Rapid Response

Rapid Response is the precursor to Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS), Worldview and Worldview Snapshots. Rapid Response provided subset and global swath imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) since 2001 but is now deprecated. MODIS subset and gallery images have also been replaced. Please use Worldview or Worldview Snapshots to view imagery.


Visualize and download 900+ near real-time satellite imagery layers for a variety of hazards and disasters categories. Worldview is supported by NASA's Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS)—a set of community standards based imagery services that delivers imagery in a highly responsive manner.

Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS)

Access 900+ global, full-resolution imagery products via a variety of community standards based set of imagery services, such as Web Map Tile Services (WMTS), Tiled Web Map Service (TWMS) and Keyhole Markup Language (KML). Using these services, the imagery can be rendered in your own web client or GIS application.

MODIS Subsets

MODIS Subsets have been replaced by Worldview Snapshots.

The new low bandwidth web interface has replaced the Rapid Response MODIS Subsets. In Worldview Snapshots, users can select custom bounding boxes and imagery layers from MODIS on Terra and Aqua satellites and VIIRS on the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 satellites. Users will be allowed to save their preferences with a URL and come back to the URL to retrieve their imagery of choice. If you had a Rapid Response subset bookmarked you can go to the links on the Worldview Snapshots Links to Rapid Response Subsets page.

MODIS and VIIRS Near Real-Time (Orbit Swath) Images

View and download MODIS and VIIRS near real-time swath images. Data posted approximately 2.5 hours after the observation at the spacecraft.

  • MODIS swath images for each five-minute interval from NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites.
  • VIIRS swath images for each six-minute interval from the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 satellites.


Polar Mosaics

Hazards and Disasters

View and download near real-time products for a variety of hazards and disasters categories in Worldview.


View frequently asked questions about Rapid Response.


About Rapid Response

Imagery available through Rapid Response and LANCE are available freely and may be reproduced for any purpose. We ask that you acknowledge Rapid Response, visit the Citation Policy and Disclaimer page for the full acknowledgement.

Expedited Processing

To make imagery available in less than 3 hours, expedited Level 0 data are processed using predicted attitude and ephemeris data. In some cases, this can result in significant differences exist between the near real-time LANCE products and the standard products. Data products available through LANCE should not be regarded as science quality and should not be used for quantitative science analyses. Nonetheless, all LANCE products have been reviewed by members of the instrument Science Teams and have been approved for applications purposes.


The Rapid Response system was originally developed in 2001 to provide near real-time data and imagery from the MODIS instrument aboard the Terra Satellite, to meet the needs of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and other federal and state users. Rapid Response, then known as the MODIS Land Rapid Response System, was made possible through the collaboration between staff of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland and the USFS Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC). By 2007, the Rapid Response System was producing data globally and had incorporated data and imagery from the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite. As this rapid response image and information provision capability became more visible, news organizations began requesting custom geo-referenced images for large newsworthy events. Users quickly realized that the imagery and data products produced by Rapid Response could be used for other tasks that required low latency products, including imagery for monitoring air quality, floods, dust storms, snow cover, agriculture, and for public education and outreach. As the original system aged and the demand and expectations for near real-time data increased, NASA's Earth Science Division (ESD) implemented a Near Real-Time (NRT) capability that was closely aligned with the science-processing systems. NASA ESD sponsored the development of LANCE in 2009. NASA's Worldview and GIBS have built on the success of Rapid Response and provide global imagery for MODIS, AIRS, OMI and MLS.

Article on the MODIS Land Rapid Response System: Sohlberg R, Descloitres J, Bobbe T (2001). MODIS Land Rapid Response: operational use of Terra data for USFS wildfire management. Earth Obs 13:8–10.

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