Knowledge Base

Search, order, and customize NSIDC DAAC data with NASA Earthdata Search

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. Thousands of Earth science data sets are accessible from 12 science-oriented Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). The NSIDC DAAC distributes several hundred data sets in NASA Earthdata Search, many with customization options. This article outlines the NSIDC DAAC data sets with customization options and further describes how to search, order, and customize data in NASA Earthdata Search. 

Step 1: Determine the services enabled for your data set(s) of interest

The subsetting, reformatting, and reprojection options apply to AMSR-E, ICESat-2, ICESat/GLAS, MODIS, SMAP, and VIIRS data and are unique to each data set. 

The following tables list an overview of customizations provided for each collection:

  1. AMSR-E
  2. ICESat-2
  3. ICESat/GLAS
  4. MODIS
  5. SMAP
  6. VIIRS

Step 2: Access NASA Earthdata Search (https://search.earthdata.nasa.gov)

Step 3: Search for a data set 

Search for a data set in the search box by entering specific key terms such as a mission (e.g. Terra), an instrument (e.g. MODIS), a data set (e.g. MOD10A1), and/or science parameter (e.g. snow cover). Refine the search results by applying spatial and temporal filters.

Step 4:  View results of data search

Click on a collection to view the matching science granules. Additional granule filters can be applied if needed (e.g. cloud cover, equatorial crossing time, orbit number, etc.). Individual granules can be downloaded or removed by clicking on the download arrow or × icons, respectively. When available, browse imagery can also be viewed by clicking an image. 

Step 5: Customize and order data

Click on the Download All button and sign in to NASA Earthdata Search or register for a new account. Once on the ordering page, choose More Options and then Customize. Select all desirable customization options and click on Download Data. 

Step 6: Retrieve data

When the data order is submitted, order status emails are sent to the user. The Download Status page also provides this information. Once the order has completed, download the data with the links provided in the email or on the Download Status page. 

For questions about customization options and NSIDC data, please contact nsidc@nsidc.org.

For additional instructions on using NASA Earthdata Search, please visit https://earthdata.nasa.gov/learn/getting-started.