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

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
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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.[]
cover of NGAC report

Advisory Panel Recommends Landsat Data Stay Free

Keeping Landsat data free and open is the right path forward, a federal advisory panel has concluded. []
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 series of satellites is a cornerstone of our Earth observing capability. The world relies on Landsat data to detect and measure land cover/land use change, the health of ecosystems, and water availability.”

“The community was very vocal regarding the value of a free and open data policy.”

“The use of [Landsat] satellite imagery provides the means to monitor the agricultural water consumption over every square foot of land surface.”

“Satellite data is revolutionizing the way we map the world and the way we understand the natural and anthropogenic processes acting on Earth.”

“We recognize the essential role forests play in the long-term health of our planet, in contributing to sustainable development, and in meeting our shared goal of avoiding dangerous climate change. More than a billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods, and the remaining six billion of us depend on forests for a variety of economic, social, and environmental benefits such as the rainfall, biodiversity, pollinators, carbon storage, and …

“Measuring the past contributes to our understanding of the long-term consequences of our past economic and societal choices, and contributes to more informed management decisions in the future.”

“The Landsat collection 1 datasets represent a milestone in remote sensing science, with comparatively stable radiometric calibration and atmospheric correction.”

“Until recently the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has relied on very high spatial resolution imagery to assess environmental conditions that may pose threats to national security. This project has demonstrated the beneficial use of Landsat to assess water quality at a regional scale, which enables a broader understanding of changing environmental conditions.”

“This project would have been entirely impossible without the free and open-access data policy of the NASA/USGS Landsat-data archive.”

“Usage rocketed in 2008, when Landsat made its images free. More than a million images were downloaded in the first year, compared with a previous annual high of 25,000 images sold. More than 20 million images have been downloaded since the archive opened and the rate continues to increase.”

“Landsat is the only satellite data archive that allows the quantification of vegetation and flooding dynamics relationships across such a large area. Key features unique to the Landsat archive that are paramount for our work include the archive’s temporal depth and detail provided by over a quarter century of systematically acquired time series of imagery at management-relevant spatial resolution.”

“Since late 2008, when Landsat data was made available to all users free of charge, over 22 million Landsat scenes have been downloaded through the USGS-EROS website—and the rate of downloads is still increasing.”