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

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
+ details
animation of river meandering

Sharp Bends Make Rivers Meander, As Landsat Attests

Turns out, the rate of river migration is directly linked to how sharp its bends are.[]
Landsat poetry

A Geospatial Poem for the Ages

Poetry and the arts can humanize science.[]
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

“We are looking forward to new exciting data to complement Landsat observations and to collaborative research—especially because ESA followed USGS in its open data policy.”

“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.”

“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 …

“The rich history of Landsat (40+ years) enables not only change detection and trend analysis, but also provides a unique oppurtunity for hydrologic model calibration and validation as shown in this application.”

“This research was only possible thanks to the free and open Landsat data policy.”

“The quality of the Landsat 8 images is simply amazing!”

“Our Landsat-based insect atlas facilitates comparisons across space, time, and insect agents that have not been possible to date.”

“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.”

“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 growth of open satellite-image archives such as Landsat is leading to more sophisticated data products.”

“With these new [Landsat] data, we can begin to unravel the mechanisms by which the ice flow is speeding up or slowing down in response to changing environmental conditions.”

“Now that the entire Landsat archive is freely available it has become economically feasible to monitor disturbance over large areas using satellite time series.”