January 2014


Barb Ryan
Jan 21, 2014Unleashing the Power of Earth Observations

In December 2013, the Secretariat Director of the Group on Earth Observations gave a TEDx talk in Barcelona, Spain making the case that all Earth-oberservation data collected from governments and institutions should be open and available to [...]

New Ground Control Points for Select Landsat 8 Scenes
Jan 17, 2014New Ground Control Points for Select Landsat 8 Scenes

[Source: USGS Landsat] New Ground Control Points (GCPs) will become available for three WRS-2 path/rows and GCPs contained within large water bodies will be removed on February 3, 2014 to coincide with the Landsat 8 archive reprocessing. As a [...]

DOI building
Jan 10, 2014Landsat Science Team Meeting in D.C.

The Landsat Science Team met in Washington D.C. for a meeting on the future of the Landsat program. Charged by the President to develop a plan for sustainable Landsat observations over the next twenty to twenty-five years, NASA and the USGS [...]

MapBox graphic
Jan 9, 2014MapBox ESIP Presentation Includes Landsat

Today, Chris Herwig from MapBox presented at the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) about MapBox's endeavor to use both MODIS and Landsat data to create a cloud-free world atlas. Herwig's presentation, titled, "Clear Skies: [...]

River Thames flood map
Jan 8, 2014Flooding in the UK

As part of the International Charter—Space and Major Disasters, a number of satellite-derived maps showing the extent of flooding across the UK have been released, including the above Landsat 8-derived map of flooding along the River Thames near [...]

Landsat 8 Reprocessing Details
Jan 7, 2014Landsat 8 Reprocessing Details

Beginning February 3, 2014, all Landsat 8 data held in the USGS archives will be reprocessed. All Landsat 8 scenes will be removed from the online cache at this time and the data will then be reprocessed starting with the most recent [...]

newly established black mangrove grows amid salt marsh plants north of St. Augustine, Florida
Dec 30, 2013Landsat Satellite Sees Florida Mangroves Migrate North

Cold-sensitive mangrove forests have expanded dramatically along Florida's Atlantic Coast since the mid-1980s, as the frequency of killing frosts has declined, according to a new study based on 28 years of satellite data from the NASA-USGS [...]

CLASlite in Peru
Dec 18, 2013Forest Monitoring: Bringing the Power to the People

[Source: Carnegie Institution for Science] Forest conservation is an issue of major concern to communities large and small around the globe. But gathering the monitoring data needed to make the right decisions has proven extremely prohibitive [...]

Ted Scambos
Dec 4, 2013Taking Landsat to the Extreme

Landsat Science Team member Ted Scambos, a lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), will present new satellite-derived measurements pointing to the coldest place on Earth this year at the AGU 2013 Fall Meeting in San [...]

Report Cover
Dec 3, 2013Landsat Users Confirm Its Unique Value

[Source: Jon Campbell & Holly Miller, USGS] Since 1972, the Landsat program has allowed scientists and analysts to observe the world beyond the power of human sight, monitor changes to the land, and detect critical trends in the conditions of [...]

Mapping Global Forest Change with Landsat: Discussion, Demonstration, Q&A
Nov 26, 2013Mapping Global Forest Change with Landsat: Discussion, Demonstration, Q&A

Authors of a paper published in Science on Nov. 17—Matt Hansen (UMD), Rebecca Moore (Google), Tom Loveland (USGS), Jeff Masek (NASA), Paulina Arroyo (Moore Foundation)—spoke about their research analyzing global forest change using Landsat data [...]

Landsat 8, artist's rendition
Nov 21, 2013NASA & USGS to Host a Sustainable Land Imaging Users Forum

On December 4, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA will host an event in which leadership from both agencies will provide details about how user needs will be assessed to help inform NASA’s Sustainable Land Imaging Program. User [...]

Landsat Science Team
Nov 19, 2013Landsat Science Team Presentations Available

USGS has posted all of the presentations given during the Landsat Science Team Meeting that took place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Oct. 29–31, 2013. During the meeting the status of team Landsat 8 investigations were reviewed, plans for [...]

North American forest changes 2000–2012
Nov 15, 2013When Trees Fall, Landsat Maps Them

The ravages of deforestation, wildfires, windstorms and insects on global forests during this century are revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study based on Landsat data. The maps resulting from the study are the first to document forest [...]

Springtime temp, 2090
Nov 13, 2013NASA Brings Earth Science ‘Big Data’ to the Cloud with Amazon Web Services

[Reported by Steve Cole and Ruth Marlaire, NASA] NASA and Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) of Seattle, Wash., are making a large collection of NASA climate and Earth science satellite data available to research and educational users through the [...]

