“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…


“Landsat has undoubtedly transformed our ability to understand urbanization processes and how cities expand and evolve… the multi-spectrality of Landsat, its relatively high spatial resolution, its revisit period, and especially the long observational record that made millions of scenes publicly available, make Landsat a key asset for the research community.”


“In order to produce a rock outcrop map for the entire Antarctic continent, we required a freely available georeferenced multispectral dataset. The dataset needed to cover the high latitudes; be recently acquired; be of a high enough resolution to identify individual outcrops and geomorphological features; and have suitable coverage of the continent. On this basis, the Landsat 8 multispectral satellite data was chosen for analysis as no other platform met these requirements. It would not ha…


“Landsat is key to a wide range of applications that support global glacier monitoring and elucidate the impacts of global climate change.”


“With a launch in 2023, Landsat 9 would propel the program past 50 years of collecting global land cover data. That’s the hallmark of Landsat: the longer the satellites view the Earth, the more phenomena you can observe and understand.”


“Without Landsat’s long record, studies like ours would be impossible to undertake, because we don’t have a time machine to go back to the 1970s and 1980s and see how Turkey’s glaciers were doing then. Using Landsat and commercial satellite data together, we can map glaciers with high accuracy. It’s a powerful combination for studying the Earth from space.”


“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.”


“The US satellite series—its current flier is named Landsat 8—pioneered the science of monitoring the planet from orbit. It has assembled a continuous record of the world’s fluctuating features that stretches back more than 40 years. In satellite terms, it is the gold standard.”


“As a researcher with a limited budget, using the Landsat data for free made this project possible. The global geographic range together with free availability ensures that our study could potentially be repeated in other countries.”


“Tropical deforestation plays a big role in global climate cycles… without the transparency of Landsat satellite data is difficult to put your finger on changing trends.”


“Landsat is key to a wide range of applications that support global glacier monitoring and elucidate the impacts of global climate change.”


“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.”


“The Landsat data record has been key to the Intertidal Extents Model methodology. Having such an extensive and dense time series of data has enabled us to partition the data into discrete tidal stages, and still be able to deal with issues such as cloud and cloud shadow—that is particularly crucial when dealing with the different conditions we encounter across the continent.”


“With 32 years’ worth of data — and ongoing data collection — the Landsat data record (satellites 5, 7 and 8) captures the decadal and interannual variability in forest losses and gains needed to drive global carbon cycle models.”


“Landsat is widely considered to be a crucial national asset, comparable to the satellite-based GPS system and National Weather Service satellites. Ready access to Landsat images supplies a reliable common record of Earth conditions that fosters the mutual understanding of environmental challenges by citizens, researchers, and decision makers worldwide.”


“Satellite data is revolutionizing the way we map the world and the way we understand the natural and anthropogenic processes acting on Earth.”


“The data policy for Landsat was a paradigm shift for the world. There is no doubt about it.”


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


“Landsat provides wide coverage of the Himalayas for years with spatial and spectral quality, especially now, with Landsat 8 that has enhanced spectral resolution, which enables the monitoring of glacier state.”


“I don’t think people appreciate just how revolutionary it was when the Landsat archive became available for free and really empowered researchers and advocates to have access to that data at an affordable price to be able to do the kind of mapping that’s now been done, making visible what was previously invisible…”


“The Landsat satellite series has proven to be a perfect match to the needs of modern irrigated agriculture and water resources management.”


“We show governments across the world that it makes financial sense to release broadly and openly the data that the taxpayer has already paid for. It will build your economy, it is certainly good for transparent government and, it is a boon for capacity building and education.”


“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 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.