I want to shift from downloading Landsat8 imagery directly from USGS to the AWS service (https://pages.awscloud.com/public-data-sets-landsat.html).

I have some automated processes that are not accepting the TIF files from AWS. Upon closer inspection the file sizes differ substantially.

For example for scene LC80930842016347LGN00 if I download from EarthExplorer as LC80930842016347LGN00.tar.gz and extract all bands except B8 are 116,191KB.

When I download the bands individually from AWS (http://landsat-pds.s3.amazonaws.com/L8/093/084/LC80930842016347LGN00/index.html) all bands except B8 are around 60MB and the BQA band is only about 1MB.

Is there some compression going on in the AWS storage and if so, is there a process to transform these back to original so the Landsat_LDOPE tools will work?

  • 2
    gdalinfo tells me the AWS tifs are DEFALTE compressed with 512x512 tiling.
    – user2856
    Dec 16, 2016 at 4:29
  • According to the TIFF wiki article DEFLATE compression is lossless so we in theory should be able to convert back to original state?
    – Ben
    Dec 16, 2016 at 5:53
  • So the answer to the question in the title is probably "because as DEFLATE compressed they take less disk space without loosing quality".
    – user30184
    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:00

1 Answer 1


AWS compresses GeoTiff using DEFLATE.


gdal_translate LC80930842016347LGN00_B1.TIF LC80930842016347LGN00_B1_.TIF

returns uncompressed file exactly the same size as TIFs from USGS.

  • It may not be the compression, but the tiling that ldope chokes on. I suggest testing compressed without tiling as well.
    – user2856
    Dec 16, 2016 at 7:14
  • Cheers, I'll try. Actually the ldope is still choking on my above solution, but Spectral Transformer is working again.
    – Ben
    Dec 16, 2016 at 7:27

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