Landsat 8 image of Rim Fire
Nov 7, 2013Wildfire Science Returns to Rim Fire

[Reported by Leslie Gordon, USGS] Although dousing the flames was foremost in people's minds during the recent Rim Fire in Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, U.S. Geological Survey scientific work continues well after the [...]

Marx's Study area
Oct 30, 2013Using Landsat to Detect Human Rights Violations

Over 2500 villages were destroyed during six years of conflict in Darfur between 2002 and 2008. Dr. Andrew Marx, a 2013 fellow at the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, has found that this type of [...]

USGS EROS
Oct 28, 2013Landsat Science Team at USGS EROS Center

The Landsat Science Team Meeting is being held at the USGS EROS Center in Sioux Falls, SD this week from Tuesday through Thursday. During the meeting, the science team members will provide an update of their ongoing Landsat research, discuss [...]

Upcoming Change in Landsat 8 Radiometric Calibration
Oct 25, 2013Upcoming Change in Landsat 8 Radiometric Calibration

In the near future, calibration changes will be made that will affect the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) Band 10 and all of the Operational Land Imager (OLI) bands onboard Landsat 8. The calibration for TIRS Band 10 will be lowered by a constant [...]

Landsat 8 image of Mount Jefferson
Oct 23, 2013How To Make a True-Color Landsat 8 Image

Robert Simmon from NASA's Earth Observatory has provided a detailed tutorial on creating true-color images using Landsat 8 data on his Elegant Figures blog. (Thanks Rob!) + How To Make a True-Color Landsat 8 Image Note: NASA and USGS do not Read [...]

Allen Pope
Oct 22, 2013Studying Ice and Snow with Landsat 8

Allen Pope, a research assistant at the National Snow & Ice Data Center, recently created this video showing some of the ways Landsat 8 data are used to study the cryosphere. . Ice & Snow with Landsat 8 from Allen Pope on Vimeo. Read more [...]

Landsat Update: Upcoming Landsat 8 Reprocessing
Oct 21, 2013Landsat Update: Upcoming Landsat 8 Reprocessing

Within the next several weeks, all Landsat 8 data that have been acquired since achieving WRS-2 operational orbit will be reprocessed using updated calibration parameters for OLI and TIRS data. During this time, all online products will be [...]

Aerial view of glacial outwash plain in Iceland
Oct 18, 2013Surveying Ice and Fire: The First Map of All of Iceland’s Glaciers and Subglacier Volcanic Calderas Released

For the first time, all of Iceland’s glaciers are shown on a single map, produced by the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), in collaboration with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Iceland Geosurvey. The map is the first to incorporate [...]

Landsat Data Processing Resumes
Oct 17, 2013Landsat Data Processing Resumes

Processing has resumed for Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 data acquired from October 1, 2013 to October 17, 2013. Scenes will become available for download from EarthExplorer and GloVis as processing is completed. Source: USGS Landsat Program Read more [...]

Landsat 7 Thermal Band Calibration Update
Sep 27, 2013Landsat 7 Thermal Band Calibration Update

Effective October 1, 2013, the calibration of the Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) Band 6 will be updated to correct a bias error that has been present in all thermal data since the last calibration update in 2010. Vicarious [...]

Child looking at Landsat image
Sep 27, 2013Mapping the World with Landsat

Speeding around the Earth at 16,800 mph (27,000 kph), two Landsat satellites are quietly, expertly watching and recording changes in Earth’s lands from space. They are gathering data for people to make maps–all kinds of wonderful maps–of our [...]

NASA Launches Study of New Global Land Imaging System
Sep 17, 2013NASA Launches Study of New Global Land Imaging System

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will kick off a quest for an innovative and affordable space-based system to extend the Landsat satellite data record for decades to come with a public forum and call for ideas Wednesday, Sept. 18. The [...]

UNESCO photo of water discovered in Kenya
Sep 12, 2013Vast Water Reserves Found in Drought-Prone Northern Kenya

Large underground water reserves have been found in Turkana, one of Kenya’s driest and poorest regions. The discoveries were made by the natural resources exploration firm, Radar Technologies International, during the course of a survey of [...]

John Schott
Sep 11, 2013Meet Dr. John Schott, RIT Innovation Hall of Fame Inductee

This past May, Dr. John Schott, a longtime Landsat Science team member, was inducted into the Rochester Institute of Technology's 2013 Innovation Hall of Fame. RIT put together this retrospective video about Schott's long career in imaging [...]

ESA
Sep 5, 2013ESA Makes Never-Before-Seen Landsat Data Available

Thousands of never-before-seen data products from the U.S. Landsat satellites acquired over 30 years have been released for online access. In addition, the newest data over Europe from the latest satellite in the series, Landsat 8, are now [...]

Safflower
Sep 4, 2013Landsat Impedes Crop Insurance Fraud

With unbiased Landsat imagery as evidence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed an earlier jury-conviction of a northern California farmer found guilty on 16 counts of filing false federal crop insurance claims—scheming the [...]

