Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data derived from visible and near-infrared data acquired by the MODIS and AVHRR sensors were compared over the same time periods and a variety of land cover classes within the conterminous USA. The relationship between the AVHRR derived NDVI values and those of future sensors is critical to continued long term monitoring of land surface properties. The results indicate that the 16-day composite values are quite similar over the 23 intervals of 2001 that were analyzed, and a linear relationship exists between the NDVI values from the two sensors. The composite AVHRR NDVI data were associated with over 90% of the variation in the MODIS NDVI values. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.