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

Copenhagen garden
Green Space is Good for Mental Health, Landsat Helps Establish
The prolonged presence of green space is intrinsic for a healthy society a new nationwide Danish study finds.
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TIRS-2 Completes Baseline Thermal Vac Test

The completion of this test represents a major milestone for the TIRS-2 project, demonstrating that the team has built a well working instrument []
Camp Fire smoke

The Synoptic View of California’s Camp Fire: A Scorching Reality of Today’s Fires

Sprawling urban fires that once plagued civilization were thought to be a thing the past—the Camp Fire let us know they are back.[]
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.”

“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 Landsat program has given each and every one of us in every part of the world a thoroughly objective, continuous look at ourselves in the mirror since 1972.”

“…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.”

“Without Landsat it would be essentially impossible to get good Ground Control Point locations from other sources.”

“This [Google Earth] update was made possible in a large part thanks to the Landsat program and its commitment to free and accessible open data. Landsat, a joint program of the USGS and NASA, has observed the Earth continuously from 1972 to the present day and offers a wealth of information on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time.”

“The economic and scientific benefits to the United States of Landsat imagery far exceed the investment in the system.”

“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 $; ~4.15B US$].”

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

“Satellite technologies have led to one of the most productive periods in the history of cartography, comparable only to the golden age of mapmaking in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.”

“There is a sensor in the Landsat satellite which measures the intensity of the reflected radiation back into space. What if we could use satellite imagery from the Landsat program to find fossils?”

“Having water consumption maps produced quickly on Smartphones has been everyone’s dream. In two years time we hope to see all farmers watching their fields from their phones and scheduling irrigations. EEEFlux is making Landsat the evapotranspiration satellite.”