May 2015


Dr. Martin O'Leary
May 22, 2015Here’s Looking at You Landsat, via @LandsatBot

Dr. Martin O'Leary is a glaciologist with Wales' Swansea University. He spends most of his time modeling glacier movements and from time-to-time he uses Landsat data to check things out, to get a lay of the land—or glacier. As a pet project he [...]

Virginia wine country
May 20, 2015Landsat Helping in Virginia Wine Country

The Virginia Wine Board partnered with Wise DEVELOP to map the extension of Virginia vineyards. Vineyard extent was measured using data from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI).

Landsat image of blocked road
May 14, 2015Gorkha Quake-Induced Chongsecun Landslide and Lake (Tibet)

The Chongsecun landslide was found by a Canadian government scientist (Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Canada) scrutinizing post- and pre-quake Landsat 8 images.

Landsat 8 image of Langtang Valley
May 5, 2015Landsat Shows New Hazards Arising in Manaslu/Langtang Region of Nepal

The April 25, 2015, magnitude 7.8 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal triggered devastating landslides in Langtang Valley. Ice, snow and debris avalanches, rockfalls and landslides also occurred widely in other areas of the Nepal Himalaya. Landsat 8 [...]

Landsat image showing post-earthquake landslide in Langtang Valley.
May 2, 2015Landsat 8 Reveals Extent of Quake Disaster in Nepal’s Langtang Valley

The magnitude 7.8 Gorkha earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, caused extensive damage in Kathmandu Valley and severely affected Nepal's rural areas. Space agencies around the world are providing extensive resources in a huge [...]

2015 William T. Pecora Award Announcement: Nominations Accepted through June 15, 2015
May 1, 20152015 William T. Pecora Award Announcement: Nominations Accepted through June 15, 2015

[Source: USGS Landsat] The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The Department of the Interior (DOI) and the [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in April 2015
Apr 30, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in April 2015

This month, 53 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.

Mike Taylor at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day
Apr 23, 2015Passing on Our Landsat Passion this Earth Day

This past weekend, NASA shared the National Mall with rock stars of the likes of No Doubt, Mary J Blige, and My Morning Jacket among others.

Data processing, TOA, SR of Mt. Vesuvius image
Apr 20, 2015USGS Fact Sheet on Landsat Surface Reflectance Data Available

In support of the guidelines established through the Global Climate Observing System, the U.S. Geological Survey has embarked on production of higher-level Landsat data products to support land surface change studies. One such product is Landsat [...]

satellite drawing
Apr 16, 2015Landsat 9 Is Coming

NASA and USGS have started work on Landsat 9, planned to launch in 2023.

tornado track
Apr 15, 2015NASA’s SPoRT Disaster Response Team Provides Landsat Imagery for Illinois Tornadoes

On April 9, 2015, severe thunderstorms produced several reports of damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes — including one particularly strong (EF-4) long-track tornado across north-central Illinois.

Sagebrush photo from USGS
Apr 10, 2015Climate Change May Pose Substantial Future Risk to Sagebrush Habitat in Southwestern Wyoming

Climate change may pose a substantial future risk for sagebrush habitat in southwestern Wyoming, and thus adversely affect the regional summer habitat and nesting areas of sage-grouse, according to a new study by the United States Geological Survey.

Faults in Xinjiang, Landsat 8 image
Apr 8, 2015Landsat “Faults in Xinjiang” Wins Tournament Earth 2015

A Landsat image has won the NASA Earth Observatory Tournament Earth 2015!

Algal bloom
Apr 7, 2015NASA, NOAA, EPA and USGS Join Forces to Put Satellite Eyes on Threat to U.S. Freshwater

NASA has joined forces with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Geological Survey to transform satellite data designed to probe ocean biology into information that will help protect [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in March 2015
Mar 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in March 2015

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.

Landsat mosaic of Australia
Mar 31, 2015Holding the Key—Australia Unlocks Its Landsat Archive

In Australia, the Unlocking the Landsat Archive (ULA) project has created a "living and accessible" archive of Landsat 5 and 7 data, for years 1998–2012.

Server farm at Google
Mar 26, 2015Big Data Helps Scientists Dig Deeper

In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey took 3.6 million images acquired by Landsat satellites and made them free and openly available on the Internet.

