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Water Detection with the Normalized Difference Water Index


NDWI is a common index for detecting water where NDWI = (Green-NIR) / (Green+NIR).  NDWI is sensitive to changes in liquid water content of vegetation canopies.

  • Gao, B.C., 1996. NDWI—A normalized difference water index for remote sensing of vegetation liquid water from space. Remote sensing of environment, 58(3), pp.257-266.


  1. Head to the ODC Sandbox (click here) and login with GitHub Open Authorization.

  2. Open the /examples folder.

  3. Open and run the /examples/Landing_Page.ipynb notebook block by block.

  4. In block [2], use the map interface to draw a small area of interest, and select a time frame.

  5. Click "Query Cube" and review the number of tiles that will be accessed. Less than 100 will run quickly.

  6. Run block [3], 'band_indices_aws_landsat8', click on the NDWI button, and calculate NDWI for anywhere inside your previous bounds.

Code/Python Notebooks

GitHub Resources

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