Quotes to Note

“Using Landsat images, an epidemiologist can build dynamic prediction models that take into account sudden environmental changes which may increase the risk of disease spread.”

— Dr. Donal Bisanzio, senior epidemiologist with RTI International
March 5, 2020 •

“By analyzing 34 years of [Landsat] data, we estimated that about 56% of the rivers globally are affected by seasonal ice [and] that there is 2.5 percentage points decline of river ice globally during this time.”

— Xiao Yang, paleoclimatologist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
February 25, 2020 •

“Even though I have a book coming out about the Moon Landing, I’ll say it: Landsat is likely the greatest, most impactful, yet under-appreciated, accomplishment of the entire space age.”

— Dr. Danny Bednar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, Western University
January 22, 2020 •

“The results of the Scopus bibliometric analysis indicate that inland water quality remote sensing has been growing dramatically since its introduction in the 1970s…The most pronounced year-on-year jump occurs right after 2008, which corresponds to the public release of freely available Landsat imagery by NASA and the US Geological Survey…This result is consistent with previous research showing that for multiple earth observation fields, the release of the Landsat archive resulted in more frequent and larger-scale studies.”

— Simon N. Topp et al., 2020
January 7, 2020 •

“By combining the 34-year record provided by Landsat [30 m] with climate data, we can now quantify relations between water availability and vegetation dynamics in ways that were not previously possible.”

— Dr. Christine Albano, ecohydrologist at the Desert Research Institute
December 13, 2019 •

“The availability and accessibility of remotely sensed digital imagery obtained from Landsat satellites allow coastal scientist—and more importantly community members—the opportunity to map, evaluate and continuously monitor shoreline movement at regular intervals given the unprecedented pace of Arctic climate change.”

— Dr. Ravi Darwin Sankar, geologist with the Arctic Institute of North America & the University of Calgary in Canada
December 12, 2019 •

“Landsat fit all our criteria, and best of all it was free and very easy to download and work with.”

— Dr. Emily Fairfax, Assistant Professor in the department of Environmental Science and Resource Management at California State University Channel Islands
December 11, 2019 •

“Landsat makes it possible to compare images over almost 5 decades and makes the role of climate change unmistakable in this incredibly beautiful mountainous part of Alaska.”

— Dr. Christopher Shuman, glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County
December 11, 2019 •

“There is no satellite record that has the temporal reach of Landsat. While new satellite- and aircraft-based sensors are coming online with sub-meter resolution offering more and more spectral bands, none of them allow the types of temporal investigation that the combined generations of Landsat offer.”

— Dr. Zachary Brecheisen, post-doctoral research associate at Purdue University
December 10, 2019 •

“The long-term acquisition plan of the Landsat mission provides a unique and invaluable dataset for tracking multi-decadal changes in the density and distribution of mangroves at continental scales.”

— Dr. Leo Lymburner, Landsat Science Team Member
December 4, 2019 •

“Landsat has been one of the only ways we can directly measure the global food supply.”

— Brad Doorn, program manager for NASA’s Applied Sciences Water Resources and Agriculture Research at NASA Headquarters in Washington
November 27, 2019 •

“During abnormal growing seasons or natural disasters, satellites shine. Landsat is a robust and independent way to validate what our statistics are telling us.”

— Rick Mueller, Head of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, or NASS Spatial Analysis Research Section and manager of the Cropland Data Layer Program in Washington.
November 27, 2019 •

“Landsat is the longest civil satellite data collection we have. The USGS opening the archive has created opportunities for instructors like us to integrate students.”

— Ramesh Sivanpilla, University of Wyoming
October 29, 2019 •

“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.”

— Bruce Cook, NASA Landsat 9 deputy project scientist
August 23, 2019 •

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

— Bruce Cook, NASA Landsat 9 deputy project scientist
July 1, 2019 •

“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.”

— Dr. Stephen Sagar, Aquatic Remote Sensing Project Leader at Geoscience Australia
June 27, 2019 •

More than Naught: The Z of Where Land Meets Sea

“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.”

— Dr. Daniele Zaccaria, UC Davis
June 6, 2019 •

“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.”

— Kristine Engemann, Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University in Denmark
May 22, 2019 •

“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.”

— Hesham El-Askary, Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling & Observations and Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University
May 9, 2019 •

“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.”

— Sarah Ruiz, writer/editor at Global Forest Watch
April 11, 2019 •

“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.”