Earth data
Mar 26, 2015More Ways to Get Landsat Data

Last Thursday, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it is now hosting Landsat 8 imagery on its publicly accessible Simple Storage Service (S3).

vicarious calibration
Mar 25, 2015Landsat and the Private Tech Sector: Direct and Complementary Uses of Imagery

Landsat is a key data input for many products developed and used in water resources, agricultural monitoring, land use and land cover monitoring, forest management, and development planning.

Fremont Lake Basin
Mar 23, 2015Historical Satellite Images Reveal Snow is Melting Earlier in Wyoming

A NASA study of a basin in northwestern Wyoming revealed that the snowmelt season in the area is now ending on average about sixteen days earlier than it did from the 1970s through the 1990s.

iGETT participants
Mar 16, 2015Landsat Helps to Build a Geospatial Workforce

The federal government has invested billions of dollars to ensure our country's leadership in space-based observations of our planet. We need a workforce that is fully prepared to understand and use this data for solving problems of local, [...]

TIRS
Mar 16, 2015L8 TIRS Data Processing Resumed

On March 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm CT, processing of Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) data resumed. The newly processed data includes the revised Calibration Parameter Files established after the mechanism control electronics (MCE) swap on [...]

Mountain pine beetle destruction
Mar 7, 2015Landsat-Based Insect Atlas Gives Best View of Outbreaks in Forests

Scientists for the first time have simultaneously compared widespread impacts from two of the most common forest insects in the West—mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm – an advance that could lead to more effective management policies.

TIRS
Mar 6, 2015TIRS Resumes Nominal Operations

The Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) resumed normal imaging operations.

The LDCM Thermal Infrared Sensor
Feb 26, 2015Landsat 8 Thermal Sensor Update

After extensive investigation and testing, the decision has been made to switch the TIRS Mechanism Control Electronics from the primary to redundant side on Monday, March 2, 2015.

DNC deforestation
Feb 25, 2015Landsat Shows Felling of Tropical Trees Has Soared

The rate at which tropical forests were cut, burned or otherwise lost from the 1990s through the 2000s accelerated by 62 percent, according to a new study which dramatically reverses a previous estimate of a 25 percent slowdown over the same [...]

energy reaching TIRS
Feb 19, 2015Landsat 8 Remote Sensing Special Issue

A trio of Landsat calibration scientists—Brian Markham (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), Jim Storey (Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies for USGS EROS) and Ron Morfitt (USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center) Landsat 8 Special Issue [...]

Previous NLCD (2001) Alaska land cover product
Feb 18, 2015A Decade of Change in America’s Arctic: New Land Cover Data Released for Alaska

The latest edition of the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD 2011) for Alaska is now publicly available. The extensive NLCD database continues to add to our understanding of where land cover change has occurred across the Nation over time. [...]

Elephant Foot Glacier
Feb 18, 2015Landsat Goes Over The Top: A Long View of the Arctic

On February 11, 2013, the Landsat 8 satellite rocketed into space to extend a four-decade legacy of Earth observations. A few months after launch, we published a composite of images that spanned 9,000 kilometers of land from Russia to South [...]

Lake Urmia
Feb 17, 2015Vanishing Lake Urmia

Iran’s Lake Urmia is one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world. With eight times as much salt as seawater, it’s the globe’s largest habitat for brine shrimp, which attract flamingos, egrets and other birds as they migrate across Asia. But [...]

Landsat 8 Beauty Shot
Feb 11, 2015Landsat 8 at 2 years

Two years ago today, Landsat 8 blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base!

Now & Then: The History of Portrait U.S.A.
Jan 29, 2015Now & Then: The History of Portrait U.S.A.

USGS released provisional Landsat surface reflectance products in December. Surface reflectance products correct for atmospheric distortions thereby providing “less hazy” images.

Moore and Surui chief
Jan 28, 2015Wrangling a Petabyte of Data to Better View the Earth

When viewed from space, clouds largely obscure the Earth. It isn’t a matter of time of day, angle or distance. It’s just the way it is – unless, of course, you are gazing at the planet using Google Earth. The story of how Google Earth offers [...]

USGS Landsat 8 TIRS Update
Jan 27, 2015USGS Landsat 8 TIRS Update

On December 19 the TIRS instrument on Landsat 8 was reconfigured due to detection of anomalous current levels associated with the scene select mirror encoder electronics. Since that time substantial testing has been conducted to isolate the root [...]

