March 2015


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.

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 [...]

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.

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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

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 and Science (EROS) [...]

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.

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

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 Coops, a remote [...]

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

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. The newest generation of Landsat satellite is [...]

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.

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

During the 2014 Northern Hemisphere growing season the daily imaging rate will be gradually increased to optimize Landsat 8’s science data collection.

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

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 Stanford University Online [...]

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

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 is meeting, if not exceeding, all expectations. “Landsat 8 is nearly perfect,” [...]

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

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.

Landsat SR CDR products
Feb 6, 2014Landsat Surface Reflectance Fact Sheet Available from 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 measurements with [...]

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

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.

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

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 will be removed from [...]

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

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 years of [...]

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

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 consequence of the [...]

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

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 upgrades are complete.

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.

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

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 natural resources.

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.

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

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 (LPGS). Therefore, [...]