— Dmitry L. Varlyguin, Geospatial Data Analysis Corp. Vice President & Chief Scientist
April 9, 2019 •

“Landsat is an invaluable tool for people working in our field of community wildfire safety.”

— Zeke Lunder, a pyrogeographer and founder of Deer Creek GIS
February 19, 2019 •

The Synoptic View of California’s Camp Fire: A Scorching Reality of Today’s Fires

“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.”

— Luba Reshitnyk, Hakai geographer
December 6, 2018 •

“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.”

— Greg Stensaas, manager of the Requirements, Capabilities and Analysis for Earth Observation (RCA-EO) project and JACIE coordinator for EROS
October 5, 2018 •

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

— Jay Neuner
October 4, 2018 •

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

— Jay Neuner
October 4, 2018 •

“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.”

— Josef Aschbacher, Director of EO Programs, European Space Agency
October 3, 2018 •

“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…”

— Frances Seymour, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development
October 2, 2018 •

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

— Kristi Kline, USGS Landsat Project Manger, on the open Landsat data archive
September 19, 2018 •

“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.”

— Hanna Tuomisto, Amazon Research Team Lead, University of Turku
September 6, 2018 •

“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.”

— Tom Lee, Policy Lead for MapBox
August 9, 2018 •

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

— Dr. Mark Broich, geospatial researcher at the University of New South Wales
May 29, 2018 •

Rain Showers, Flowers, and Floods—Understanding How Vegetation Responds to Flooding and Drought in Australia’s Breadbasket

“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.”

— Mike Tischler, Director of USGS National Geospatial Program
May 15, 2018 •

“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.”

— Dr. Virginia Burkett, Chief Scientist, Climate and Land Use Change (CLU), USGS, describing the new Landsat Analysis Ready Data
May 11, 2018 •

“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.”

— Dr. Rick Allen, water resources engineering professor at University of Idaho
April 23, 2018 •

“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”

— Dr. Patrick Hostert, Geomatics Lab, Humboldt University
April 18, 2018 •

“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.”

— Sagar et al., 2018
March 20, 2018 •

“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.”

— Alex Gardner, research scientist at JPL, on mapping Antarctica’s ice movement with Landsat
March 12, 2018 •

“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.”

— David Roy, Professor at South Dakota State University’s Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence
February 27, 2018 •

“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.”

— Grayson Cooke, Australia-based media artist; commenting on the Landsat archive
February 22, 2018 •

Artist Grayson Cooke Explores the Forces that Shape Earth with Landsat

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

— Prof. Chris Rizos, Geodesy & Navigation at University of New South Wales; commenting on the Landsat 8 5-year anniversary
February 14, 2018 •

“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.”

— Martha Anderson, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Landsat Science Team member
February 5, 2018 •

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

— Barbara Ryan, Director of GEO
January 23, 2018 •

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

— Mike Wulder, Canadian Forest Service, on historical land use change
January 16, 2018 •

“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.”

— John Schott, Rochester Institute of Technology, on the Landsat archive
January 9, 2018 •

“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.”

— Adam Lewis, Geoscience Australia’s Acting Chief Scientist, on the Australian archive of Landsat data
January 2, 2018 •

“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.”

— Andrew Elmore, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
December 14, 2017 •

“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.”

— David Gaveau, co-creator of the newly updated Atlas of Deforestation and Industrial Plantations in Borneo
November 30, 2017 •

“Landsat 8 is part of a revolution of how much remote sensing can do to track the polar areas.”

— Ted Scambos, Lead Scientist at the National Snow & Ice Data Center
October 18, 2017 •

“When you have Landsat you can actually show people how we are changing the face of the planet.”

— Alan Belward, scientist at European Union’s Joint Research Center
October 18, 2017 •

“It’s being able to go back in time for the same location, with the same program, that’s given us a tremendous amount of really valuable information… With Landsat we can do that because the archive is so rich.”

— Alan Belward, scientist at European Union’s Joint Research Center
October 18, 2017 •

“Landsat is everywhere, and has been for 40 years.”

— Alan Belward, scientist at European Union’s Joint Research Center
October 18, 2017 •

“Within Australia, Earth Observation is so commonly used across all levels of government, industry and society that the minimum economic impact of Earth Observation from space-borne sensors alone is approximately $5.3 billion each year [Australian $; ~4.15B US$].”

— Australian Earth Observation Community Coordinating Group
October 2, 2017 •