@celoyd and I voiced on the rescaling factor and output dtype. We think that the default should be keeping post-TOA tifs as float (currently float32). This allows faster reading and minimum information lost when we work on post-TOA processes like atmospheric correction in the future. We can add a new cli option to output rescaled 16-bit.
Why are we rescaling?
TOA is the ratio of reflected radiation from the surface to incident radiation upon it. Its dimensionless nature lets it be expressed as a percentage and is measured on a scale from zero for no reflection of a perfectly black surface to 1 for perfect reflection of a white surface. We need to rescale TOA from this ratio back to 16-bit(or 8-bit). Note that we need to rescale post-TOA tifs to 55,000 instead of 216 because USGS Landsat 8 products are delivered as 16-bit images but are actually scaled to 55,000 grey levels:
Here are the steps:
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But there are also cases where we'll need 8bit for pragmatic reasons. Both of these are limitations of GDAL's implementation but limitations nonetheless.
In auto-landsat we have some intermediate steps that might be affected by the alpha band interpretation issue. So uint8 might be necessary.
I think we should have a
related note: when we implement this, make sure to expose the data rescaling function in the python API as well as in the worker/cli.