WaterExtent - Monitoring

WaterExtent - Monitoring is a geoservice ready-to-use in your GIS environment. It provides a time series of maps clearly delineating for each timestamp the surface water extent from any non-aquatic components, such as land, vegetation, snow and ice. Each suitable Landsat-8 or Sentinel-2 data set acquired within a certain time period will be analysed.

All agencies and companies benefit from this service who are in need for reliable, repetitive and low cost information for water supply management, flood assessment, coastal analysis or other aquatic investigations.


Recommended use

WaterExtent - Monitoring provides global insights on the location and quantity of one of the planet’s most valuable resources - water - which is critical for human health and welfare, food security, and environmental sustainability.

Without time-consuming data search and expensive on-site surveys property owners, real estate and construction companies and insurance companies get at low cost a fast, recent and contiguous information on the extent of water bodies over time. They can use it to understand the flood history and to simplify the estimation of flood risk for a selected area.

Governments save time and efforts in fulfilling their duties to secure water supply and to reduce the impacts of floods for their citizens.

Use WaterExtent to:

  • Monitor the extent of reservoirs and lakes to provide valuable information on water supply availability and water management decisions.
  • Observe seasonal flooding of agricultural fields and waterfowl habitats to track resource utilization and environmental benefits.
  • Examine inland and coastal shoreline networks to assess habitat dynamics and ecosystem services.
  • Evaluate flooding extent and water inundation to assist with disaster management and damage assessments.

Product description 

The WaterExtent application is based on published scientific methods and has been implemented using state-of- the-art geospatial data processing tools and architecture. WaterExtent is a robust index that performs well for most surface water conditions, however, known limitations include confusion with dark surfaces and shadows and underestimation of water areas with high turbidity.

The monitoring is based on Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images. The resolution of these satellite imagery determine the resolution of the resulting map. The revisit time of 5 days for Sentinel-2 and 16 days for Landsat-8 define the maximum update frequency. Whenever an image take is available over a selected area, the service WaterExtent evaluates the usability of the image, which is mainly determined by the cloud cover. Typically, if the cloud coverage is below 20%, a new WaterExtent is generated. In average biweekly or monthly updates will be available.

Output files are in standard GeoTIFF and Shapefile formats, allowing for immediate visual interpretation and direct incorporation into reports and presentations, as well as ingestion into other geospatial data and image analysis software packages.

The WaterExtent package consists of the following output files:

  • WaterExtent image (GeoTIFF)*
  • WaterExtent shapefile (Shapefile)*
  • True-color RGB base image (GeoTIFF)*
  • False-color CIR base image (GeoTIFF)*
  • WaterExtent layered on RGB base image (GeoTIFF)*
  • WaterExtent layered on CIR base image (GeoTIFF)*

*All output files are distributed as single integrated ZIP file

Please login to select options

Start date
E.g., 2019-11-14
WaterExtent - Monitoring



Powered by 

Landsat-8, Sentinel-2, WaterMask


Harris Geospatial Services Framework (GSF)

On demand 


Update frequency 

Weekly / biweekly


10 m (Sentinel-2), 30 m (Landsat-8)

Access mode 



Shapefile, GeoTIFF

Delivery time 

A few hours after data availability


Configure and order 

  • Area of interest (AOI): Select one of your AOIs from your profile or draw a polygon on the map to define a new one.
  • Resolution: Select your desired image resolution.
  • Start date: Select the date when you like to get first access to the service.
  • Monitoring period: Select how long you wish to use the service.
  • Remarks: Insert here any questions or comments.

Pricing / Licensing