April 2018


northeast of sprague river village
Apr 26, 2018Solving the Riddle of Water Use in the Upper Klamath Basin

When it comes to water, when does less really mean more?

crop irrigation
Apr 23, 2018Landsat Imagery Sheds Light on Agricultural Water Use

Researchers armed with data from the Landsat Earth-observing satellites recently teamed up with Google to track water used for irrigation.

Patrick Hostert
Apr 18, 2018USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Studying Phenology with Patrick Hostert

Patrick Hostert from the University of Berlin discusses the value of Landsat's long archive to studying phenology.

soybean field
Apr 4, 2018Satellites, Supercomputers, and Machine Learning Provide Real-Time Crop Type Data

Scientists have proven a new technique for distinguishing the corn and soybean crops using satellite data and the processing power of supercomputers.

Martha Anderson
Feb 5, 2018USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Monitoring Crop Land with Martha Anderson

Martha Anderson talks about the value of Landsat and its thermal data for understanding agricultural lands.

Hankui Zhang
Jan 11, 2018Satellite-based Program to More Accurately Identify Land Cover

A new program uses Landsat satellite data to automatically categorize what’s on the ground more accurately than other land cover products.

Palo Verde diversion dam
Dec 11, 2017Farm Crops for City Drops: Assessing Water Right Transfers With Landsat

Thirty-one years of observed water use trends in the Southwestern U.S.

global cropland distribution
Nov 14, 2017New Landsat-Based Map of Worldwide Croplands Supports Food and Water Security

A new map was released today detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet.

Republican River's South Fork
Oct 20, 2017How Much Water Flows into Ag Irrigation? Landsat Knows

Researchers detail their use of satellite images to produce annual maps of irrigation.

Chesapeake Bay tributary
May 2, 2017Revolutionizing Land Cover and Land Change Research

A new initiative called Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection provides definitive, timely information on how, why, and where the planet is changing.

picture of report cover
Mar 29, 2017Landsat and Agriculture Case Studies

A team of economists from the USGS Fort Collins Science Center has published a new report on Landsat imagery use in agriculture.

soybean field
Dec 16, 2016Mapping Croplands Over the U.S. High Plains Aquifer

Using Landsat to map croplands over the U.S. High Plains Aquifer.

jackrabbit
Dec 16, 2016Managing Brush on Western Rangelands

An approach for evaluating brush management conservation.

canal structure
Dec 12, 2016Watching Water Use in the Southwest

Water use trends observed in the Southwestern U.S. over three decades.

wheat
Jun 27, 2016Agriculture: The View From Space

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations published an audio article about using geospatial data, including Landsat, to monitor would agriculture on soundcloud.

field day in Alice Springs
Jan 13, 2016Satellite Data Help Australian Ranchers Meet the Rising Demand for Meat in a Changing World

When Russell Lethbridge walks his property in northern Australia — kicking-up clouds of dust that catch the sunlight as he assesses the grasses, shrubs and brush that fill the landscape with muted tones of green — he carries the legacy of five [...]

Banaue rice terraces
Jan 11, 2016Future Grains

When global food prices spiked dramatically in late 2007 and into 2008, the costs of many basic dietary staples doubled or even tripled around the world, sparking protests and riots. Panicked governments stopped exporting food, aggravating the crisis.

Rice fields
Dec 18, 2015Mapping Rice, Managing Water in Parched California

Liheng Zhong, a Senior Delineator with the California Department of Water Resources is working on a way to map rice fields with Landsat to better manage water use. He presented some of this findings at #AGU15, here's what he shared with us.

Alyssa Whitcraft
Oct 29, 2015GEOGLAM & the Landsat Connection—Earthzine Takes a Look

There is a global effort afoot to fight hunger and reduce poverty by allowing anyone with an internet connection to see agricultural projections.

Comparison of idle fields from 2011 to 2015
Oct 21, 2015Federal Agencies Release Data Showing California Central Valley Idle Farmland Doubling During Drought

NASA, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the California Department of Water Resources, released data today showing the effect the current drought has had on [...]

