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.
+ details
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 []
erosion along Alaska's coastline

New Study Provides the First Comprehensive, Long-term Look at Alaska’s Changing Ecosystems

This is the first study to document more than three decades of land and water changes across Alaska.[]
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 Landsat satellites have also proved to be very useful, particularly for trying to do more detailed, finer-scale risk mapping.”

“Landsat’s work is epic in scale. In 43 years, it has amassed over a petabyte of data, with over 4 million scenes and counting.”

“To make accurate machine learning models of major crops, we needed decades of satellite imagery from the entire globe. Thanks to Google Earth Engine hosting the entire Landsat archive publicly on Google Cloud, we can focus on algorithms instead of worrying about collecting petabytes of data. Earth observation will continue to improve with every new satellite launch and so will our ability to forecast global food supply.”

“We use Landsat 8 to document glacier velocity patterns on a mountain-range-wide scale. Mapping glacier velocity is facilitated by Landsat’s high radiometric resolution and precise geolocation.”

“The long time span covered by the Landsat scenes allows us to determine long-term flow velocity trends. The high temporal resolution lets us analyze seasonal flow velocity variations of numerous outlet glaciers…The monitoring system provides a powerful tool to examine the flow velocity pattern throughout time and space, and we have detected an acceleration pattern for a number of outlet glaciers.”

“The issue of forest disturbance could not have been addressed without our analysis of Landsat Time-series Stacks”

“Without Landsat’s long record, studies like ours would be impossible to undertake, because we don’t have a time machine to go back to the 1970s and 1980s and see how Turkey’s glaciers were doing then. Using Landsat and commercial satellite data together, we can map glaciers with high accuracy. It’s a powerful combination for studying the Earth from space.”

“Nothing is harder to image than the past. It is imperative that all Landsat observations are archived and made available to users.”

“…Landsat and Copernicus, the best two examples of government satellite programs that have positively impacted global development as result of their free and open data policy.”

“Anything that’s historic, it’s got to be Landsat. In temporal depth, Landsat is really the only game in town.”

“Landsat is history’s longest-running Earth imaging project. Its enormous data set cements it as an industry standard.”

“Over the years, we’ve used the Landsat imagery to develop an incredibly accurate depiction of Earth and its changes over time, which we’ve published in Google Earth and Maps for use by billions of people worldwide.”