SWOT Data Tutorials - Get Started with Sample Data!

SWOT Background

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission aims to provide valuable data and information about the world’s oceans and its terrestrial surface water such as lakes, rivers, and wetlands. SWOT is being developed jointly by NASA and Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA). The satellite launched on December 16, 2022 and data is expected to be released to the public no earlier than Fall 2023. PO.DAAC is the NASA archive for the SWOT mission, and will be making data available via the NASA Earthdata Cloud (hosted in AWS) with direct download capabilities available. More information can be found on PO.DAAC’s SWOT webpage.

PO.DAAC will host a variety of SWOT data products. Their product description documents can be found in the chart listing each dataset. Before these SWOT products are available, we have SWOT simulated datasets encompassing both oceanography and hydrology sample data. This data is not for analysis, but rather to become comfortable with future SWOT products data formats and access mechanisms.

SWOT Data Resources & Tutorials

Search & Download

Via Graphical User Interface:

Programmatically: ie. within Python code workflows

Via Command Line - PO.DAAC subscriber/downloader examples:

Hydrology: These examples will download either the river vector files or the raster files for a location in Texas with multiple passes:

podaac-data-downloader -c SWOT_SIMULATED_NA_CONTINENT_L2_HR_RiverSP_V1 -d ./SWOT_SIMULATED_NA_CONTINENT_L2_HR_RiverSP_V1 -start-date 2022-08-02T00:00:00Z --end-date 2022-08-22T00:00:00Z -b="-97,32.5,-96.5,33"
podaac-data-downloader -c SWOT_SIMULATED_NA_CONTINENT_L2_HR_Raster_V1 -d ./SWOT_SIMULATED_NA_CONTINENT_L2_HR_Raster_V1 --start-date 2022-08-02T00:00:00Z --end-date 2022-08-22T00:00:00Z -b="-97,32.5,-96.5,33"

Oceanography: This example will download modeled sea surface heights:

podaac-data-subscriber -c SWOT_SIMULATED_L2_KARIN_SSH_GLORYS_CALVAL_V1 -d ./data/SWOT_SIMULATED_L2_KARIN_SSH_GLORYS_CALVAL_V1 --start-date 2015-12-30T00:00:00Z
podaac-data-downloader -c SWOT_SIMULATED_L2_NADIR_SSH_ECCO_LLC4320_SCIENCE_V1 -d ./data/SWOT_SIMULATED_L2_NADIR_SSH_ECCO_LLC4320_SCIENCE_V1 --start-date 2011-11-20T00:00:00Z --end-date 2011-11-20T12:00:00Z

For more information, see https://github.com/podaac/data-subscriber

In-cloud Access & Visualization

Access sample SWOT Hydrology data in the cloud

Access sample SWOT Oceanography data in the cloud

GIS workflows

SWOT: Through a GIS Lens StoryMap

GIS shapefile exploration

NetCDF to Geotiff Conversion


Transform SWOT Hydrology river reach shapefiles into time series - This tutorial is in development

Subset by bounding box - Experimental - coming soon

Additional Resources

2022 SWOT Ocean Cloud Workshop


The goal of the workshop was to enable the (oceanography) science team to be ready for processing and handling the large volumes of SWOT SSH data in the cloud. Learning objectives focus on how to access the simulated SWOT L2 SSH data from Earthdata Cloud either by downloading or accessing the data on the cloud.