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

“Without Landsat, ‘we would be flying blind. We need those eyes in the sky to complement our ground efforts.’”

“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 advent of Landsat data enabled an unparalleled increase in our understanding of the Earth system.”

“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.”

“The majority of tropical countries are using Landsat imagery as the primary source of information to support their forest change assessments.”

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

“Science and reliable data need to be at the heart of policy decisions around the globe if we are to tackle climate change and other serious environmental challenges facing our world. It is vital that we share the trusted data that comes from Earth observation so citizens, scientists, and political leaders everywhere can most effectively work together to meet these most difficult challenges.”

“Thanks to Landsat, we were able to dramatically improve our satellite base map in Google Earth and Google Maps on two separate occasions, first in 2013, and again in June 2016. Our most recent 15 meter-per-pixel global mosaic was made from over 1.5 million Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 images and forms the view of Earth you see across our mapping products for the first twelve zoom levels of the imagery basemap.”

“The Landsat data record has been key to the Intertidal Extents Model methodology. Having such an extensive and dense time series of data has enabled us to partition the data into discrete tidal stages, and still be able to deal with issues such as cloud and cloud shadow—that is particularly crucial when dealing with the different conditions we encounter across the continent.”

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

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

“The primary archive available for reviewing the positions of coastlines and effects of sea-level rise is Landsat.”