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

Camp Fire smoke
The Synoptic View of California’s Camp Fire: A Scorching Reality of Today’s Fires
Sprawling urban fires that once plagued civilization were thought to be a thing the past—the Camp Fire let
+ details
animation of river meandering

Sharp Bends Make Rivers Meander, As Landsat Attests

Turns out, the rate of river migration is directly linked to how sharp its bends are.[]
Landsat poetry

A Geospatial Poem for the Ages

Poetry and the arts can humanize science.[]
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

“We have mapped then analyzed the area of forest converted each year to industrial oil palm and pulpwood plantations from 2001 to 2016, looking mainly at land under company management – that is, concessions. We use LANDSAT satellite imagery to monitor the annual expansion of plantations. We combine this information with annual maps of forest loss also derived using LANDSAT satellites by Matthew Hansen’s research group at the University of Maryland. The Han…

“An engineering degree opens many doors. It has served me well.”

“That’s the beauty of Landsat—it allows us to quantify these spatial patterns that are of high interest to water managers.”

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

“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 can collect more than 700 images per day—14 times as much as in the 1980s.”

“We would not have been able to complete this research without Landsat’s free and open data policy.”

“In order to produce a rock outcrop map for the entire Antarctic continent, we required a freely available georeferenced multispectral dataset. The dataset needed to cover the high latitudes; be recently acquired; be of a high enough resolution to identify individual outcrops and geomorphological features; and have suitable coverage of the continent. On this basis, the Landsat 8 multispectral satellite data was chosen for analysis as no other platform met …

“Within Australia, Earth Observation is so commonly used across all levels of government, industry and society that the minimum economic impact of Earth Observation from space-borne sensors alone is approximately $5.3 billion each year [Australian $; ~4.15B US$].”

“We cannot replace Landsat with Copernicus. In fact the programs complement each other. The world has been benefitting from Landsat data for the past 40 years now. It is really a unique and extremely valuable data source that has provided knowledge and understanding of the planet.”

“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.”

“Landsat is key to a wide range of applications that support global glacier monitoring and elucidate the impacts of global climate change.”