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 from 1987 to present day. WOfS aims is to allow better understanding of where water is usually present; where it is seldom observed; and where inundation of the surface has been occasionally observed by satellite. WOfS displays the detected surface water from the Australia-wide Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellite imagery archive.
For each grid cell within the map, WOfS displays:
- the number of clear satellite observations over the period (1987 to present)
- the number of occasions water was detected
- the percentage of clear observations on which water was detected, and
- 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.
The WOfS project began in 2011 and included staged releases of information and a trial product. The development of this product is now complete. Data will continue to be updated every three months.
WOfS uses the Datacube application at the National Computational Infrastructure for the storage , organisation and analysis of satellite data.
More information on Geoscience Australia's Water Observations from Space product is available in the WOfS FAQs.
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 1987 to present.
Find out more about the 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 WOfS product, how Geoscience Australia is using satellites to observe surface water, and the uses and limitations of the product.