I am building a QGIS plugin in Python to fetch Landsat images from this STAC server: https://landsatlook.usgs.gov/stac-server

I need to be able to download the thumbnails, but cannot find how to authenticate to do this programmatically. How can I authenticate to get this thumbnail jpeg using vanilla python (or standard included libs)?

Trying to fetch the url redirects to the USGS login page.


NB: I do not want to use any extra python libraries that are not supplied with QGIS as it makes sharing the plugin more complex.

This is where I get redirected when attempting to download: https://ers.cr.usgs.gov/login?redirectUrl=https://ers.cr.usgs.gov/?redirect_url%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flandsatlook.usgs.gov%252Fdata%252Fcollection02%252Flevel-2%252Fstandard%252Foli-tirs%252F2019%252F109%252F073%252FLC08_L2SP_109073_20190527_20200828_02_T1%252FLC08_L2SP_109073_20190527_20200828_02_T1_thumb_small.jpeg

I do not want to use web scraping.

  • 1
    You may need to drop a netrc with credentials in the working dir or user profile dir. That's what the various USGS NASA tutorials I've seen do.
    – user2856
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 6:42
  • Thanks @user2856 feel free to post as an answer if you would like the points
    – staf
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 5:59
  • @user2856 this is actually not working in this case. I get redirected to the USGS EROS Registration Page not Earth Data as per those tutorials. I get redirected here: ers.cr.usgs.gov/login?redirectUrl=https://ers.cr.usgs.gov/…
    – staf
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 0:18
  • Ugh, they don't make it easy :(
    – user2856
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 3:49
  • I know, I cant fathom why its so hard to find documentation on this!
    – staf
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 4:09

1 Answer 1


An inelegant solution is to login to USGS using a POST request first and get the image using BeautifulSoup or another web scraping tool. I would prefer not to do this, and instead authenticate directly in the request if possible. An example that works is documented here: gdalinfo authenticate for remote file

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