First complete multi-spectral mosaic of Australia

By on 19 January, 2016

  First complete multi-spectral mosaic of Australia


The latest off-the-shelf Landsat-8 mosaic, L8M Australia, has just been released by Geoshepherds. Along with providing current imagery from 2013 to 2015, L8M Australia boasts some new features not seen before in a large-scale mosaic product, allowing for wider applicability.

The creators of L8M Australia are Geoshepherds, an international GIS and Remote Sensing consultancy based in Sweden, who claim that L8M Australia is the first ever multi-band mosaic that has been orthorectified, radiometrically color balanced and pansharpened across the entire landmass of Australia- over 7.6 million square kilometres in all.

To create L8M Australia, Geoshepherds used Landsat-8 imagery from 2013 up until 2015, with around 90% of the data acquired during 2015. This imagery is captured in partnership between NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Geoshepherds handpicked the best scenes for the product based on following criteria; most recent, captured in the dry season and with low cloud cover and/or fire scars.

Pansharpened to 15m and seamlessly mosaiced, users can now enjoy an enhanced spatial resolution product with L8M Australia. The uniform appearance covering a large area provides a consistent backdrop for GIS as well as for users who manage a regional or country-wide project. The enhanced spatial resolution from pansharpening improves the extraction of features and increases detail over urban areas.

The data contains both RGB and false colour spectral bands and encompasses the complete 7-bands that Landsat-8 has to offer: Cirrus, Red, Green, Blue, NIR, SWIR-1 and SWIR-2. This additional use of the L8M Australia product means you can visualise and disseminate information you may not see in existing true colour products. This provides users with the freedom to make the most of the rich data available for their applications and perform spectral analysis with indices or through custom band combinations.

l8m australia details

Thanks to extensive processing, L8M Australia provides a clean and distraction free backdrop for mapping as well as improving the quality of spectral analysis with the 7-band product. Each image was checked for live bushfires and fire scars and masks were created in order to remove  these temporal variations. The same was performed with cloud cover, with a resulting cloud cover of less than 1 per cent across the continent.

To improve the user experience further, the mosaic has been clipped to the coastline and vector shapefiles for cutlines and tiles are included. This means that the product is free of unwanted ocean artefacts and can also be merged with bathymetry data. The supporting vector files provide users with context for dates of capture and the tile extents of the product.

All of the data is supplied in GeoTIFF format, has been tiled and is provided in two spatial reference systems; Lat/Long WGS84 and UTM WGS84. Customers also receive a compressed JPEG2000 version of the natural colour and false colour contrast enhanced mosaic.

L8M Australia is the first of Geoshepherds L8M suite of products, but will not be the last, with a similar mosaic for New Zealand to be released in early 2016. Geoshepherds will then be looking at a European mosaic with Landsat-8.

L8M Australia is now readily available for global users, who can purchase the product from the Geoshepherds website. Datasets can be downloaded on a Country or by State basis and is conveniently accessible upon purchase via Dropbox. Samples can be found via this link and further product specifications can be found here.

Read more about the product and how to purchase at the Geoshepherds project page.


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