“Landsat’s thermal data is critical for tracking water use in the western United States, where rainfall can be short in supply and managing water resources is critical to ensuring a sustainable supply for farmers, cities, and natural ecosystems.”

“[T]he case for open data is more than proven by Landsat and Copernicus. Many innovative applications using these datasets are the dividends that benefit the taxpayer.”

“The Landsat collection 1 datasets represent a milestone in remote sensing science, with comparatively stable radiometric calibration and atmospheric correction.”

“The Landsat archive enables us to develop products that tackle problems and address issues at a continental scale. For a country the size of Australia, this would simply not be possible without free and open access to the full time-series that the Landsat archive provides.”

“You can see the changes of your orchard over time & over space, and by measuring the canopy temperature [with Landsat] you can see whether the canopy is in balance with the rest of the environment around the trees.”

“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.”

“Our mapping techniques build on the historical Landsat record to provide highly needed information on regional scale and this helps in evaluating subtle changes in mangroves over a long period of time (trends) and to detect sudden changes due to natural catastrophes or dramatic anthropogenic impacts… [and] Thanks to the increased abundance of Landsat satellite images, it is becoming progressively easier to collect available images of mangrove habitats captured at low tide and high tide.”

“Global Forest Watch’s ability to take advantage of Landsat imagery to produce a global forest monitoring platform highlights why remote sensing has become such a revolutionary technology. The imagery has achieved a state-of-the-art quality—NASA’s Landsat data is delivered in 30x30meter squares and has been for the past 40 years. Beyond this, it has been made radically accessible. Since 2008, anyone has been able to view and download the data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website free of charge, which has made satellite imagery a primary tool for forest and land cover monitoring. Without it, GFW would not be possible.”

“Landsat, now one of the largest and most powerful tranches of Earth-science data, is an invaluable scientific resource.”

“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.”

“If you don’t do the calibration right, you can’t do anything else.”

“We started with all of the Landsat images from the beginning of the [30-meter resolution era of the] Landsat program, so we could go back to 1984 and show how the surface of the planet had changed. It shows the changes in cities, the birth of cities. It shows flooding. It shows things like deforestation. It shows the incredible expansion of agriculture. There’s just so many things you get from that data set.”

“During the decade following 1969, a singular development catapulted computer mapping: the launch of Landsat by NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior in July 1972.”

“You need decades of data to say that a change in kelp is due to climate change rather than other cyclical factors, with Landsat, we have those data.”

“I saw more use of Landsat as the gold standard of calibration than I’ve ever seen in the past. Most of the commercial vendors I heard from called out Landsat as the gold standard. Even the European vendors called out Landsat, which I thought was unique.”

“Landsat pays dividends not only to the prosperity of the global economy, but also to people and planet.”

“Landsat is proof-positive of the value of Earth observation data, and particularly open access to Earth observation data.”

“We cannot replace Landsat with Copernicus. In fact the programs complement each other. The world has been benefitting from Landsat data for the past 40 years now. It is really a unique and extremely valuable data source that has provided knowledge and understanding of the planet.”

“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…”

“By establishing baseline knowledge of Earth’s land areas throughout the last half-century, Landsat allows scientists to evaluate environmental change over time, to better understand the drivers and impacts of change, to model and predict future changes, and to chart these changes in the form of maps.”

“The Landsat program—the longest-standing continuous global record of the Earth’s surface through satellite imagery—has enabled… solutions in support of people, planet, and prosperity since its launch in the 1970s.”

“Landsat is a powerful example of the benefits of long-term investing to build robust data systems for sustained, longitudinal monitoring of environmental, social, and economic conditions.”

“The first year we made Landsat open, we put out 25,000 Landsat scenes. Today, we put out millions of scenes a year.”

“Landsat provides a very good coverage of Amazonia both spatially and temporally. We have known for some time already that the Landsat images can be used to identify ecologically relevant environmental and biotic variation in Amazonian rainforests, but this is the first time we use satellite images to actually predict species distributions.”

“…Landsat and Copernicus, the best two examples of government satellite programs that have positively impacted global development as result of their free and open data policy.”

“The Landsat program is one of the world’s greatest open data success stories. Landsat satellites have been orbiting the earth for decades, creating an irreplaceable archive for studying questions ranging from the retreat of the Aral Sea to water quality in Iowa.”

“Another landmark program within USGS is called Landsat… USGS made a decision…to be able to open up that data, make it free, and the scientific discoveries, the articles, the access, the utility of that data just went absolutely through the roof. So it’s been a really wonderful story about how opening up scientific data allows more discovery, gets people more excited… We really do try to put our data out there in a way that it is usable by the most amount of people as possible.”

“It is a game changer for people who want to know the impact of a management action on particular piece of land, or how a dam affected the downstream area.”

“The Landsat archive and other remote sensing systems provide the means to map and measure disturbance rates of the last 40 years.”

“The water resources communities all through the United States, especially in the irrigated areas, are very appreciative that NASA put the thermal imager on Landsat 8 and that future Landsats are guaranteed to include a thermal imager.”

“I really believe that Landsat data made a change in how we perceive global change. All of the things we have done so far would not have been possible without the unique Landsat dataset”

“Continental scale applications of medium and high-resolution earth observation data are becoming increasingly important and feasible, driven largely by free and open access to the Landsat archive…the Landsat archive offers a temporal dimension for decades long retrospective analysis and ongoing monitoring capabilities.”

“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.”

“It’s a fantastic time to be a user of satellite data, if you’re in that moderate resolution domain this is amazing. The Sentinels and Landsat together is going to be really a game changer. It truly is.”

“The fact that USGS and NASA makes this archive freely available, seems to me to be an inestimable service to the world, and the research community in particular.”

“Sterling service of over four decades of Earth Observations. No ifs, no buts, just a long-term mission to aid science & society.”

“With Landsat we can see temperature of individual fields and how it varies from field-to-field. The temperature of the land surface gives us a good indication of how rapidly water is evaporating off that surface. And this is really important for knowing how healthy the crops are and also for supplying information for irrigators: how much water was used last week and how much do they need to replenish in the current week to keep the crops healthy.”

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

“Anything that’s historic, it’s got to be Landsat. In temporal depth, Landsat is really the only game in town.”

“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.”

“It’s a fundamental resource for the Australian community. It’s used at local government level, state government level, and national levels. It’s our most important Earth-observing satellite with out a question in my mind.”

“The most unique thing about Landsat is its length of record… The ability to go back 30 years or more is something you just can’t do with any other sensor.”

“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, produces very accurate tree loss maps over the humid tropics, and combined with a good forest mask, reveals where old-growth forests have been cleared…By combining our annual maps of plantations with this forest loss dataset, we can extract the area of forest converted each year to industrial plantations by producing companies. This is what we call company-driven deforestation.”