“When we showed historical Landsat and more recent high resolution images to communities and shared our analysis, people realized what they’d lost over time and wanted to engage in conversations about how to bring the forests back.”

“We looked at satellite images taken by the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat missions from 1972 and 1999 and the loss of forest and woodland cover along valleys and steep slopes was clear: eighty percent of the forests were gone. Through our analysis of Landsat forest change maps using GIS, we also calculated that the risk of landslide had increased fivefold during that time.”

“With applied conservation programs, we’re using that [Landsat] imagery to say here are the areas that we can prioritize for conservation management, and here are areas that maybe we can let go. It’s a very powerful tool for getting conservation to happen.”

“With the Landsat satellite system capable of delivering global coverage every 8 days, we have an unprecedented ability to monitor global forest change. The 2014 tree cover loss data, incorporating hundreds of thousands of Landsat images, confirms that deforestation is not just high in certain countries, it’s speeding up. The next step is to use this information to improve forest protection and more equitably balance economic development with the invaluable ecosystem services forests provide.”

“From a valuation standpoint, Landsat is an extremely valuable public good just in its direct use—let alone the economic value of all the indirect uses built on the direct data.”

“By using Landsat 8 imagery, and classification tree analysis, which is an advanced artificial intelligence routine, we have been able to construct a reliable classification system to identify cheatgrass infestations that is accurate. This has implications for fire susceptibility. Cheatgrass is driving wildfire on rangelands and we need to identify areas that have heightened susceptibility to wildfire.”

“Without Landsat’s long record, studies like ours would be impossible to undertake, because we don’t have a time machine to go back to the 1970s and 1980s and see how Turkey’s glaciers were doing then. Using Landsat and commercial satellite data together, we can map glaciers with high accuracy. It’s a powerful combination for studying the Earth from space.”

“We are learning more about cool things to do with Landsat at a faster rate than anytime in the past.”

“Landsat 8 global ice mapping is enabled by its better data acquisition rate.”

“Landsat is providing better [surface] water data—not just at the state level or nationally, but globally”

“We are looking forward to new exciting data to complement Landsat observations and to collaborative research—especially because ESA followed USGS in its open data policy.”

“We are now beginning to see that the combination of high performance computing, data storage facilities, data preparation techniques, and advanced systems can materially accelerate the value of Landsat data.”

“Until we made the map of coral reefs with Landsat 7, global maps of reefs had not improved a lot since the amazing maps that Darwin drafted.”

“It is undeniable that having access to long-term satellite data has allowed ecologists and environmental managers to increase their understanding of the natural world, to make predictions about how this world might transform and to design efficient mitigation and adaptation strategies in the face of global environmental change.”

“There should be no competition between satellite remote sensing and fieldwork, there should only be collaborations.”

“Satellite imagery can be used retrospectively, meaning that the data collected by satellites today will probably help solve issues we are not currently even aware of—an advantage which is invaluable.”

“We have a globally consistent, locally relevant map product that can be used in a variety of applications: estimating emissions from deforestation, modeling biodiversity, assessing protected areas, and studying forest and human health. We plan to move our record forward and backward where Landsat has a sufficiently rich archive of data.”

“In a world of scarce resources, there are distinct tradeoffs in costs and benefits of land use, and whether to conserve or convert forest to cropland. Map-based images are perhaps one of the most succinct means of helping policymakers digest complex ideas of social and economically driven environmental change.”

“Landsat has been producing Big Data since before data was big.”

“The Landsat program doesn’t produce images like the ones of astronauts playing golf on the moon nor geologists scaling an erupting volcano, but it has created one of the most important scientific repositories of data ever made.”

“The Landsat series of satellites is a cornerstone of our Earth observing capability. The world relies on Landsat data to detect and measure land cover/land use change, the health of ecosystems, and water availability.”

“We have recognized for the first time that we’re not just going to do one more, then stop, but that Landsat is actually a long-term monitoring activity, like the weather satellites, that should go on in perpetuity.”

