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Data Set ID:

SMEX03 Landsat Thematic Mapper NDVI and NDWI: Oklahoma, Version 1

This Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) data set was developed from Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) data for use in studying land cover features during the Soil Moisture Experiment 2003 (SMEX03).

Geographic Coverage

  • Vegetation > Vegetation Index
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 35.39, S: 34.49, E: -97.76, W: -98.29

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 10 July 2003
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s):
  • Binary
Platform(s) LANDSAT-5
Sensor(s): TM
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Thomas Jackson, Michael Cosh
Data Citation

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.

Jackson, T. and M. Cosh. 2008. SMEX03 Landsat Thematic Mapper NDVI and NDWI: Oklahoma, 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

Data were used to create large-scale maps of the NDVI and NDWI for both northern and southern Oklahoma, USA regional study areas in order to accurately estimate the surface soil moisture via microwave remote sensing.


Data are presented in flat, 8-bit little-endian binary data files. Data were scaled in order to maximize the dynamic range. Users must apply Equations 1 and 2 to convert the Digital Number (DN) to NDVI and NDWI values:

NDVI = DN/255 (Equation 1)
NDWI = DN/255-0.5 (Equation 2)

The dimensions of the Oklahoma North image are 2800 rows by 1840 columns, and the dimensions of the Oklahoma South image are 3600 rows by 1920 columns.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are on the FTP site in the NDWI_NDVI directory. Four binary files are contained within this directory, as described in Table 1.

Table 1. Files Contained in this Data Set
File Name Description File Size
071003_ON_NDVI.bin Contains NDVI data for the Oklahoma North regional study area for 10 July 2003. 5032 KB
071003_ON_NDWI.bin Contains NDWI data for the Oklahoma North regional study area for 10 July 2003. 5032 KB
071003_OS_NDVI.bin Contains NDVI data for the Oklahoma South regional study area for 10 July 2003. 6750 KB
071003_OS_NDWI.bin Contains NDWI data for the Oklahoma South regional study area for 10 July 2003. 6750 KB
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File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention and as described in Table 2:



Table 2. Description of File Name Variables
Variable Description
mm two-digit month
dd two-digit day
yy two-digit year
ss Site (OS = Oklahoma South; ON = Oklahoma North)
iiii Index (NDVI, NDWI)
.bin Indicates that this is a binary data file.

Example: 071003_ON_NDVI.bin

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File Size

File sizes range from 4.9 to 6.6 MB.

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The total data volume is approximately 23 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

The data set covers Oklahoma North and South regional study areas:

Southernmost Latitude: 34.49° N
Northernmost Latitude: 35.39° N
Westernmost Longitude: 98.29° W
Easternmost Longitude: 97.76° W

A detailed geographic description of the data set is shown in Table 3. Geolocation coordinates correspond to the center of each corner pixel.

Table 3. Geolocation of the Images
Regional Study Area Image Coordinates
Oklahoma North Northing Easting Latitude Longitude
Upper Left Corner 4081020 N 585790 E 36.87122 -98.037441719
Upper Right Corner 4081020 N 640990 E 36.86460 -97.418273713
Lower Left Corner 3997020 N 585790 E 36.11405 -98.046766559
Lower Right Corner 3997020 N 640990 E 36.10761 -97.433591947
Oklahoma South
Upper Left Corner 3920100 N 560380 E 35.42248 -98.334881531
Upper Right Corner 3920100 N 617980 E 35.41732 -97.700496383
Lower Left Corner 3812100 N 560380 E 34.44865 -98.342696988
Lower Right Corner 3812100 N 617980 E 34.44367 -97.715762369

Spatial Resolution

All four Landsat NDVI and NDWI data files cover an area with interior dimensions of 30 m by 30 m.

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Temporal Coverage

Data were acquired on 10 July 2003, which is assumed to be a reasonable approximation for the study period.

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Parameter or Variable

Parameter Description

The parameters of this data set are NDVI and NDWI. NDVI is the difference between the visible red and near-infrared bands, over their sum. The NDVI is a measure of vegetation amount and condition. It is associated with vegetation canopy characteristics such as biomass, leaf area index, and percentage of vegetation cover. NDVI helps researchers determine the density of vegetation in an area. NDWI divides the difference between the mid-infrared and near-infrared bands by the sum of those two bands, thereby giving a measurement of soil moisture. Refer to Equations 3 and 4.

Parameter Range

In general, the NDVI and NDWI vary between -1 and +1. For this data set, however, the parameter range is 0 to 1 for the NDVI and -0.5 to 0.5 for the NDWI; refer to Equations 1 and 2. Missing values are set to 0.

Parameter Source:

Two TM scenes from Landsat 5 were used to produce this NDVI and NDWI data set. The path rows are a composite of 28/25 and 28/36.

Sample Data Images

Figures 1 and 2 show sample thumbnail images from this data set.

Figure 1. Oklahoma North NDVI 10 July 2003 Sample Image
Figure 2. Oklahoma South NDWI 10 July 2003 Sample Image

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Software and Tools

Software and Tools

Tools appropriate for viewing these data are ArcView, ENVI, or other similar software package.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Source

Data were derived from bands 3 (red), 4 (near-infrared), and 5 (mid-infrared) of the Landsat 5 TM sensor.

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Derivation Techniques and Algorithms

NDVI and NDWI calculation

The NDVI and NDWI were computed for each pixel using the following equations (Gao, 1996):

NDVI = ρ(band 4) - ρ(band 3)

(Equation 3)
ρ(band 4) + ρ(band 3)


NDWI = ρ(band 4) - ρ(band 5)

(Equation 4)
ρ(band 4) + ρ(band 5)
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Sensor or Instrument Description

The TM instrument is a multispectral scanning radiometer carried on Landsats 4 and 5. It has seven spectral bands with a spatial resolution of 30 m for most bands.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Thomas J. Jackson
Michael H. Cosh

USDA ARS Hydrology/Remote Sensing Laboratory
Bldg. 007, Rm. 104, BARC-West
Beltsville, MD 20705 USA


The investigators would like to acknowledge the numerous graduate students and volunteers who collected the field data, in addition to the SMEX03 Science Team and Grazinglands Research Laboratory for their assistance. The investigators would also like to thank NASA 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

Document Creation Date

February 2008

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