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

OLI-2 at Ball
Landsat 9 Instrument Ready for Spacecraft Assembly
OLI-2 is now built, tested, and in place to be assembled onto the spacecraft.
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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 []
Eastern Reef Egret - Queensland, Australia

More than Naught: The “Z” of Where Land Meets Sea

Harnessing 30 years of Landsat data, a team of researchers from Australia has created the first 3D model of Australia’s entire coastline.[]
Lake Havasu 1911 map

Geographia

Journey with us into the cartographic past. Latest look: Creating an Oasis in the Desert: Lake Havasu City, Arizona, 1911 []

Landsat 8 sketch

“We would not have been able to complete this research without Landsat’s free and open data policy.”

“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.”

“I don’t think people appreciate just how revolutionary it was when the Landsat archive became available for free and really empowered researchers and advocates to have access to that data at an affordable price to be able to do the kind of mapping that’s now been done, making visible what was previously invisible…”

“The first year we made Landsat open, we put out 25,000 Landsat scenes. Today, we put out millions of scenes a year.”

“With Landsat we can see temperature of individual fields and how it varies from field-to-field. The temperature of the land surface gives us a good indication of how rapidly water is evaporating off that surface. And this is really important for knowing how healthy the crops are and also for supplying information for irrigators: how much water was used last week and how much do they need to replenish in the current week to keep the crops healthy.”

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

“This project would not have been possible without the consistent, long-term coverage provided by Landsat. The > 30-year archive of Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI imagery enabled us to track changes in mangrove range limits on decadal scales.”

“Having all of this [30 m] Landsat data available more or less globally since 1984 will keep glaciologists busy for some more years, if not decades.”

“By using Landsat 8 imagery, and classification tree analysis, which is an advanced artificial intelligence routine, we have been able to construct a reliable classification system to identify cheatgrass infestations that is accurate. This has implications for fire susceptibility. Cheatgrass is driving wildfire on rangelands and we need to identify areas that have heightened susceptibility to wildfire.”

“New sensors are nice, but can’t let us see back in time. Happy 17th!”

“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.”

“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.”