Worldview Snapshots is now available! The new low bandwidth web interface will be replacing the Rapid Response Subsets. Users can select custom bounding boxes and imagery layers with the new low bandwidth web interface. Users will be allowed to save their preferences with a URL and come back to the URL to retrieve their imagery of choice. Please transition to Worldview Snapshots as the Rapid Response Subsets will be discontinued soon.

If you are not constrained by bandwidth you can already switch to NASA’s Worldview and Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS), which provides access to the same imagery available in Rapid Response, and many more layers! In Worldview users can create georeferenced image snapshots and download as GeoTIFF, PNG, JPEG or KMZ files – for more information, see the Worldview and GIBS FAQ.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact

US Antarctic Program Operations Areas

These subsets are in and around the Ross Island/McMurdo Dry Valleys/McMurdo Sound area containing the permanent bases McMurdo Station (US) and Scott Base (NZ).

For more information, visit United States Antarctic Program, Antarctica New Zealand, and the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center.

The MODIS Rapid Response System generates complete mosaic images of Antarctica every day from December 4, 2008, to the present. Images are available throughout austral late spring, summer, and early fall as long as enough visible light is present to generate an image of the region. Since lighting is poor in austral late fall, winter, and early spring, images will not be generated during that period.

Mosaic images are available in photo-like, true color from both the Terra and Aqua satellites at 4km, 2km, 1km resolutions. A 367 false-color image is also generated from Terra data. The mosaic is composed of smaller image tiles, which are available individually at 250 m, 500 m, 1 km, 2 km, and 4 km resolutions.

The mosaic and additional information are available at:

Daily mosaic of Antarctica

More information about the mosaic

In addition to the mosaic of the entire region, a number of "cropped" subsets have been created for smaller specific regions. The advantage of this cropping approach is that the higher resolutions (500m and 250m) are easily available without the end user having to download and possibly piece together multiple tiles to cover the area of interest.

These cropped subset images are generated "on the fly" from the underlying tiles, so the first time an image is generated it will take a few moments (or more than a few for the higher resolutions) to load on the page. After the first request, the image will stay in cache for awhile and will be served up quickly.

Other Rapid Response Antarctica Projects:

Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO) Antarctic Regions
Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO) Antarctic Areas
US Antarctic Program Operations Areas

Additional cropped subsets may be created upon request, please contact us.

Select a subset:

  • ANDRILL_Larger_Ops_Area
  • ANDRILL_Operations_Area
  • Central_Dry_Valleys
  • McMurdo_Operations_Area
  • Ross_Island
  • Ross_Island_and_Vicintiy
  • Ross_Island_West_Side