change in EarthExplorer Landsat CDR

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uploaded data

Expected structure of your data either your working directory set to the data/ folder or above it.

Expected structure of your data either your working directory set to the data/ folder or above it.

we uploaded and linked all data sets used in our book on the “data” page of our webpage. Cropped Landsat data as original as well as pre-processed files can be downloaded. Moreover a variety of vector files and final products created in the chapters are available. Download the data here.

final electronic proof

remote_sensing_GIS_ecology_open_source_Wegmann_Leutner_Dech_Oct2015We received the final electronic proof of our book “Remote Sensing and GIS for Ecologists – Using Open Source software“. The printed versions of our book should be available soon and we are very much looking forward to it.

The publisher is still offering 20% discount on pre-orders – order our book right now on using the discount code: RSGE20.


We are also thankful to Woody Turner for his fantastic foreword:

“.….With this book, Wegmann, Leutner, and Dech […] cleverly couple an exploration of satellite remote sensing with step-by-step immersion in the open source GIS and statistical analysis tools that allow one to make sense of the remote sensing products. In my experience, this book is unique in walking the ecological reader through the actual steps necessary to create their own remotely sensed products. It is more than an introduction to the principles of remote sensing and GIS. It is guide to get the reader going, and using remote sensing and GIS to create focused products. The text also helpfully points to selected websites, articles, and books for deeperbook_remote_sensing_gis_ecologists_wegmann_leutner_dech informational dives and recommends ways to connect with the geospatial community. I applaud the authors for advancing all ecological disciplines with this text. Through this guidebook, they open the doors to the geospatial revolution that is taking our science and its applications to new heights.


Woody Turner
Program Scientist for Biological Diversity and Program Manager
for Ecological Forecasting, Earth Science Division, NASA Headquarters

book soon available – discount for pre-orders

RS_GIS_Ecology_Book_Wegmann_Leutner_Dech_adOur book “Remote Sensing and GIS for Ecologists – Using Open Source software” will soon be available. We worked through the 3rd proof and fixed all remaining issues. Looking forward to the printed version. The book offers a great overview of Remote Sensing applications using Open Source software, mainly R but also QGIS and provides you with working code to practically redo the analysis outlined in the book. The new RStoolbox R package which has been developed in parallel to the book is used extensively.

The publisher is still offering 20% discount on pre-orders – order our book right now on using the discount code: RSGE20.

Update: R spatial handling cheatsheet

RemoteSensing_GIS_spatial_R_cheatsheetWe updated our cheatsheet on spatial data handling in R. Beside some minor changes of common raster commands we also added now some of the new RStoolbox commands within a Remote Sensing operations section such as the command for supervised classification, fractional cover analysis or cloud masking.

The R spatial data handling cheatsheet has been created to ease the use of relevant R commands and cen be  downloaded as pdf.

Copyedited proof is submitted

The copy-edited proof of our book “Remote Sensing and GIS for Ecologists – Using Open Source software” is finally done and we just need to fix some issues with the image colouring. We are positive that the printed version will be available later in October or early November.

Also the package “RStoolbox” which is used extensively in this book has just been accepted by CRAN and can now be downloaded using “install.packages(“RStoolbox)” – more details here.


R package RStoolbox available on cran


RStoolbox_RemoteSensing_Ecology_Benjamin_LeutnerWe are happy to announce the initial release of our *RStoolbox* package. The package has been developed by Benjamin Leutner and will be used extensively in our upcoming book “Remote Sensing and GIS for Ecologists – Using Open Source software“.
RStoolbox provides various tools for remote sensing data analysis and is now available from CRAN:

and more details at:

The main focus of RStoolbox is to provide a set of high-level remote sensing tools for various classification tasks. This includes unsupervised and supervised classification with different classifiers, fractional cover analysis and a spectral angle mapper. Furthermore, several spectral transformations like vegetation indices, principal component analysis or tasseled cap transformation are available as well.

Besides that, we provide a set of data import and pre-processing functions. These include reading and tidying Landsat meta-data, importing ENVI spectral libraries, histogram matching, automatic image co-registration, topographic illumination correction and so on.

Last but not least, RStoolbox ships with two functions dedicated to plotting remote sensing data (*raster* objects) with *ggplot2* including RGB color compositing with various contrast stretching options.

RStoolbox is built on top of the *raster* package. To improve performance some functions use embedded C++ code via the *Rcpp* package.
Moreover, most functions have built-in support for parallel processing, which is activated by running raster::beginCluster() beforehand.


RStoolbox is hosted at

For a more details, including executed examples, please see


We sincerely hope that this package may be helpful for some people and are looking forward to any feedback, suggestions and bug reports.

Book submitted

book_remote_sensing_gis_ecologists_wegmann_leutner_dechWe finally submitted our book “Remote Sensing and GIS for Ecologists” to the publisher. It took longer than anticipated and we learned a lot. Looking forward to the printed version. More details how to order and the expected publishing date can be found at

we will post news and updates about the book on our news page, as well as updates of related software packages.Remote_Sensing_GIS_Ecology_book_preorder