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Access the MODIS web service and perform quality filtering using R

Date: February 27, 2018
Contact for ORNL DAAC:

Keywords: MODIS, web service, R, REST


The tutorial outlined in the jupyter notebook will explore using the R to access MODIS Land Products through the new (May 2018) REST-based web service hosted by the ORNL DAAC. For a full description and usage examples of the web service, please visit the ORNL DAAC's MODIS site:

Using the MODIS Web Service users can:

  • Retrieve MODIS subsets through command line operations
  • Download and integrate subsets directly into client-side workflows
  • Download and visualize subsets with customized code
  • ... and much more.

This tutorial will demonstrate how to do the following in R:

  • dates and subset request examples
  • build a time series of MOD11A2 land surface temperature from multiple web service subset requests
  • perform quality control filtering based on multiple MODIS qc criteria

The same instructions are provided in Python in another repository.

Daytime LST for North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve 2001-2003

Source Data

Input data were accessed through the MODIS Web Service hosted at the ORNL DAAC. All necessary steps for accessing the web service using R are outlined in the jupyter notebook.

Other methods for accessing data through the web service are described at the MODIS web page;


R (3.x recommended). R libraries: httr, readr, jsonlite, ggplot2, scales
Note: Not all libraries required. readr enables conversation of text response into data.frame; jsonlite enables conversion of json response.


Access the the tutorial here:

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