Landsat Science Archive

Aftermath of Hurricane Mitch
Jul 24, 2014 Mapping Disaster: A Global Community Helps from Space

[By Laura E.P. Rocchio] Year after year, somewhere on Earth, natural or manmade disasters cause loss of life and widespread destruction, frequently spawning refugee situations. Though the risk of a disaster is low in any one particular place, [...]

Russian Arctic Islands, Landsat Image
Jul 23, 2014 Observing Earth Today and Tomorrow: A National Plan

[By Jon Campbell, USGS] Humans have been observing Earth for a very long time simply because the conditions of the Earth are basic to our survival and our prosperity. Even the most ancient written records are filled with accounts of great [...]

Landsat-derived map of field use
Jul 23, 2014 Landsat’s Role in Water Resource Management

[By Larisa Serbina and Holly M. Miller, USGS] Water availability and allocation are issues gaining a great deal of attention, particularly in arid climates. Increases in population growth and recent droughts bring urgency to measuring and [...]

2011 Miss. River flood
Jul 22, 2014 Landsat’s Global Perspective

[Source: NASA Science Visualization Studio] On July 23rd, 1972, the first Landsat spacecraft launched into orbit. At the time, it was called “Earth Resources Technology Satellite,” or ERTS, and was the first satellite to use a [...]

WELD 2010 global collection
Jul 18, 2014 Web-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: [...]

Moon above Earth
Jul 11, 2014 Landsat Looks to the Moon

[Source NASA / YouTube] Every full moon, Landsat 8 turns its back on Earth. As the satellite’s orbit takes it to the nighttime side of the planet, Landsat 8 pivots to point at the moon. It scans the distant lunar surface multiple times, [...]

Rebecca Moore
Jul 2, 2014 Maps 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 [...]

USGS Landsat Water Report
Jul 1, 2014 Landsat and Water—Case Studies of the Uses and Benefits of Landsat Imagery in Water Resources

[Source: USGS] The Landsat program has been collecting and archiving moderate resolution earth imagery since 1972. The number of Landsat users and uses has increased exponentially since the enactment of a free and open data policy in 2008, which [...]

Eastern U.S.
Jun 26, 2014 Eastern U.S. a Carbon Sink from 2001-2005

The U.S. Geological Survey released a report this week assessing terrestrial and aquatic greenhouse gas fluxes for the Eastern U.S., specifically focusing on carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. An area of 3.05 million square kilometers [...]

SOM projection
Jun 26, 2014 John Parr Snyder’s Space Oblique Mercator Projection

To continually map the Earth’s surface using Landsat data, an entirely new projection had to be created. This new projection was created by John Parr Snyder and is known as the Space Oblique Mercator (SOM) projection. It is considered, “one of [...]

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