Find Data

NASA acquires, archives, and distributes data from a variety of sources, including remote sensing instruments on satellite and airborne platforms, field campaigns, in situ measurements, and model outputs. These data span the breadth of Earth science disciplines and cover even the most remote areas of Earth, providing measurements of Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, land, cryosphere, and how humans interact with the environment, as well as calibrated radiance and solar radiance data. These measurements help NASA better understand climate change, severe weather, sea ice and glaciers, hazards and disasters, health and air quality, ecology, and water resources. Through interagency and international partnerships, NASA also distributes and promotes Earth observation data from non-NASA missions.

Screenshot of search.earthdata.nasa.gov showing MODIS/Aqua aerosol 5-Min L2 swath at 3km resolution.

These datasets are freely and openly available to anyone. There are several ways you can discover the data:

Earthdata Search

Earthdata Search provides the only means for data discovery, filtering, visualization, and access across all of NASA’s Earth science data holdings. It allows you to search by any topic, collection, or place name. Using Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS), Earthdata Search enables high-performance, highly available data visualization when applicable.

Note that you must create an account to download the data. Registering for a profile is free and open to everyone.

Near Real-Time (NRT) Data

NRT data products are available within three hours from satellite observation and accessed via Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). NRT active fire data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) are accessed via Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS).

Common Metadata Repository (CMR)

CMR is a metadata system that serves as the backend for Earthdata Search. It provides a mechanism to further filter a search by metadata features, such as keywords, platforms, instruments, and processing levels.

Global Change Master Directory

GCMD is a directory to Earth science data and services. The GCMD database currently catalogs more than 25,000 Earth science datasets and services covering all aspects of Earth and environmental sciences. You can use the search box or select from the available keywords to search for data and services.

There are many other ways to access individual data collections. If you are unsure which tools meet your needs, see the Getting Started page.

Last Updated: Aug 2, 2019 at 10:40 AM EDT