Vannan, SKS; Cook, RB; Pan, JY; Wilson, BE (2011). A SOAP Web Service for accessing MODIS land product subsets. EARTH SCIENCE INFORMATICS, 4(2), 97-106.
Remote sensing data from satellites have provided valuable information on the state of the earth for several decades. Since March 2000, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on board NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites have been providing estimates of several land parameters useful in understanding earth system processes at global, continental, and regional scales. However, the HDF-EOS file format, specialized software needed to process the HDF-EOS files, data volume, and the high spatial and temporal resolution of MODIS data make it difficult for users wanting to extract small but valuable amounts of information from the MODIS record. To overcome this usability issue, the NASA-funded Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for Biogeochemical Dynamics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed a Web service that provides subsets of MODIS land products using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). The ORNL DAAC MODIS subsetting Web service is a standard based way of serving satellite data that exploits a fairly established and popular Internet protocol to allow users access to massive amounts of remote sensing data. The Web service provides MODIS land product subsets up to 201 x 201 km in a non-proprietary comma delimited text file format. Users can programmatically query the Web service to extract MODIS land parameters for real time data integration into models, decision support tools or connect to workflow software. Information regarding the MODIS SOAP subsetting Web service is available on the World Wide Web (WWW) at http://daac.ornl.gov/modiswebservice.