1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Worldview and GIBS FAQs

Worldview and GIBS FAQs

Worldview

Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS)

Subscribe to the GIBS mailing list receive notifications from GIBS about updates, announcements, data issues and scheduled maintenance.


Worldview

How do I share a view I have created?

To share a view, keeping the dates and layers selected, click on the white "link"/"Share this Map" icon in the upper right corner. This will generate a link which you can copy and paste to your desired location or share on social media by clicking on the relevant social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit) or via email, in the "Copy to link to share" window.

How do I create an animation and animated GIF from the imagery?

Check out the video tutorial!

How do I get a georeferenced image from Worldview into my GIS?

GeoTIFF

  • Go to Worldview.
  • Load the layers that you are interested and change to the date you are interested in. You can also change from the Geographic projection (EPSG:4326) to Arctic (EPSG:3413) or Antarctic (EPSG:3031) projections by clicking on the globe icon in the upper right corner.
  • Pan and/or zoom into your area of interest.
  • Click on the Camera “Take a snapshot” tool in the upper right corner.
  • Drag the edges or corners of the box to encompass the area you are interested in.
  • Select your desired Resolution (per pixel).
  • Select “GeoTIFF” as the format.
  • Click "Download".
  • You will now have a zip file called “nasa-worldview-YYYY-MM-DD.tif” where YYYY-MM-DD is the day you selected for your image.
  • Load the image into your GIS!

JPEG or PNG with Worldfile (read more about Worldfiles)

  • Go to Worldview.
  • Load the layers that you are interested and change to the date you are interested in. You can also change from the Geographic projection (EPSG:4326) to Arctic (EPSG:3413) or Antarctic (EPSG:3031) projections by clicking on the globe icon in the upper right corner.
  • Pan and/or zoom into your area of interest.
  • Click on the Camera “Take a snapshot” tool in the upper right corner.
  • Drag the edges or corners of the box to encompass the area you are interested in.
  • Select your desired Resolution (per pixel).
  • Select “JPEG” or “PNG” as the format.
  • Select “Yes” for the Worldfile (.zip).
  • Click "Download".
  • You will now have a zip file called “nasa-worldview-YYYY-MM-DD.zip” where YYYY-MM-DD is the day you selected for your image.
  • Upzip this file, it will contain 3 files ending in .jpg/.png; .jgw/.pgw; and .jpg.aux.xml/.png.aux.xml. The jgw/.pgw file contains the georeferencing information, the .jpg.aux.xml/.png.aux.xml contains the projection information.
  • Load the image into your GIS!

Why is there no imagery of the U.S. on Worldview for the current day?

Depending on the time you access Worldview, imagery is probably not shown for the U.S because the satellite has not yet passed over the country. You can look at previous days' imagery by using the date slider at the bottom of the screen.

What are the large data gaps or missing areas near the equator for some of the imagery?

The regularly spaced gaps near the equator are due to lack of coverage between orbits. Terra, Aqua and Aura are polar orbiting satellites, traveling from pole to pole. The Terra satellite travels north to south, passing over the equator at 10:30am local time (and 10:30pm local time). Aqua and Aura move in the opposite direction, south to north, passing over the equator at 1:30pm local time (and 1:30am local time). At high latitudes, adjacent imaging swaths overlap significantly but at the equator gaps occur between adjacent swaths. As a result, complete global coverage is achieved every one to two days. The newer joint NOAA/NASA Suomi - National Polar orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite do not have the data gaps at the equator. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument has a wider swath width than the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra and Aqua satellites, which covers the data gaps.

How do I know what time of day the image was taken?

To find out what time of day an image was taken for the Terra, Aqua, Aura, and Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellites and several other satellites, you must activate the corresponding Orbital Track layer.

