There is a neat Surface Reflectance product of Landsat imagery. I know the difference between SR and raw products: SR presents calculated values, that are supposed to represent state of the Earth surface, while "normal" products are disturbed by all kinds of scattering on the way from the Sun to the surface and back to the sensor.

Now, I'm performing a land classification of terrain to extract boundaries between two types of land use. I have many images and this is unsupervised classification. Do I really need SR product here? Would I need it, if it was supervised classification? I suppose it's no in both cases, as I don't directly compare any values between images. I just need to know exact position of this boundary.

  • 2
    This related post/answer may be helpful: gis.stackexchange.com/a/153406/8104
    – Aaron
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 3:52
  • Thanks for a link to an actual research article. It was helpful.
    – adamczi
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 19:35
  • Is the SR product harder to obtain for you than the "normal"?
    – Michael
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 13:38
  • Not for Landsat, but other satellites require you to process image by yourself, what may need significant time to get to know all details about the process.
    – adamczi
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


Since you just want to delineate the borders between two land uses you don't need to worry about using images with atmospheric correction. In case your application really needs the surface values (for example, you want to see if after applying a fertilizer the NDVI increases or not) then you would prefer using that product

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