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

a smelly HAB
Satellites on Toxic Algae Patrol
Increasingly, water managers are turning to satellites like Landsat to monitor inland waters.
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results of mega fire

Fires, Floods and Satellite Views: Modeling the Boreal Forest’s Future

The 2014 megafires in Canada’s Northwest Territories burned 7 million acres of forest, making it one of the most severe fire events in Canadian []
Cape Code National Seashore

Landsat-based Global Study of World’s Beaches Shows Threat to Protected Areas

Using 30 years of Landsat data, a team of scientists and engineers from the Netherlands determined how Earth’s sandy beaches are changing.[]
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

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“We’ve got this data of every field, of every country…. the archive is just going to continue to yield good information, good science, better management, reduce costs. It’s incredible.”

“Assessing land cover change, especially the dynamics of smaller water bodies, requires spatial resolution and temporal frequency that are currently only available from the Landsat program. The continuation of the Landsat program will increase the data quantity available for analysis.”

“By seeing in electromagnetic increments beyond the normal range of human vision, Landsat revealed whole new worlds hidden within the folds of a familiar world we thought we knew so well.”

“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 Landsat program is one of the world’s greatest open data success stories. Landsat satellites have been orbiting the earth for decades, creating an irreplaceable archive for studying questions ranging from the retreat of the Aral Sea to water quality in Iowa.”

“Landsat has really become the gold standard of remote sensing from space. It’s provided an invaluable, indelible record of the recent history of our planet.”

“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.”

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