“With a launch in 2023, Landsat 9 would propel the program past 50 years of collecting global land cover data. That’s the hallmark of Landsat: the longer the satellites view the Earth, the more phenomena you can observe and understand.”

“Having Landsat 9 in progress, and a long-term commitment to sustainable land imaging, is great for natural resource science and for data-driven industries such as precision agriculture and insurance.”

“Last year the White House found that GPS, weather satellites, and Landsat are the three most critical types of Earth-orbiting assets for civil applications, because they’re used by many economic sectors and fields of research.”

“Continuing the critical observations made by the Landsat satellites is important now and their value will only grow in the future, given the long term environmental changes we are seeing on planet Earth.”

“Moving out on Landsat 9 is a high priority for NASA and USGS as part of a sustainable land imaging program that will serve the nation into the future as the current Landsat program has done for decades.”

“The USGS’ incredible gift of open-source [Landsat] imagery and this kind of tool are truly advancing what non-scientists can expect when it comes to views of their planet. Never before have regular people had such ready access to geographic data at this depth and quality.”

“In many cases the Landsat archive has provided the only consistent source of information to monitor changes in the surface of the Earth.”

“Earth Observation data acquired by the Landsat missions are of immense value to the global community and constitute the world’s longest continuous civilian Earth Observation program.”

“There are roughly 400 billion land pixels in a single [Landsat] global mosaic.” (With at least one image of every location on Earth per season every year, the entire 43-year Landsat record contains more than 50 trillion pixels.)

“With the full Landsat record available, we can finally look at really big problems, like the global carbon cycle.”

“Landsat is history’s longest-running Earth imaging project. Its enormous data set cements it as an industry standard.”

“Landsat 8 imagery is an incredibly powerful resource. It is some of the most valuable open data produced by the US Government. Our partners rely on Landsat data for everything from evaluating droughts to tracking conflict.”

“Landsat’s work is epic in scale. In 43 years, it has amassed over a petabyte of data, with over 4 million scenes and counting.”

“Landsat sees the earth in a unique way. It takes images of every location in the world to reveal earth’s secrets, from volcanic activity to urban sprawl.”

“Landsat 8 is an incredible resource for global change research and has been used in a diverse array of scientific endeavors including the monitoring of deforestation, population growth, and glacier recession.”

“We hope to accelerate innovation in climate research, humanitarian relief, and disaster preparedness efforts around the world by making Landsat data readily available near our flexible computing resources.”

“Many of our customers’ work couldn’t be done without Landsat.”

“Because of Landsat’s global purview and long history, it has become a reference point for all Earth observation work and is considered the gold standard of natural resource satellite imagery.”

“Our Landsat-based insect atlas facilitates comparisons across space, time, and insect agents that have not been possible to date.”

“Tropical deforestation plays a big role in global climate cycles… without the transparency of Landsat satellite data is difficult to put your finger on changing trends.”

“The US satellite series—its current flier is named Landsat 8—pioneered the science of monitoring the planet from orbit. It has assembled a continuous record of the world’s fluctuating features that stretches back more than 40 years. In satellite terms, it is the gold standard.”

“Sentinel-2a is essentially Europe’s version of the American Landsat mission.”

“Landsat and SRTM are my eyes on the ground. Without them I am totally blind. They are great gifts to humanity.”

“The economic value of just one year of Landsat data far exceeds the multi-year total cost of building, launching, and managing Landsat satellites and sensors.”

“The long, consistent view of Earth from space provided by Landsat sparks advances in science, enables more efficient natural resources management, and promotes profitable applications of the data in commerce and industry. In step with the National Research Council and other objective reviews, the non-federal Landsat Advisory Group has found that the broad benefits of Landsat far outweigh the cost.”

“Landsat is widely considered to be a crucial national asset, comparable to the satellite-based GPS system and National Weather Service satellites. Ready access to Landsat images supplies a reliable common record of Earth conditions that fosters the mutual understanding of environmental challenges by citizens, researchers, and decision makers worldwide.”

“Since late 2008, when Landsat data was made available to all users free of charge, over 22 million Landsat scenes have been downloaded through the USGS-EROS website—and the rate of downloads is still increasing.”