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

a smelly HAB
Satellites on Toxic Algae Patrol
Increasingly, water managers are turning to satellites like Landsat to monitor inland waters.
+ details
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

Geographia

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

Landsat 8 sketch

“The relatively high spatial detail from Landsat allows differentiation of water use by crop type and individual farm field. At the moment, only Landsat can provide a consistent historical data going back to the 1980s that is long enough for trend analysis and investigate the relationships between management decisions and climatic drivers.”

“In many cases the Landsat archive has provided the only consistent source of information to monitor changes in the surface of the Earth.”

“Landsat offers a unique continuous record of the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the last 40 years, no other mission would have been able to provide observations of ice velocity change over such a long time period.”

“Science and reliable data need to be at the heart of policy decisions around the globe if we are to tackle climate change and other serious environmental challenges facing our world. It is vital that we share the trusted data that comes from Earth observation so citizens, scientists, and political leaders everywhere can most effectively work together to meet these most difficult challenges.”

“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.”

“Landsat 8 is an incredible resource for global change research and has been used in a diverse array of scientific endeavors including the monitoring of deforestation, population growth, and glacier recession.”

“Landsat has really become the gold standard of remote sensing from space. It’s provided an invaluable, indelible record of the recent history of our planet.”

“Having all of this [30 m] Landsat data available more or less globally since 1984 will keep glaciologists busy for some more years, if not decades.”

“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.”

“Landsat is providing better [surface] water data—not just at the state level or nationally, but globally”

“At Google, we use Landsat data on a daily basis.”

“It is undeniable that having access to long-term satellite data has allowed ecologists and environmental managers to increase their understanding of the natural world, to make predictions about how this world might transform and to design efficient mitigation and adaptation strategies in the face of global environmental change.”