Quotes to Note

“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 •

“I don’t think anyone could have seen this before these new maps were developed.”

— Catherine Walker, referring to the discovery of the likely cause of glacier speed-up on Antarctica’s Wordie Ice Shelf based on Landsat-derived glacier velocity maps
September 25, 2017 •

“Thanks to Landsat, we were able to dramatically improve our satellite base map in Google Earth and Google Maps on two separate occasions, first in 2013, and again in June 2016. Our most recent 15 meter-per-pixel global mosaic was made from over 1.5 million Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 images and forms the view of Earth you see across our mapping products for the first twelve zoom levels of the imagery basemap.”

— Chris Herwig, Google Earth and Earth Engine
July 28, 2017 •

“Over the years, we’ve used the Landsat imagery to develop an incredibly accurate depiction of Earth and its changes over time, which we’ve published in Google Earth and Maps for use by billions of people worldwide.”

— Chris Herwig, Google Earth and Earth Engine
July 28, 2017 •

“At Google, we use Landsat data on a daily basis.”

— Chris Herwig, Google Earth and Earth Engine
July 28, 2017 •

“Landsat, a joint program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA, offers an unparalleled record of our changing planet, with satellites that have been observing the Earth since 1972 to the present day.”

— Chris Herwig, Google Earth and Earth Engine
July 28, 2017 •

“Landsat is the crown jewel of Earth Observation datasets—unique 40+ year archive.”

— Steven Brumby, co-founder Descartes Labs
June 14, 2017 •


“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.”

— Stephen Sagar, National Earth and Marine Observation Branch, Geoscience Australia and PI of a project to map the intertidal zone for all of Australia
May 25, 2017 •

Welcome to the Intertidal Zone: Mapping Australia’s Coast with Landsat

“Satellite imagery can help us get the biggest bang for our buck by targeting conservation initiatives in a specific window of time at key locations. Landsat is the longest running Earth observation satellite system we have, and free access to this data enables researchers to look at the effects of seasonality, climate cycles, and long-term trends in land-use change.”

— Danica Schaffer-Smith, doctoral student, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
March 27, 2017 •

Duke Today

“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.”

— Barb Ryan, Secretariat Director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
February 7, 2017 •

Geospatial World

“You may have heard me say this before, but I firmly believe there are few topics more fundamental to study than the workings of our planet. The earth sciences aim to unravel how the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere operate—and how they operate together. It is a science of synthesis. And it’s one that needs to move forward, both because of the great service the earth sciences perform for society and the understanding of world-shaping processes that they advance.”

— Erik Klemetti
January 31, 2017 •


“We cannot do this project if the Landsat program doesn’t deliver this open data to the scientific community… We are benefiting from these long-term investments now.”

— Lilian Pintea, VP of conservation science, Jane Goodall Institute
January 24, 2017 •

How Satellite Data Changed Chimpanzee Conservation Efforts

“The long time span covered by the Landsat scenes allows us to determine long-term flow velocity trends. The high temporal resolution lets us analyze seasonal flow velocity variations of numerous outlet glaciers…The monitoring system provides a powerful tool to examine the flow velocity pattern throughout time and space, and we have detected an acceleration pattern for a number of outlet glaciers.”

— M. Scheinert Scheinert, Ralf Rosenau, and Benjamin Ebermann
December 29, 2016 •

Using Landsat to Take the Long View on Greenland's Glaciers; Eos

“Our new interface specifically uses Landsat to track flow velocity fields of Greenland’s outlet glaciers and how they have changed over time.”

— M. Scheinert Scheinert, Ralf Rosenau, and Benjamin Ebermann
December 29, 2016 •

Using Landsat to Take the Long View on Greenland's Glaciers; Eos

“This portal harnesses more than 37,000 images from Landsat archives, dating back to the early 1970s, to track changes in outlet glaciers over time.”

— M. Scheinert Scheinert, Ralf Rosenau, and Benjamin Ebermann
December 29, 2016 •

Using Landsat to Take the Long View on Greenland's Glaciers; Eos

“What we’re able to do now is track the flow of the world’s ice from pole to pole and on every continent.”

— Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, talking about the Landsat 8-based GoLIVE project
December 21, 2016 •

Climate Central

“Thanks to its detailed spatial resolution, Landsat made the estimation of small reservoirs’ surface area possible.”