Location of Rim Fire
Sep 3, 2013Landsat 8 Satellite Sees Rim Fire from Space

Two recent images from the Landsat 8 satellite compare land conditions in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park before and during the Rim Fire. The images, from August 15 before the fire began and from August 31, can be contrasted and [...]

Burn severity map for Wallow Fire
Aug 29, 2013Landsat Revisits Old Flames in Fire Trends

The Wallow Fire burned over 500,000 acres, making it the largest fire in Arizona history, to date. It is one of many large fires that fire managers and researchers have seen scorch forests nationwide since the early 2000s. "We have entered a new [...]

Mauri Pelto in the field
Aug 27, 2013Meet Mauri Pelto, Glaciologist

At a small college in Dudley, Mass., a professor of Environmental Science is doing big things. Glaciologist Mauri Pelto is using Landsat imagery to monitor glaciers around the world from his office at Nichols College. Fieldwork is an essential [...]

13 Million Downloads and Counting
Aug 26, 201313 Million Downloads and Counting

@USGSLandsat reported today that Landsat image downloads by data users have reached 13 million. The last million downloads occurred over a period of just nine weeks. Read more [...]

BAER soil scientist
Aug 21, 2013After a Fire, Before a Flood

While the 138,000-acre Silver Fire still smoldered, forest restoration specialists were on the job. They analyzed maps created using Landsat satellite data to determine where the burn destroyed vegetation and exposed soil—and where to focus [...]

Burning structure in Black Forest fire
Aug 9, 2013NASA ‘Fire Towers’ in Space Watch for Wildfires

The Black Forest wildfire this June was one of the most destructive in Colorado history, in terms of homes lost. It started close to houses and quickly spread through the ponderosa pine canopies on the rolling hills near Colorado Springs. The [...]

Leonard Lopate
Aug 8, 2013Environmental Monitoring with Public Domain Satellites

WNYC's Leonard Lopate talks with SkyTruth president, John Amos, about using public domain satellite imagery, such as Landsat, to monitor the environment. SkyTruth uses all types of satellite imagery to monitor environmental changes and [...]

National Academies Press logo
Aug 8, 2013NRC Report “Landsat and Beyond” Available

A prepublication version of the National Research Council's "Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation's Land Imaging Program" report is now available from the National Academies Press. Their report description: In 1972 NASA [...]

Landsat 8 Satellite
Aug 8, 2013Landsat 8 Status Update for Aug. 8, 2013

Landsat 8 officially began normal operations on May 30, 2013, when the leadership for satellite operations transferred from NASA to the U.S. Geological Survey. With the hand-off, the name of the satellite changed from the Landsat Data Continuity [...]

ESA video
Jul 31, 2013Free Sentinel Earth Observation Data on the Horizon

Space News has reported that the European Commission has okayed free access to Sentinel data. This follows a recent European Space Agency-commissioned study that concluded that data from the Sentinel satellites should be public sector [...]

Burning fields in Indonesia
Jul 30, 2013Using Landsat 8 to Locate Fires in Indonesia

In June, air pollution over Singapore and Malaysia spiked as forests in neighboring Sumatra (Indonesia) burned. Using NASA's daily fire alerts and official national maps, the fires were located in the vicinity of oil palm and acacia tree [...]

Landsat 8
Jul 30, 2013Data User Advisory

UPDATE: ENVI HotFix now available. Visit www.exelisvis.com for download instructions. + ENVI 5 SP3 Hotfix for Landsat 8 Note: NASA and USGS do not endorse the use of any particular image processing software. July 24, 2013 • This is a Read more [...]

Jul 16, 2013USGS Makes Landsat 8 QA Data Tool Available

The USGS now offers a tool that accurately translates and interprets Landsat 8 OLI Quality Assessment (QA) bits, within the Landsat LDOPE Toolbelt. Based on functionality developed by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) [...]

Jul 11, 2013Using Landsat to Study Juneau Icefield

Glaciologist Mauri Pelto, a professor at Nichols College in Massachusetts uses Landsat to look at nearly three decades of glacier change on the Juneau Icefield in his recent blog post, From a Glacier's Perspective. He begins: The Juneau Icefield [...]

Jul 8, 2013Old Data Being Made Newly Available by USGS

As part of the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation effort, the first international Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) data from Canada has been added to the archive! MSS data, captured by the first Landsat missions, are often the most difficult to [...]

Jul 1, 2013All Early Landsat 8 Data Available From USGS

Source: USGS Landsat July 1, 2013 • Nearly 10,000 Landsat 8 scenes collected by the OLI and/or TIRS sensors, including the Landsat 7 underfly images before the satellite achieved operational orbit, are available to download [...]