDC DAAC data sets can be accessed using the NSIDC DAAC's Data Access Tool. This tool provides the ability to search and filter data with spatial and temporal constraints using a map-based interface. Users have the option to
To convert HDF5 files into binary format you will need to use the h5dump utility, which is part of the HDF5 distribution available from the HDF Group. How you install HDF5 depends on your operating system.
The HDF Group has example code for access and visualization of MODIS, GLAS HDF5, AMSR-E, and NISE data in MATLAB, IDL, Python, and NCL.
This step-by-step tutorial demonstrates how to access MODIS and SMAP data using the Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS). AppEEARS allows users to access, explore, and download point and area data with spatial, temporal, and parameter subsets.
The "Snow Depth and Snow Cover Data Exploration” Jupyter Notebook provides Python code to access and compare coincident snow data across in-situ, airborne, and satellite platforms from NASA's SnowEx, ASO, and MODIS data sets, respectively.
Data subscriptions are available for select NSIDC DAAC data collections. Once signed up, the subscription service automatically sends you new data as they are delivered from active NASA satellite missions.
All 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, using wget or curl. Basic command line instructions are provided in the article below.
NASA Earthdata Search is a map-based interface where a user can search for Earth science data, filter results based on spatial and temporal constraints, and order data with customizations including re-formatting, re-projecting, and spatial and parameter subsetting.
NASA Worldview is a map interface that allows users to interactively browse imagery, create visualizations, and download the underlying data.
NASA's Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) provides up to date, full resolution imagery for selected NSIDC DAAC data sets.
The MODIS Swath-to-Grid Toolbox (MS2GT) is a set of software tools that can be used to read HDF-EOS files containing MODIS swath data and produce flat binary files containing gridded data in a variety of map projections.