— Nicolas Avisse, Laval University
December 16, 2016 •

Managing Water in Conflict-Torn Regions

“The Landsat archives were the foundation of our study. Landsat unlocks the previous three decades’ of global river changes by recording these ‘natural experiments.’ We were able to quantify the degree of accelerated migration and channel widening caused by 13 cutoff events, estimate the amount of sediment released into the channel due to the cutoffs, and infer the physical processes driving river response to cutoffs.”

— Jon Schwenk, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
December 16, 2016 •

The Secret Lives of Migrating Rivers

“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.”

— Ran Goldblatt, Big Pixel Initiative of the UC San Diego’s School
December 16, 2016 •

A Map for Preserving a Sustainable Society

“This project would have been entirely impossible without the free and open-access data policy of the NASA/USGS Landsat-data archive.”

— Frazer Christie, University of Edinburgh
December 16, 2016 •

The Shifting Boundary Between Grounded Continental Ice and the Ocean in West Antarctica

“Landsat data is assimilated into our estimation system and therefore provides the key constraint on our snowpack estimates. Without Landsat data this analysis would have to be done in a modeling context or using limited in situ data and therefore would have significantly higher uncertainties.”

— Steve Margulis, UCLA
December 15, 2016 •

Extreme Event: 2012-2015 Snowpack Drought in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

“Landsat is the only satellite data archive that allows the quantification of vegetation and flooding dynamics relationships across such a large area. Key features unique to the Landsat archive that are paramount for our work include the archive’s temporal depth and detail provided by over a quarter century of systematically acquired time series of imagery at management-relevant spatial resolution.”

— Dr. Mark Broich, Geospatial Analysis for Environmental Change Lab, University of New South Wales
December 15, 2016 •

Environmental Flows: Managing Water in the Murray Darling Basin

“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.”

— Rick Lawrence, Montana State University
December 15, 2016 •

A More Detailed Map for Forest Managers

“Landsat is an invaluable resource for developing these high resolution maps. Without the Landsat imagery we would not have the spectral information needed to decompose urban landscapes into Local Climate Zone types. Hence the data is at the heart of the project and it is the most critical piece—without Landsat there is no project.”

— Johannes Feddema, University of Victoria
December 15, 2016 •

Mapping Cities Worldwide

“Landsat provides a global view of the the worlds alpine glaciers and enables us to track their retreat in ways that would be difficult without this important environmental time series.”

— Andrew Klein, Texas A & M University
December 14, 2016 •

Decline of the Last Glaciers in the Eastern Tropics

“From now on, we’re going to be able to track all of the different types of changes in glaciers – there’s so much science to extract from the data.”

— Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, talking about the Landsat 8-based GoLIVE project
December 12, 2016 •

NASA/USGS Satellite Provides Global View of Speed of Ice

“The resolution of Landsat imagery and the size of the Landsat database enables critical insight for scalable, high resolution flood detection in several key ways… This increased resolution is particularly critical in urban areas.”

— Beth Tellman, Arizona State University and co-founder Cloud to Street,
December 12, 2016 •

Mapping Historic Floods Around the World

“The quality of the Landsat 8 images is simply amazing!”

— Amaury Dehecq, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
December 12, 2016 •

Glacier Behavior in High Mountain Asia

“We use Landsat 8 to document glacier velocity patterns on a mountain-range-wide scale. Mapping glacier velocity is facilitated by Landsat’s high radiometric resolution and precise geolocation.”

— William Armstrong, glaciologist, University of Colorado at Boulder.
December 12, 2016 •

The Mechanics of Glacier Motion

“The 30-year record of the Landsat sensors (i.e. TM, ETM+, and OLI) provides a unique data archive for studying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems worldwide, in our case, coastal marshes.”

— Yu Mo, University of Maryland
December 12, 2016 •

How Louisiana’s Coastal Marshes are Responding to Climate Change

“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.”

— Ramesh P. Singh, Chapman University
December 12, 2016 •

Dust on a Glacier

“Landsat has been extremely beneficial as it allowed us to frequently evaluate the movement of the shoreline based on data gleaned from one consistent source over the duration of the study period. Further, the continued use of Landsat will allow for ongoing monitoring of the coastline in this region to ensure that potential infrastructural improvements are sustainable based on projections of near-term climate change.”

