“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.”

“The value of Landsat data is internationally recognized as indispensable to science, natural resource management, commerce, security, foreign policy, agriculture, and education.”

“Landsat’s free and open data policy allows our coastline mapping methods to be easily scaled up and applied to other coastal regions, lowering barriers to understanding recent patterns and processes of coastal change globally.”

“We cannot do this project if the Landsat program doesn’t deliver this open data to the scientific community… We are benefiting from these long-term investments now.”

“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.”

“By seeing in electromagnetic increments beyond the normal range of human vision, Landsat revealed whole new worlds hidden within the folds of a familiar world we thought we knew so well.”

“As the global population surpasses eight billion people, it will be important to effectively manage land to sustain life on Earth. Landsat 9 will pair with Landsat 8 to greatly improve our understanding of what is driving changes to our lands, surface waters, and coasts, and how we can sustainably manage it.”

“That’s the beauty of Landsat—it allows us to quantify these spatial patterns that are of high interest to water managers.”

“New sensors are nice, but can’t let us see back in time. Happy 17th!”

“The ability to see what was happening through time through Landsat imagery helped us tremendously… from sea-level, we hadn’t seen the signs of retreat that the Landsat imagery showed us—the diminishing of the glaciers, of the size and mass of the glaciers. It rocked our world. It truly changed the narrative of interpretation in Glacier Bay. The story that we shared with visitors about glaciers in Glacier Bay was transformed by that information.”

“With its superhuman sight, and decades of archived imagery, Landsat provides us with the ability to see through time, to track the vegetal movement which is beyond our normal sight and to see it for what it really is: a titanic unfolding of active and intentional life.”

“You may have heard me say this before, but I firmly believe there are few topics more fundamental to study than the workings of our planet. The earth sciences aim to unravel how the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere operate—and how they operate together. It is a science of synthesis. And it’s one that needs to move forward, both because of the great service the earth sciences perform for society and the understanding of world-shaping processes that they advance.”

“We believe this type of continuous mapping of forest metrics at expansive scales would not have been possible without the excellent radiometric characteristics of Landsat 8, particularly the high level of quantization and the outstanding signal-to-noise ratio, which enables fine distinctions that were not previously possible.”

“From now on, we’re going to be able to track all of the different types of changes in glaciers – there’s so much science to extract from the data.”

“A 35-year dataset in marine biology is really hard to find… But we need long-term data to understand climate change and how it impacts populations. This was an exponential increase in the amount of information available about kelp forests in Oregon.”

“Without the free and open Landsat data policy, a lot of commercial applications wouldn’t be feasible and a lot of commercial companies—including GDA—would be very different than they are.”

“Without Landsat, we’d still be in the Dark Ages of tracking global forest carbon using spreadsheet models.”

“We’ve got this data of every field, of every country…. the archive is just going to continue to yield good information, good science, better management, reduce costs. It’s incredible.”

“We have mapped then analyzed the area of forest converted each year to industrial oil palm and pulpwood plantations from 2001 to 2016, looking mainly at land under company management – that is, concessions. We use LANDSAT satellite imagery to monitor the annual expansion of plantations. We combine this information with annual maps of forest loss also derived using LANDSAT satellites by Matthew Hansen’s research group at the University of Maryland. The Hansen dataset, as we call it, produce…

“The Landsat mission has been monitoring Earth from orbit for more than 40 years. It is by far the longest continuous record of the surface of the planet, and certainly one of the most valuable data sets in existence.”

“The majority of tropical countries are using Landsat imagery as the primary source of information to support their forest change assessments.”

“By using Landsat 8 imagery, and classification tree analysis, which is an advanced artificial intelligence routine, we have been able to construct a reliable classification system to identify cheatgrass infestations that is accurate. This has implications for fire susceptibility. Cheatgrass is driving wildfire on rangelands and we need to identify areas that have heightened susceptibility to wildfire.”

“I’m grateful that NASA, USGS, and scientists like William Pecora had the foresight to begin collecting Earth observations a half century ago.”

“We like to think about Landsat as being, for this particular problem, sort of the sweet spot—the perfect asset. We found Landsat was really good at mapping the bulk of biomass for this particular test area we were looking at.”

Landsat 9 bw
Landsat 9 bw
Landsat 9 bw

The NASA/USGS Landsat Program provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. Landsat data give us information essential for making informed decisions about Earth’s resources and environment.