Landsat module and reference system

The new Landsat import module in TerrSet reads the accompanying MTL file to import and process the data from the USGS archive. We have found one case where the MTL has an error in its documentation that results in the incorrect documenting of the reference system in the imported .rdc file. 

This occurred importing a Landsat 1 MSS scene for southern Africa. The MTL had an error in the EPSG code resulting in the .rdc file to record UTM-35N instead of UTM-35S. This is easily corrected after importing by changing the reference system in Metadata in Terrset or using the Metaupdate module.


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  • 0

    The Landsat import module is very useful. Will incorporate Terrset some module for Sentinel import in the future?

  • 0
    Nina Ward

    Would an MTL error such as this cause the Landsat import module to not identify the accompanying bands with the file? I have been moving through chapter 3 section 4 of the TerrSet tutorial and I am unable to import the Landsat file because the module will not recognize the corresponding bands for the image. I have made sure that the bands are in the IDRISI format and they are in the same directory in the working folder. I have also tried using other Landsat images to see if it was just a one time error with the same results. 

  • 0
    Clark Labs

    In the latest version of TerrSet, 18.31, the Landsat module has an error importing Level 2 data. If you are importing Collection 1 Level 2 data, you can use the GeoTiff import module instead. Since Level 2 data is already atmospherically corrected, The GeoTiff module will just import the data as reflectance data. If you want to use the Landsat module and do your own atmospheric correct, then you will need to download Level 1 data. 

    This error has been corrected and will be in a future release. 


  • 0
    Clark Labs

    The latest version of TerrSet, 18.31, now supports the Import of Sentinel 2 data in JP2K format. The module in TerrSet is called SENTINEL.

  • 0
    Claudio Ignacio Fernández Espinosa


    where can I find instructions to create a macros for the Landsat metada including the conversion to reflectance, reflectance correction and thermal bands?

  • 1

    All this would be great if EarthExplorer included an MTL file instead of XML files. I am trying to work with Dynamic Surface Water Extent images, and unfortunately, I get an error message because I do not have MTL files. I see other people post elsewhere about problems with metadata and silence from Clark Labs. I pay personally for this software and I hope assistance would be forthcoming. Last, but importantly, why have you not switched to XML format if that is what is given with Landsat images from the providers?

  • 0
    Clark Labs


    Our original intention of the Landsat module was to support the raw imagery archive, which USGS releases only using the mtl metadata. The derived imagery such as the ARD you have can be imported using the Gdal Utility in TerrSet. All the necessary metadata is contained in the tiff tags, not the xml. However, once you import the data you will notice that the import will document the projection in TerrSet Metadata using the filename. For the conterminous US the correct reference file to use would be as follows: 

    ref. system : Alber's Equal Area Conic for Continental U.S. (USGS ARD)
    projection : Alber's Equal Area Conic
    datum : WGS84
    delta WGS84 : 0 0 0
    ellipsoid : WGS84
    major s-ax : 6378140
    minor s-ax : 6356755
    origin long : -96
    origin lat : 23
    origin X : 0
    origin Y : 0
    scale fac : na
    units : m
    parameters : 2
    stand ln 1 : 29.5
    stand ln 2 : 45.5

    If you save these parameters as a georeferecned file with a .ref extension, you can then change the name of the projection in Metadata and reproject you data if necessary. 

    We will incorporate this .ref file in a future release of TerrSet along with Alaska and Hawaii. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. 


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