I wanted to shift from sentinel-2 image to sentinel-1 for crop type mapping due to cloud coverage in the context of Nepal. So I started learning about the sentinel-1 image with references and tutorials on sentinel-1 image processing from multiple sources. Rather than getting a perfect concept, I got confused with various ideas and techniques. Among them, the selection of product type on sentinel-1 is the one.

Please feel free to discuss with following questions that I am having if you could enlighten me.

  • With crop type mapping, forest change detection, and Land Cover/ Land use classifications, what would be the effect of selecting either SLC or GRD?

  • Google Earth Engine(GEE) has GRD product type only, so the analysis with GRD is much simpler, but what will I be missing in using the SLC product?

1 Answer 1


For many applications, GRD images provide enough information. SLC require more skills to work with (they cannot be used directly for mapping). You will have to make your own GRD from the SLC anyway, but from SLC you can also make coherence images if needed. If you need coherence or other interferometry products, then SLC are required.

The GRD from GEE are OK, but you must know that there are different algorithms to make the GRD so they are not always optimal (beware in slopy areas). Are you only in the Plateaus of Nepal or also on the mountain sides ?

  • I am initially trying to use on plain region ( Terai ) of Nepal. I have been suggested result would not be better for hills. Thanks for the insight it really helped me a lot. May 3, 2022 at 14:51

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