The resounding takeaway from a recent paper authored by Landsat Science Team members: Keep Landsat data free and open.
Landsat is a gold standard for calibration that adds value and reliability to other satellite systems.
National Park Service cartographer Tom Patterson’s mapmaking process often incorporates information from Landsat.
Landsat 9 Project Scientist Jeff Masek discusses the ways Landsat data is used and how important it is to have high quality data.
Tom Loveland, research scientist with the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, explains how he uses data — both past and present — to help scientists, natural resource managers, and the public better understand how the face of the planet is shifting and what that change means.
Peter Miller writing for National Geographic, included Landsat as one of ten critical Earth-observing satellites for monitoring our planet. Miller’s article appeared online in mid-October as well as in the November 2015 print edition of National Geographic Magazine.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, leading the U.S. delegation to the 2015 Ministerial Summit of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), today signed an agreement with Mexico serving as a regional milestone for international cooperation in using land-surface satellite images for the benefit of effective land use planning and sustainability.
Since late 2008, when Landsat earth observation images were made available to all users free of charge, nearly 30 million Landsat scenes have been downloaded through the U.S. Geological Survey portal – and the rate of downloads is still increasing.
The 2.38 million Landsat images freely downloaded in 2011, benefited the U.S. economy by $1.8 billion found a new study published this month by a team of economists from Colorado State University and the USGS Fort Collins Science Center.
On the most recent nautical chart of the Beaufort Sea where the long narrow Tapkaluk Islands of Alaska’s North Slope separate the sea from the shallow Elson Lagoon (Nautical Chart 16081) a massive shoal is immediately noticeable just west of the entrance to the lagoon. On the chart it looks like a massive blue thumb jutting out into the sea. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) identified this prodigious, 6-nautical mile-long, 2-nm-wide shoal using Landsat satellite data.
Landsat is a key data input for many products developed and used in water resources, agricultural monitoring, land use and land cover monitoring, forest management, and development planning.
Orbiting Earth more than 400 miles away in space, far from human view; recording repeated images of land around the globe for more than 42 years; offering customers petabytes of historical and current data for free, the Landsat program of Earth observing satellites could be seen as the personification of the most single-minded office worker — tirelessly systematic, yes, but after so many years, perhaps less than dramatic.
Mapbox is a cloud-based map platform startup that creates custom maps with open source tools. The team at Mapbox consists of over fifty cartographers, data analysts and software engineers, located in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, California. One of the open-source tools used by Mapbox is Landsat imagery. The company has a satellite team consisting of five employees dedicated to projects that use Landsat imagery to develop new products and enhance existing imagery.
SilviaTerra is a four-year-old start-up company with five full-time employees that is contributing to the change in the way forests are managed in the United States. The company provides next-generation, highly accurate forest inventory data to fifteen users of various sizes. The customer base includes national and international timber companies. SilviaTerra is profitable and continues to grow.
A recent White House-led assessment found that Landsat is among the Nation’s most critical Earth observing systems, second only to GPS and weather. A new USGS study, Landsat and Water — Case Studies of the Uses and Benefits of Landsat Imagery in Water Resources, provides examples of why Landsat is so valuable.
Humans have been observing Earth for a very long time simply because the conditions of the Earth are basic to our survival and our prosperity. Even the most ancient written records are filled with accounts of great floods, famines, and earthquakes. When to plant and when to harvest, how to use precious water resources most effectively, and ways to avoid natural disasters are all age-old challenges that have encouraged Earth observation from the beginning of civilization.
In 1972 NASA launched the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ETRS), now known as Landsat 1, and on February 11, 2013 launched Landsat 8. Currently the United States has collected 40 continuous years of satellite records of land remote sensing data from satellites similar to these. Even though this data is valuable to improving many different aspects of the country such as agriculture, homeland security, and disaster mitigation; the availability of this data for planning our nation’s future is at risk.