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

Geographia

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

Landsat 8 sketch

“Free and open access to the Landsat archive has already spurred scientific innovation and provided a foundation for REDD+ monitoring, reporting and verification.”

“Landsat 8 represents yet another substantial advance to continuing a 40 year land data record, essential to understanding the Earth’s biosphere, anthropogenic changes to land use and land cover, the terrestrial carbon cycle, and the consequences for climate and biodiversity. This important extension to the Landsat series, the Landsat 8 mission, was achieved, through an outstanding interagency and industrial partnership, effectively managed to achieve brea…

“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.”

“Dai Yamazaki, a hydrodynamic engineer at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, calls the new [Landsat-based] imagery collection the best understanding yet of Earth’s changing surface water.”

“It’s being able to go back in time for the same location, with the same program, that’s given us a tremendous amount of really valuable information… With Landsat we can do that because the archive is so rich.”

“This is an example of something government can do well: investing in infrastructure that broadly benefits society, and provides a stable platform for the development of businesses and economic activity. Landsat is the data equivalent of the interstate highway system, a public good that has spawned a thriving for-profit remote sensing industry in the US and beyond.”

“When I arrived in Gombe 50-plus years ago, looking up at the stars, it never occurred to me that one day, we’d be relying on remote sensing—satellites circling the globe high above—to help unite communities of people and save Gombe’s chimpanzees. NASA—through its resources and data and funding—is helping us to apply the kinds of innovative solutions needed to address the complex problems people and chimpanzees face today.”

“Anything that’s historic, it’s got to be Landsat. In temporal depth, Landsat is really the only game in town.”

“For our main aim of quantifying surface water extent dynamics during a period of high hydro-climatic variability, Landsat was the only satellite archive to meet all our criteria.”

“Landsat offers a globally consistent data set with a short enough revisit time to allow us to consider the percent of time that surface water is present on an annual and seasonal basis, while its 30 meter resolution also enables detection of smaller ponds and rivers, providing greater connectivity.”

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