Ayse Kilic (University of Nebraska)
Oct 14, 2015Tracking Agricultural Water Use on a Smartphone

This fall scientists at the University of Nebraska, with partners at Google Inc., the University of Idaho and the Desert Research Institute, introduced the latest evolution of METRIC technology—an application called EEFLUX, which will allow [...]

shorebirds
Sep 24, 2015Landsat Helps Feed the Birds

The BirdReturns program, created by The Nature Conservancy of California, is an effort to provide "pop-up habitats" for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers, that migrate each year from their summer breeding grounds [...]

cropland in PA
Aug 18, 2015How Landsat Helps: New Agricultural Case Studies from USGS

The Social and Economic Analysis team at the Fort Collins Science Center recently added five new agriculture focused case studies to their "Landsat Imagery: A Unique Resource" website.

Virginia wine country
May 20, 2015Landsat Helping in Virginia Wine Country

The Virginia Wine Board partnered with Wise DEVELOP to map the extension of Virginia vineyards. Vineyard extent was measured using data from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI).

abandoned farm in Montana
Sep 26, 2014Modeling a Changing American Landscape

Land change is a signature activity of human civilization. Since the dawn of history, people have purposefully converted natural landscapes to human-dominated areas. Typical motivations for land change are cultivation (e.g. slash-and-burn [...]

The Great Salt Lake shrank between 1985 and 2010
Aug 21, 2014Landsat and Water: Using Space to Advance Resource Solutions

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 [...]

Landsat-derived map of field use
Jul 23, 2014Landsat’s Role in Water Resource Management

Water availability and allocation are issues gaining a great deal of attention, particularly in arid climates. Increases in population growth and recent droughts bring urgency to measuring and monitoring water use in areas such as the western [...]

LACIE logo
May 22, 2014Remembering Robert B. MacDonald

Earlier this year on Jan. 7, 2014, a giant in the world of Landsat applied science— Robert B. MacDonald—passed away. MacDonald was largely responsible for first envisioning and formulating how to use early Landsat data to estimate global crop [...]

Screen Capture from 1977 video
May 22, 20141977 Video: Landsat—Satellite for all Seasons

This 1977 NASA video series, “Landsat—Satellite for All Seasons,” provides examples of early Landsat applications.

Napa Valley Vineyard
Mar 11, 2014The Grapes of Landsat

California’s persistent drought is forcing grape growers to keep a more-attentive-than-normal eye on their vines, as water shortages and elevated temperatures alter this year’s growing season.

CropScape map
Feb 12, 2014NASS Releases 2013 Geospatial Data for U.S. Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) updated its online geospatial exploring tool, CropScape, adding Cropland Data Layers from crop year 2013. This tool gives public an easy access to [...]

Cropland
Feb 4, 2014NASA Maps Earth’s Croplands from Space

It takes a lot of land to grow food for the world's seven billion people. About a third of Earth's terrestrial surface is used for agriculture. And about a third of that, in turn, is used to grow crops. Now, a new NASA-funded effort aims to map [...]

Child looking at Landsat image
Sep 27, 2013Mapping the World with Landsat

Speeding around the Earth at 16,800 mph (27,000 kph), two Landsat satellites are quietly, expertly watching and recording changes in Earth’s lands from space. They are gathering data for people to make maps–all kinds of wonderful maps–of our [...]

Safflower
Sep 4, 2013Landsat Impedes Crop Insurance Fraud

With unbiased Landsat imagery as evidence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed an earlier jury-conviction of a northern California farmer found guilty on 16 counts of filing false federal crop insurance claims—scheming the [...]

Burning fields in Indonesia
Jul 30, 2013Using Landsat 8 to Locate Fires in Indonesia

In June, air pollution over Singapore and Malaysia spiked as forests in neighboring Sumatra (Indonesia) burned. Using NASA's daily fire alerts and official national maps, the fires were located in the vicinity of oil palm and acacia tree [...]

May 9, 2013Landsat Images Provide the Gold Standard for New Earth Applications

Images from Landsat satellites provided free to the public by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey were the starting points for “a new breakthrough” reported today by Time and announced on the Official Google Blog. Using its [...]

