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

Meltwater lakes form on the surface of Greenland’s Petermann Glacier
Ice in Motion: Satellites Capture Decades of Change
New time-lapse videos of Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets as seen from space are providing scientists with
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AGU poster hall in 2018, credit AGU

Landsat at the 2019 AGU Fall Meeting

At the 2019 AGU Fall Meeting, over 500 presentations feature research conducted with the aid of Landsat data. []
New Landsat Infrared Instrument Ships from NASA

New Landsat Infrared Instrument Ships from NASA

This month, TIRS-2 successfully passed the stringent 12-week testing process at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and was shipped to Northrop []
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 had to push the spatial resolution because we’re interested in humans.”

“Without the free and open Landsat data policy, a lot of commercial applications wouldn’t be feasible and a lot of commercial companies—including GDA—would be very different than they are.”

“Measuring the past contributes to our understanding of the long-term consequences of our past economic and societal choices, and contributes to more informed management decisions in the future.”

“We basically built … Tinder for Landsat maps: Swipe right if it’s good, swipe left if it’s bad.”

“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.”

“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 $; ~4.15B US$].”

“Landsat has undoubtedly transformed our ability to understand urbanization processes and how cities expand and evolve… the multi-spectrality of Landsat, its relatively high spatial resolution, its revisit period, and especially the long observational record that made millions of scenes publicly available, make Landsat a key asset for the research community.”

“The relatively high spatial detail from Landsat allows differentiation of water use by crop type and individual farm field. At the moment, only Landsat can provide a consistent historical data going back to the 1980s that is long enough for trend analysis and investigate the relationships between management decisions and climatic drivers.”

“Landsat is an invaluable tool for people working in our field of community wildfire safety.”

“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.”

“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.”

“I really believe that Landsat data made a change in how we perceive global change. All of the things we have done so far would not have been possible without the unique Landsat dataset”