Water Observations from Space

Water Observations from Space (WOfS) is a web service displaying historical surface water observations derived from satellite imagery for all of Australia for the period of 1998 to 2012. By June 2015 this service will be extended to enable users to view data on surface water observed by satellite across Australia since 1987. WOfS displays the detected surface water from the Australia-wide Landsat-5 and Landsat-7 satellite imagery archive. The aim of WOfS is to better understand where water is usually present; where it is seldom observed; and where inundation of the surface has been occasionally observed by satellite.

What's new

This latest version of WOfS displays, for each grid cell:

  • the number of clear satellite observations over the period (1998-2012);
  • the number of occasions water was detected;
  • the percentage of clear observations on which water was detected;
  • the confidence (or probability) that a water observation in this location is correct. This is a percentage, based on a number of factors including the slope of the land and the existence of other corroborative evidence.

More information on Geoscience Australia's Water Observations from Space product is available in the WOfS FAQs.

View Water Observations from Space

Use the Water Observations from Space application to view surface water observed by the Landsat-5 and Landsat-7 satellites for all of Australia from 1998 to 2012.

About WOfs

Find out more about the Water Observations from Space (WOfS) product, how it was developed and its role in the broader flood mapping toolkit. For a detailed technical description of the product, see the Water Observations from Space Product Description.


Answer your questions about the Water Observations from Space (WOfS) product, how Geoscience Australia is using satellites to observe surface water, and the uses and limitations of the WOfS product.

WofS Help

Learn how to use the WOfS tool and find out more about how to better understand your search results.