The Landsat Program

This joint NASA/USGS program provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make wise decisions about our resources and our environment. + Landsat Case Studies ebook

NPS Kenai Fjords map
National Park Service Cartographer Tom Patterson Talks Landsat
National Park Service cartographer Tom Patterson’s mapmaking process often
+ details
crop irrigation

Landsat Imagery Sheds Light on Agricultural Water Use

Researchers armed with data from the Landsat Earth-observing satellites recently teamed up with Google to track water used for irrigation.[]
global cropland distribution

New Landsat-Based Map of Worldwide Croplands Supports Food and Water Security

A new map was released today detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet.[]
Lake Havasu 1911 map


Journey with us into the cartographic past. Latest look: Creating an Oasis in the Desert: Lake Havasu City, Arizona, 1911 []

Landsat 8 sketch

“Satellite data is revolutionizing the way we map the world and the way we understand the natural and anthropogenic processes acting on Earth.”

“Landsat provides a global view of the the worlds alpine glaciers and enables us to track their retreat in ways that would be difficult without this important environmental time series.”

“The 30-year record of the Landsat sensors (i.e. TM, ETM+, and OLI) provides a unique data archive for studying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems worldwide, in our case, coastal marshes.”

“The resolution of Landsat imagery and the size of the Landsat database enables critical insight for scalable, high resolution flood detection in several key ways… This increased resolution is particularly critical in urban areas.”

“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.”

“Dai Yamazaki, a hydrodynamic engineer at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, calls the new [Landsat-based] imagery collection the best understanding yet of Earth’s changing surface water.”

“We believe this type of continuous mapping of forest metrics at expansive scales would not have been possible without the excellent radiometric characteristics of Landsat 8, particularly the high level of quantization and the outstanding signal-to-noise ratio, which enables fine distinctions that were not previously possible.”

“Sterling service of over four decades of Earth Observations. No ifs, no buts, just a long-term mission to aid science & society.”

“Landsat enabled us to collect a multi-decadal record of the [river] reaches at almost annual resolution. By extending our record into the past we were able to examine how the reaches changed through time providing us with a truly invaluable dataset.”

“Free and open access to the Landsat archive has already spurred scientific innovation and provided a foundation for REDD+ monitoring, reporting and verification.”

“At Google, we use Landsat data on a daily basis.”

“The Landsat satellite series has proven to be a perfect match to the needs of modern irrigated agriculture and water resources management.”