What is the Australian Geoscience Data Cube?

From sustainably managing the environment to developing resources, and optimising our agricultural potential, Australia must overcome a number of challenges to meet the needs of our growing population in a time of increased climate variability.

The Australian Geoscience Data Cube (Data Cube) is a new collaborative approach for storing, organising and analysing the vast quantities of satellite imagery and other Earth Observations, making it quicker and easier to provide information on issues that can affect all Australians.

The Data Cube is a series of structures and tools that calibrate and standardise datasets, enabling the application of time series and the rapid development of quantitative information products, such as Water Observations from Space. It uses open source standards and is designed to help both government and private industry make informed decisions.

Before the Data Cube, satellite imagery and other gridded geospatial datasets were downloaded, analysed and provided to users on a custom basis. This took a long time to produce at a high cost, for a single purpose. The Data Cube calibrates this information to make it more accessible, easier to analyse, and reduce the overall cost for users.

Datasets currently stored and available for analysis in the Data Cube include:

  • Geoscience Australia Landsat Surface Reflectance (1987 to present)
  • Landsat Pixel Quality
  • Landsat Fractional Cover
  • Landsat NDVI

Datasets that have been piloted and tested for use in the Data Cube include:

More information on Data Cube is available via a range of journal articles published on the topic:


Landsat 5 imagery acquired on the 28th of March 2011, over part of the Georgina River, north of Lake Eyre in South Australia. The image shows the area in full flood, and has been displayed in false-colour, highlighting water in shades of yellow and red, vegetation in shades of green, and bare areas in shades of blue.