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GIS Tools

Many of the DAACs also provide tools from which data can be visualized, subsetted, and downloaded in different file formats that are GIS analysis-ready. The table below contains a list of tools with the datasets that are available through the tool. Information about the datasets’ spatial and temporal resolution is also included. For more information on resolutions, read What is Remote Sensing? Once you know the dataset of interest, links to the tools and a brief tutorial on using the tool are below.

Hidden Discipline Measurements Tool
01 Cryosphere, Land, Biosphere, Hydrosphere Snow Cover, Surface Reflectance, Land Surface Temperature, Global Digital Elevation Model, Evapotranspiration, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index/ Enhanced Vegetation Index, Leaf Area Index, Evapotranspiration, Gross Primary Productivity/ Net Primary Productivity, Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation, Evaporative Stress Index, Carbon Net Ecosystem Exchange, Water Use Efficiency, Freeze/Thaw, Soil Moisture AppEEARSS
02 Atmosphere Cloud area, cloud effective pressure, cloud effective temperature, cloud radiative effects, solar flux CERES WebApp
03 Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Humans Air Temperature, Relative Humidity, Cloud Fraction, Cloud Top Temperature/ Pressure, Total Column Water Vapor and Ozone, Mole Fraction in Air of CO2, CO, CH4, O3, Wind Speed, Volumetric Soil Moisture, Sea Surface Salinity Giovanni
04 Biosphere, Land Vegetation Indices, Thermal Anomalies and Fire, Surface Reflectance, Net Primary Productivity, Evapotranspiration, Leaf Area Index, Land Surface temperature, Gross Primary Productivity, Burned Area, Albedo MODIS/VIIRS Subset Tool
05 Cryosphere, Land Glacial extent, Brightness temperature, glaciers, ice sheets, permafrost, sea ice, soil moisture, snow National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) & GLIMS
06 Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Humans Air Quality, Agriculture (Global Agricultural Lands: Croplands/ Pastures, Crop Climate, Nitrogen Fertilizer, Nitrogen in Manure, Phosphorus Fertilizer, Phosphorus in Manure), Anthropogenic Biomes, Environmental Performance Index (2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018), Population, Disaster-related, GRACE Freshwater Availability Trends Socioeconomic Data
06 Atmosphere Solar insolation / radiation, wind speed, temperature, specific/relative humidity, precipitation, cooling/heating degree days, thermal zones Prediction Of Worldwide Energy Resources (POWER)
07 Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Land Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Thaw Depth, Burn Severity, Aboveground Biomass, Fractional Open Water, Land Cover, Surface Water Extent, 30 year mean monthly climatology, 10 year mean monthly climatology, monthly precipitation, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, aboveground biomass, ecosystem functional type, tree canopy cover, carbon dioxide emissions, leaf area index, soil properties, Wetland extent, forest cover, land cover, digital elevation model, vegetation and soils, SAR wetland masks, soil properties, hydrologic maps Spatial Data Access Tool (SDAT)
08 Biosphere, Cryosphere, Hydrosphere, Land Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Vertex/SAR Toolbox
09 Hydrosphere River, lake/reservoir Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT)—Coming Soon
10 Hydrosphere Ocean-related Esri Toolbox—Coming Soon



AρρEEARS, from LP DAAC, offers a simple and efficient way to access and transform geospatial data from a variety of federal data archives. AρρEEARS enables users to subset geospatial datasets using spatial, temporal, and band/layer parameters. Two types of sample requests are available: point samples for geographic coordinates and area samples for spatial areas via vector polygons.

Performing Area Extractions

After choosing to request an area extraction, you will be taken to the Extract Area Sample page where you will specify a series of parameters that are used to extract data for your area(s) of interest.

Spatial Subsetting

You can define your region of interest in three ways:

  • Upload a vector polygon file in shapefile format (you can upload a single file with multiple features or multipart single features). The .shp, .shx, .dbf, or .prj files must be zipped into a file folder to upload.
  • Upload a vector polygon file in Geographic JavaScript Object Notation (GeoJSON) format (can upload a single file with multiple features or multipart single features).
  • Draw a polygon on the map by clicking on the Bounding box or Polygon icons (single feature only).

Select the date range for your time period of interest.

Specify the range of dates for which you wish to extract data by entering a start and end date (MM-DD-YYYY) or by clicking on the Calendar icon and selecting dates a start and end date in the calendar.

Adding Data Layers

Enter the product short name (e.g., MOD09A1, WELDUSMO), keywords from the product long name, a spatial resolution, a temporal extent, or a temporal resolution into the search bar. A list of available products matching your query will be generated. Select the layer(s) of interest to add to the Selected layers list. Layers from multiple products can be added to a single request. Be sure to read the list of available products available through AρρEEARS.

Extracting an area in AppEEARS

Selecting Output Options

Two output file formats are available:

  • GeoTIFF
  • NetCDF-4

If GeoTIFF is selected, one GeoTIFF will be created for each feature in the input vector polygon file for each layer by observation. If NetCDF-4 is selected, outputs will be grouped into .nc files by product and by feature.

If GeoTIFF is selected, you must select a projection

Interacting with Results

Once your request is completed, from the Explore Requests page, click the View icon in order to view and interact with your results. This will take you to the View Area Sample page.

The Layer Stats plot provides time series boxplots for all of the sample data for a given feature, data layer, and observation. Each input feature is renamed with a unique AρρEEARS ID (aid). If your feature contains attribute table information, you can view the feature attribute table data by clicking on the Information icon to the right of the Feature dropdown. To view statistics from different features or layers, select a different aid from the Feature dropdown and/or a different layer of interest from the Layer dropdown.

Interpreting Results in AppEEARS

Be sure to check out the AppEEARS documentation to learn more about downloading the output GeoTIFF or NetCDF-4 files. Once downloaded, GeoTIFF and NetCDF datasets can be opened in a GIS by adding a raster layer. An example of doing this in QGIS is below.

Adding a raster layer subsetted and downloaded through LP DAAC AppEEARS tool

NDVI data over southeastern US in QGIS - the data were subset and downloaded from the LP DAAC AppEEARS tool.

Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) WebApp

Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) WebApp

The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument measures reflected sunlight and thermal radiation emitted by the Earth. Data products from CERES include both solar-reflected and Earth-emitted radiation from the top of the atmosphere to the Earth's surface. These measurements, called radiative fluxes, represent the amount of energy radiated through a given area within a given time range. CERES provides the only global top of atmosphere energy budget dataset.



Giovanni is an online environment for the display and analysis of geophysical parameters. There are many options for analysis. The following are several more popular ones:

  • Time-averaged maps are a simple way to observe the variability of data values over a region of interest.
  • Map animations are a means to observe spatial patterns and detect unusual events over time.
  • Area-averaged time series are used to display the value of a data variable that has been averaged from all the data values acquired for a selected region for each time step.
  • Histogram plots are used to display the distribution of values of a data variable in a selected region and time interval.

Page Last Updated: Mar 23, 2020 at 11:23 AM EDT