Turkana women gathering water
Jan 26, 2015Water Mapping Technology Rebuilds Lives in Arid Regions

Turkana County in northwest Kenya has been reeling from several years of crippling drought. As a consequence, the nomadic peoples in the region have suffered. Livestock such as goats and cattle, the sole source of income for these pastoralists, [...]

Darrel Williams
Jan 21, 2015The View from Over 2,000,000 Feet

The NASA Landsat 7 Project Scientist, Darrel Williams, was recently featured in the AgScience magazine of his alma mater. In an article titled “Oh! The Places We Go” reporter Maureen Harmon spoke to Penn State Ag Sciences graduates about the [...]

Landsat Seen as Stunning Return on Public Investment
Jan 15, 2015Landsat Seen as Stunning Return on Public Investment

Orbiting Earth more than 400 miles away in space, far from human view; recording repeated images of land around the globe for more than 42 years; offering customers petabytes of historical and current data for free, the Landsat program of Earth [...]

Landsat 8 team with award
Jan 7, 2015Pecora, ISPRS, IAG Joint Symposium Presents Prestigious Awards

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) presented a number of prestigious awards during the Pecora 19 Symposium in conjunction with the Joint Symposium of ISPRS [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in  Dec. 2014
Dec 31, 2014Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in Dec. 2014

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.

cloudless satellite composite image
Dec 23, 2014Mapbox: Innovating with Landsat

Mapbox is a cloud-based map platform startup that creates custom maps with open source tools. The team at Mapbox consists of over fifty cartographers, data analysts and software engineers, located in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, [...]

Aspen Tree Trunks
Dec 22, 2014SilviaTerra: Landsat Use by a Forestry Start-up

SilviaTerra is a four-year-old start-up company with five full-time employees that is contributing to the change in the way forests are managed in the United States. The company provides next-generation, highly accurate forest inventory data to [...]

geospatial processing
Dec 21, 2014Virginia Tech Geospatial Studies and Landsat

Early iterations of geospatial technologies have been around for more than a century. The first remote sensing was from balloons in the mid-1800s, and aerial photography began in the 1930s. But the 1972 launch of Landsat 1, the first [...]

Uinta Mountains
Dec 19, 2014U.S. Forest Service Uses Landsat to Improve Estimates of Forest Disturbance

Each year the U.S. Forest Service takes a census of trees, chronicling the nation’s forest heath and timber resources. Forest managers use this information to project what U.S. forests will be like in coming decades and, if needed, to adjust [...]

Water released from Morelos Dam
Dec 18, 2014Landsat Satellite Sees Green-up Along Colorado River’s Delta After Experimental Flow

A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite. The March 2014 release of water – an [...]

Call for Papers: A Special Issue of Remote Sensing of Environment on Landsat 8 Science Results
Dec 18, 2014Call for Papers: A Special Issue of Remote Sensing of Environment on Landsat 8 Science Results

With the launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) in February 2013, the already unprecedented Landsat global record continues and could reach 50 years or longer in length. LDCM, renamed, Landsat 8 when the mission was declared [...]

From the River to the Sea
Dec 18, 2014From the River to the Sea

A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite. The March 2014 release of water – an [...]

AGU logo
Dec 15, 2014Landsat at the Fall 2014 AGU Meeting

At this year's AGU Fall meeting over 300 presentations will feature research work done with the use of Landsat data. The Landsat-related papers and posters run the gamut of disciplines from cryosphere to biogeoscience to hydrology to global [...]

aerial photo of study area
Dec 10, 2014Mapping Permafrost in the Alaskan Yukon River Basin

The distribution of permafrost is generally poorly mapped at regional scales. This presents a problem for resource managers and modelers trying to understand the distribution and extent of permafrost susceptible to a warming climate. To better [...]

Landsat data stack
Dec 9, 2014Unleashing Climate Data and Innovation for more Resilient Ecosystems

Ecosystems provide vast services and benefits to humankind: food and water that is needed for survival; nutrients and other natural products that fuel farms and industries; natural controls on many pests and pathogens; storage of carbon safely [...]

Landsat scenes used by LANDFIRE
Dec 2, 201444,000 Landsat Scenes and Counting

LANDFIRE National used approximately 5,340 Landsat scenes to map CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii. Landfire continues to rely on Landsat imagery for updates. There were 13,185 scenes processed from 1984-2009 to capture landscape change for CONUS for the [...]