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

Cape Code National Seashore
Landsat-based Global Study of World’s Beaches Shows Threat to Protected Areas
Using 30 years of Landsat data, a team of scientists and engineers from the
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results of mega fire

Fires, Floods and Satellite Views: Modeling the Boreal Forest’s Future

The 2014 megafires in Canada’s Northwest Territories burned 7 million acres of forest, making it one of the most severe fire events in Canadian []
erosion along Alaska's coastline

New Study Provides the First Comprehensive, Long-term Look at Alaska’s Changing Ecosystems

This is the first study to document more than three decades of land and water changes across Alaska.[]
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

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

“Population in 1972… was around 4 billion people. When we launched Landsat 8 there was 7 billion people on the surface of the planet. Due to those factors our land use and land cover has changed dramatically and continues to change and we use the information and the images from the Landsat satellites to understand the change, to study the trends, and to predict the future.”

“The novelty of our study lies in the bigger picture—measuring glacier change over all main glaciated ranges in Bolivia—and in the identification of potentially dangerous lakes for the first time.”

“Because of Landsat’s global purview and long history, it has become a reference point for all Earth observation work and is considered the gold standard of natural resource satellite imagery.”

“Landsat 8 imagery is an incredibly powerful resource. It is some of the most valuable open data produced by the US Government. Our partners rely on Landsat data for everything from evaluating droughts to tracking conflict.”

“By analyzing velocity estimates extracted from 30 years of Landsat data, this study highlights the complex, and sometimes counterintuitive, interplay between surface meltwater and ice motion.”

“In the world of water resource management, Landsat has played a key role in providing objective and continuous data for the United States, particularly in the arid west. Water-related benefits of Landsat imagery are also reaped far beyond the United States’ borders in countries such as Chile, Australia, Morocco, Sudan, and Venezuela, which are using Landsat data to make informed decisions regarding natural resource allocation and use.”

“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.”

“Landsat’s work is epic in scale. In 43 years, it has amassed over a petabyte of data, with over 4 million scenes and counting.”

“An engineering degree opens many doors. It has served me well.”

“The USGS’s Landsat mission has an incredible 40-year record of the planet’s changing landscape, with virtually every spot imaged every eight days. It’s an incredible scientific asset.”

“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.”