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

L8 launch
Landsat 8 at Five
Landsat 8 marks five years since launch.
+ details
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.[]
American Oyster

Oyster Prospecting with Landsat 8

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Maine have demonstrated that Landsat 8 satellite data can be used to find []
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

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

“Earth Observation data acquired by the Landsat missions are of immense value to the global community and constitute the world’s longest continuous civilian Earth Observation program.”

“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.”

“With these new [Landsat] data, we can begin to unravel the mechanisms by which the ice flow is speeding up or slowing down in response to changing environmental conditions.”

“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.”

“We use Landsat images on a daily basis at SkyTruth for environmental monitoring.”

“Landsat provides a global view of the the worlds alpine glaciers and enables us to track their retreat in ways that would be difficult without this important environmental time series.”

“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.”

“We looked at satellite images taken by the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat missions from 1972 and 1999 and the loss of forest and woodland cover along valleys and steep slopes was clear: eighty percent of the forests were gone. Through our analysis of Landsat forest change maps using GIS, we also calculated that the risk of landslide had increased fivefold during that time.”

“Landsat represents a public good, Earth-observation infrastructure that allows everyone to study their respective land resources and their change over time.”

“When the archive was opened, there were more Landsat images outside it than in it. Many images were retained by the global network of receiving stations. An effort to consolidate these has added more than 3 million images to the repository since 2010; agreements are in place for a further 2 million to be ingested.”

“The data policy for Landsat was a paradigm shift for the world. There is no doubt about it.”