Knowledge Base

How to search, order, and customize NASA MODIS data with NASA Earthdata Search

In this step-by-step tutorial, we will demonstrate how to search, order, and customize NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data using the NASA Earthdata Search application. NASA Earthdata search provides an interactive map-based search environment where you can filter your results based on spatial and temporal constraints and perform numerous customizations on data order, including re-formatting, re-projecting, and spatial and parameter subsetting.

Step 1: Go to the NASA Earthdata Search main page (

Step 2: Understanding the three main sections of the page

Far left – faceted search options

  • Search by features of the data, including the ability to filter by map imagery, near real-time data, and subsetting services
  • Search based on science keywords, as well as instrument, organization, etc.

Bottom Panel – lists the collections that match your search criteria

  • This panel can be re-sized by clicking and dragging on the top of the ‘Matching Collections’ tab

Main Panel – global map displaying search results

  • Use your cursor to pan across the map
  • Zoom in and out using the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons on the far right
  • Choose your projection, including north and south polar stereo view and geographic
  • Apply spatial and temporal filters
  • Switch and add/remove baselayers

Step 3: Click on the Geographic view (middle icon outlined below)

Step 4: Start you search by entering MYD10A1 in the main search bar

Step 5: Refine your search by applying a temporal filter for February 2018

5a: Select ‘Temporal’ drop down menu

5b: Select February 1, 2018 in the ‘Start’ box

5c: Select February 28, 2018 in the ‘End’ box

5d: Click on ‘Apply Filter’

5e: Click on MYD10A1 V006

Step 6: Refine your search by applying a spatial filter

There are several ways to apply a spatial filter to MODIS data. The first is to search using geographic or grid coordinates. The second method involves uploading a .kml, .kmz, or .shp file. Lastly and specifically for MODIS Sinusoidal grid data, a user can search for specific tiles. This step will only cover MODIS Sinusoidal tile search, which is applicable to MOD10A1, MYD10A1, MOD10A2, and MYD10A2.

Step 6a: Under the ‘Spatial’ dropdown choose ‘Grid Coordinates’

Step 6b: Choose ‘MODIS Sinusoidal’ and locate the h and v tiles grids base on the MODIS Sinusoidal Tile Grid

Step 6c: Enter the tile(s) to be filtered in h,v format. Enter h and v coordinates separated by spaces, e.g. "10,4 10,5”

Step 6d: Click enter to apply the filter

Step 7: Order and customize granules

7a: Click on ‘Download All’ (highlighted above) and sign in to NASA Earthdata Search

7b: On the ‘Select Data Access Method' page, choose ‘Customize’

7c: Select from various reformatting, reprojection, resampling, and band subsetting options on this screen

7d: Click ‘Done’

7e: Click 'Download Data'

*Alternatively, choosing ‘Direct Download’ allows for the immediate download of all granules without any customizations applied.