  • In the Layer List, display the desired imagery by clicking on the eye icon, e.g. Corrected Reflectance (True Color) Terra / MODIS
  • In the Layer List, click on the "Add Layers" tab.
  • Type “Orbital Tracks” in the search box.
  • Add the corresponding Orbital Track overlay, e.g. Terra Orbital Track (Descending/Day) Terra / Space-Track.org. Example

The orbital tracks represent when the satellite will be passing over a particular location on Earth on that day. The orbital tracks show a series of dots, each dot representing 1 minute, along the satellite orbit path with time stamps shown every 5 minutes. The time is shown in Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC.

Orbital Track layers include ascending and descending satellite orbits for day and night-time orbits. Terra’s descending/day time orbit (North-South) will cross the equator at 10:30 a.m. local time during each orbit and ascending/night time orbit will pass over the equator at 10:30pm local time. Aqua’s ascending/day time orbit crosses the equator at 1:30 p.m. local time and descending/night time orbit passes over the equator at 1:30am local time. Aura and GPM are on the same orbit track as Aqua and the satellites follow each other closely, passing over the equator within minutes of each other at 1:30pm local time and 1:30am local time. These satellites, as well as a few others, form the Afternoon Constellation or the “A-Train” for short. The A-Train flies in the following order: Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2), Global Change Observation Mission-Water "SHIZUKU" 1 (GCOM-W1), Aqua, Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO), CloudSat and Aura.

Not all products are available for the night time orbit. For MODIS surface/corrected reflectance imagery, you must pick a day time orbit as it is not possible to create a surface reflectance image without sunlight.

Why are there so many clouds?

Approximately 70% of the earth's surface is covered by clouds at any given time. That means there is a good chance that the region you want to see will have some cloud cover. Use the time slider at the bottom of Worldview to view other dates.

Is there a list of products displayed in Worldview and GIBS?

Most imagery served by the Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) is in Worldview. See the GIBS Available Imagery Products page for a complete listing.

Does it work on mobile devices?

Yes, we do our best to keep it usable on both desktop and mobile devices.

Which browsers does it work in?

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 10+.

Can I get the source code to Worldview?

Worldview is available on GitHub and along with simple web mapping examples which use the same imagery.

Are there any restrictions on using imagery downloaded from Worldview?

NASA supports an open data policy and we encourage publication of imagery from Worldview; when doing so, please cite it as "NASA Worldview" and also consider including a permalink (such as this one) to allow others to explore the imagery.

For acknowledgment in scientific journals, please use:

We acknowledge the use of imagery from the NASA Worldview application (https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/) operated by the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) project.

Back to top

Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS)

What is GIBS?

The Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) are a set of standard services to deliver global, full-resolution satellite imagery in a highly responsive manner. GIBS serves LANCE near real-time imagery (imagery available within 3 hours of satellite overpass), MODIS science imagery from the beginning of the Terra and Aqua missions to present as well as many other imagery layers. Its goal is to enable interactive exploration of NASA's Earth imagery for a broad range of users. Visit the GIBS Wiki for more information about GIBS and how to use it, also stay up-to-date with GIBS with the GIBS Blog.

How do I get GIBS imagery into my own client?

Imagery are available in a variety of standards-based web services to plug into your own web clients and GIS applications, allowing users to tailor it to their needs and the needs of their end users. Visit the GIBS API for Developers section, Map Library Usage section and GIS Usage section for more information.

Access imagery through standards-based web services and formats:

  • Web Map Tile Service (WMTS)
  • Tiled Web Map Service (TWMS)
  • Keyhole Markup Language (KML)
  • Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL)

Imagery is provided in several map projections:

  • Geographic / Equirectangular (EPSG:4326)
  • Web Mercator (EPSG:3857)
  • Arctic Polar Stereographic (EPSG:3413)
  • Antarctic Polar Stereographic (EPSG:3031)

What imagery are available through GIBS?

Visit Worldview to see most of the imagery that is available in GIBS. Check out the Available Imagery Products page to find out more!

Back to top

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2018 at 2:00 PM EDT