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

“It is a game changer for people who want to know the impact of a management action on particular piece of land, or how a dam affected the downstream area.”

“We have recognized for the first time that we’re not just going to do one more, then stop, but that Landsat is actually a long-term monitoring activity, like the weather satellites, that should go on in perpetuity.”

“Many of our customers’ work couldn’t be done without Landsat.”

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

“You need decades of data to say that a change in kelp is due to climate change rather than other cyclical factors, with Landsat, we have those data.”

“The 30-year record of the Landsat sensors (i.e. TM, ETM+, and OLI) provides a unique data archive for studying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems worldwide, in our case, coastal marshes.”

“When fighting broke out, the [New York Times] graphics team pulled up images from [the] Landsat 8 satellite to look for changes on the ground.”

“We are learning more about cool things to do with Landsat at a faster rate than anytime in the past.”

“By establishing baseline knowledge of Earth’s land areas throughout the last half-century, Landsat allows scientists to evaluate environmental change over time, to better understand the drivers and impacts of change, to model and predict future changes, and to chart these changes in the form of maps.”

“Giant kelp forests are especially sensitive to environmental changes and have a history of undergoing abrupt, dramatic declines and increases in response to a variety of climatic and human-induced factors. The application of our remote sensing methods to the long-term (continuous since 1984), high frequency (~ once per month) global coverage of Landsat imagery is providing a unique opportunity for studying these dynamics over spatial and temporal scales t…

“This research was only possible thanks to the free and open Landsat data policy.”