Estimated mean annual ratio of ET to P
Feb 19, 2013New Maps Provide Crucial Information for Water Managers

For the first time, U.S. Geological Survey scientists have mapped long-term average evapotranspiration rates across the continental United States—a crucial tool for water managers and planners because of the huge role evapotranspiration plays in [...]

Jan 22, 2013What is the Economic Value of Satellite Imagery?

Does remote-sensing information, such as that from Landsat and similar Earth-observing satellites, provide economic benefits to society, and can this value be estimated? Using satellite data for northeastern Iowa, U.S. Geological Survey [...]

Soybean Crops in Brazil / Paraguay
Aug 29, 2012Landsat Adds Tremendous Value to Decision-Making and Bottom Line

Dr. Stephanie Hulina, President of Geospatial Data Analysis Corporation (GDA Corp) discusses how access to free Landsat imagery from USGS enables her business to provide value-added products to her company's clients. The long-term continuity of [...]

Dr. Martha Anderson, research scientist, USDA
Aug 26, 2012Mapping Water Use from Space

[Source: Library of Congress] Dr. Martha Anderson, research scientist, USDA, talks about using images from the Landsat satellite program to monitor water use and drought on U.S. farms with pinpoint accuracy to measure evapotranspiration, the [...]

Apr 26, 2012Landsat Satellites See Texas Crop Circles

A water-rich polka dot pattern takes over the traditional rectangular patchwork of fields in this time series animation of 40 years of Landsat images. In the dry Texas panhandle near the town of Dalhart, this transformation is due to [...]

The fragile semi-arid Souss region of Agadir, Morocco
Apr 1, 2012Managing a Fragile Environment in Morocco

The Souss region of Agadir, Morocco is a fragile semi-arid area that is important to Morocco's fruit and vegetable agriculture industry. To better manage this vulnerable region a French-Moroccan collaboration is using a high-speed network for [...]

Saudi Arabia fields
Mar 29, 2012Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia

The green fields that dot the desert draw on water that in part was trapped during the last Ice Age. In addition to rainwater that fell over several hundred thousand years, this fossil water filled aquifers that are now buried deep under the [...]

Landsat 8
Feb 2, 2012A New Way To Map Drought and Water Use Worldwide

Every month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Center for Climate Prediction has a drought briefing by teleconference to identify the latest drought areas in North America. ARS scientists Martha Anderson and Bill [...]

girl eating corn
Feb 1, 2012It Takes a Satellite To Feed the World

Source: Charles L. Walthall, USDA Agricultural Research Service Forum It's ironic that just when Earth-monitoring satellites are needed more than ever to address the food and freshwater demands of a burgeoning global human population, we face an [...]

cow
Nov 30, 2011Beef Productivity Study Utilizes Landsat

In an effort to help Australian beef producers determine if intensive grazing systems are needed to remain competitive, a new report has analyzed various grazing systems in Queensland, Australia. Landsat data was used to help trend pasture [...]

Drought map for 2007
Oct 10, 2011EarthSky Interview with Martha Anderson: Using Landsat to Monitor Water Use from Space

Martha Anderson, a research scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, uses images from the Landsat satellite program to monitor water use and drought on U.S. farms with pinpoint accuracy, even at the scale of individual fields. As water [...]

Aug 25, 2011Landsat Helps Stave Off Crop Insurance Fraud

This February with the help of Landsat a California farmer was found guilty of committing crop insurance fraud in San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Lassen counties. The farmer was fined $10,000 dollars, ordered to pay $211,516 in restitution, and [...]

Jan 10, 2011Landsat Part of USDA’s CropScape Geospatial Data Service

Source: Zhengwei Yang, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service To provide easier access to geospatial satellite products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) today announced the launch of [...]

Horticulturist David Ramming with grapes growing in the San Joaquin Valley
Dec 15, 2010Landsat Data Addresses Needs of California Growers

With the capability to provide valuable information about individual farm fields, vineyards, and orchards, NASA satellites soon will provide California growers in the San Joaquin Valley with important information about crop growth, irrigation [...]