February 2015


Landsat 8 Thermal Sensor Update
Feb 26, 2015Landsat 8 Thermal Sensor Update

[Source: USGS Landsat] 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. As previously reported, several options [...]

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

[By Jon Campbell and Collin Homer, USGS] 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 [...]

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

[By: Kathryn Hansen, Jesse Allen, Robert Simmon, and Matt Radcliff; NASA Earth Observatory] 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 [...]

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

Two years ago today, Landsat 8 blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Here are some stats since then: 10,628 orbits around Earth (as of the start of Feb 11, 2015) 418,921 images acquired (409,305 on WRS-2 + 9,616 pre WRS-2 as of Read more [...]

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. To visually demonstrate the difference, USGS created Landsat image [...]

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

[By Jenny Woodman, Earthzine] 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 [...]

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

[Source: USGS Landsat] Landsat 8 continues to acquire OLI and TIRS data, although TIRS Level-1 processing remains suspended. On December 19 the TIRS instrument on Landsat 8 was reconfigured due to detection of anomalous current levels associated [...]

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

[By Jon Campbell, U.S. Geological Survey] 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 [...]

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

[By Larisa Serbina & Holly Miller, USGS Fort Collins Science Center] 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 [...]

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

[Source: John P. Holdren, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy] 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 [...]

L8 image of Juneau, Alaska
Oct 30, 2014Over 20 Million Landsat Scenes Downloaded

[Source: USGS Landsat] Since 2008, all Landsat data—archived and newly acquired—have been available for free download. On September 16, 2014, users worldwide downloaded over 14,000 scenes from the servers at the USGS Earth Resources Observation [...]

saturation event
Oct 14, 2014Keeping Cal

The Landsat calibration team published a number of papers in the SPIE Conference Volume 9218: Earth Observing Systems XIX. Our calibration team (or cal team) is a group of scientists and engineers who work together to ensure the scientific [...]

20 Million and Counting
Sep 19, 201420 Million and Counting

The USGS Landsat project reported on twitter today that Landsat data downloads have hit the 20 million marker this week: via @USGSLandsat "Free and open data: #Landsat reached 20 MILLION product downloads this week!! @USGSLandsat @NASA_Landsat [...]

Landsat coverage density
Sep 3, 2014A Call for Open Access Earth Observations

Sep 3, 2014 • This month in Nature, an emphatic plea to make more Earth satellite imagery free was made by Michael Wulder, a senior research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service and Landsat Science Team member; along with Nicholas [...]

Ivanpah Valley
Aug 28, 2014Sun Seekers Unite in Ivanpah Playa

On public land in the Ivanpah Valley near the California/Nevada border, the world's largest concentrated solar thermal plant sprawls across the desert landscape. Just on the other side of Interstate 15 (the long straight diagonal line) is the [...]

Taking Landsat 8 to the Beach
Aug 22, 2014Taking Landsat 8 to the Beach

[By Kate Ramsayer, with Michael Carlowicz] Some things go perfectly with a summer trip to the coast: sunscreen, mystery novels, cold beverages, and sand castles. Other things—like algae blooms or polluted runoff—are a lot less appealing. Read [...]

WELD 2010 global collection
Jul 18, 2014Web-Enabled Landsat Data (aka WELD) Going Global

The Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) project has released prototype global data sets for climate year 2010. The data sets are available as both monthly and annual 30m products generated from Landsat 5 and 7 data. The data sets are available at: [...]

Rebecca Moore
Jul 2, 2014Maps for Good: Saving Trees and Saving Lives with Petapixel-Scale Computing

Google has leveraged the massive amount of data collected about our planet from space over the last four-plus decades—Landsat being one of the key data sets. In this video, Google Earth Engine founder Rebecca Moore shares how Google Earth began [...]

Landsat 8 Daily Imaging Rate to Increase
May 21, 2014Landsat 8 Daily Imaging Rate to Increase

[Source: USGS Landsat] During the 2014 Northern Hemisphere growing season the daily imaging rate will be gradually increased to optimize Landsat 8’s science data collection. An average of 550 images per day have been collected since operations [...]

CLASlite team
Mar 7, 2014Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (CLASlite) Classroom Launches in Spanish

[Source: Moore Foundation] On March 4, 2014, the CLASlite team at the Carnegie Institution for Science (Department of Global Ecology) launched the Spanish version of the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (or CLASlite) Classroom, hosted by [...]

Lunar image from OLI March
Feb 28, 2014Landsat 8 Images Earth’s Biggest Satellite—Check it Out

Landsat 8 was built to do something none of its predecessors had done before: look at the Moon. You may ask why an Earth-observing mission would want to image Earth’s natural orbiting celestial body. Well, it all goes back to getting good data [...]

Landsat 8: Good Things, Getting Better
Feb 18, 2014Landsat 8: Good Things, Getting Better

[By: Rebecca Johnson, Jim Lacasse, Gene Fosnight, and Ron Morfitt, USGS EROS] It’s hard to believe a year has passed since the launch of Landsat 8. This first anniversary is going to be an exciting, upbeat celebration because the new satellite [...]

L7 velocity graphic
Feb 12, 2014Recent Landsat 7 Maneuvers Affect WRS Footprints

[Source: USGS Landsat] On January 9, 2014, the USGS executed a delta-velocity (Delta-V) maneuver to pre-position Landsat 7 for a larger delta-inclination (Delta-I) maneuver used to maintain the satellite's mean local crossing time. NOAA’s space [...]

Landsat SR CDR products
Feb 6, 2014Landsat Surface Reflectance Fact Sheet Available from USGS

[Source: USGS] Landsat Surface Reflectance Climate Data Records (CDRs) are high level Landsat data products that support land surface change studies. Climate Data Records, as defined by the National Research Council, are a time series of [...]

Landsat 7 Acquisitions to be Interrupted
Feb 3, 2014Landsat 7 Acquisitions to be Interrupted

[Source: USGS Landsat] No Landsat 7 data will be acquired beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, until about 2:15 p.m CT on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 due to a Delta-I (Inclination) maneuver. Read more [...]

Landsat 8 Reprocessing Begins
Feb 3, 2014Landsat 8 Reprocessing Begins

[Source: USGS Landsat] The entire Landsat 8 archive will be cleared from the online cache and reprocessed to take advantage of calibration improvements identified during its first year of operation starting on Feb. 3, 2014. All Landsat 8 scenes [...]

Earth data
Jan 22, 2014Unleashing the Power of Open Data Unanimously Endorsed for Another 10 Years

[Source: GEO] In Geneva on January 17, 2014, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) received unanimous endorsement to unleash the power of open data for a second decade. There was agreement to continue building on the organization’s first 10 [...]

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 [...]

No Landsat Processing Jan. 17–21, 2014
Jan 14, 2014No Landsat Processing Jan. 17–21, 2014

[Source: USGS Landsat] Landsat data processing will be stopped beginning at 3 p.m. CT on January 17, 2014, until 12 p.m. CT January 21, 2014 for server upgrades. Any on-demand orders placed will be held and the data will be processed when the [...]

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: [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Landsat 8 Reprocessing Rescheduled (Revised)
Nov 14, 2013Landsat 8 Reprocessing Rescheduled (Revised)

[Source: USGS Landsat] The majority of the radiometric calibration changes indicated in the October 25, 2013 calibration notice have been deferred to early-2014, to coincide with a software update for the Landsat Product Generation System [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]