— Ravi Darwin Sankar, geologist, University of Calgary
December 12, 2016 •

The Eroding Hamlet of Paulatuk

“The relatively high spatial detail from Landsat allows differentiation of water use by crop type and individual farm field. At the moment, only Landsat can provide a consistent historical data going back to the 1980s that is long enough for trend analysis and investigate the relationships between management decisions and climatic drivers.”

— Gabriel Senay, Research Physical Scientist with USGS EROS
December 12, 2016 •

Watching Water Use in the Southwest

“This project would not have been possible without the consistent, long-term coverage provided by Landsat. The > 30-year archive of Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI imagery enabled us to track changes in mangrove range limits on decadal scales.”

— Kyle Cavanaugh
December 12, 2016 •

The Poleward March of Mangroves

“Dai Yamazaki, a hydrodynamic engineer at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, calls the new [Landsat-based] imagery collection the best understanding yet of Earth’s changing surface water.”

— High-Resolution Satellite Images Capture Stunning View of Earth’s Changing Waters
December 9, 2016 •

Smithsonian Magazine

“Measuring the past contributes to our understanding of the long-term consequences of our past economic and societal choices, and contributes to more informed management decisions in the future.”

— Jean-François Pekel, who used 3 million Landsat images to make global surface water
December 9, 2016 •

Smithsonian Magazine

“Agricultural engineer Jean-Francois Pekel and colleagues have created a kind of virtual time machine, showing past changes in surface water and providing a baseline for charting the changing future of our watery world. To achieve this feat, Pekel and colleagues used more than 3 million Landsat images of Earth’s lakes, wetlands, and rivers taken between 1984 and 2015.”

— High-Resolution Satellite Images Capture Stunning View of Earth’s Changing Waters
December 9, 2016 •

Smithsonian Magazine

“Without Landsat, ‘we would be flying blind. We need those eyes in the sky to complement our ground efforts.'”

— Ulyana Nadia Horodyskyj, glaciologist and advisor to the Nepalese government on Himalayan glacial lakes and outburst floods
December 6, 2016 •

Business Insider

“Because of Landsat’s global coverage and long history, it has become a reference point for all Earth observation work and is considered the gold standard of natural resource satellite imagery.”

— Joe Flasher, Amazon Web Services, Inc.
November 30, 2016 •

Sharing Planetary-Scale Data in the Cloud

“Landsat represents a public good, Earth-observation infrastructure that allows everyone to study their respective land resources and their change over time.”

— Matt Hansen
November 3, 2016 •

Landsat Eyes Help Guard the World’s Forests, USGS

“Landsat 8 has been instrumental in monitoring smoke plumes as they spread across the Ninewa plains.”

— Wim Zwijnenburg, Humanitarian Disarmament Project Leader for PAX
October 25, 2016 •

"Environmental Damage as a Weapon of War? Open Source Industrial Risk Analysis of the Mosul Battle" Bellingcat

“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.”

— Simon Cook, head of a team from Manchester Metropolitan University that measured Bolivian glacier area change from 1986–2014 with Landsat
October 20, 2016 •


“I would summarize Landsat 8’s science impacts in three ways: More data, better data, and improved, expanded applications.”

— Tom Loveland, Chief Scientist at USGS EROS
October 6, 2016 •

Landsat 8 Enhancements Detailed in Journal Special Issue

“We had to push the spatial resolution because we’re interested in humans.”

— Matt Hansen, on why he turned to Landsat for the Global Forest Watch project
October 4, 2016 •

Nature (News Feature)

“To make accurate machine learning models of major crops, we needed decades of satellite imagery from the entire globe. Thanks to Google Earth Engine hosting the entire Landsat archive publicly on Google Cloud, we can focus on algorithms instead of worrying about collecting petabytes of data. Earth observation will continue to improve with every new satellite launch and so will our ability to forecast global food supply.”

— Mark Johnson, Descartes Labs CEO
October 4, 2016 •

Powering geospatial analysis: public geo datasets now on Google Cloud

“This is an example of something government can do well: investing in infrastructure that broadly benefits society, and provides a stable platform for the development of businesses and economic activity. Landsat is the data equivalent of the interstate highway system, a public good that has spawned a thriving for-profit remote sensing industry in the US and beyond.”

— Kimbra Cutlip, SkyTruth
October 3, 2016 •

Marking 50 Years of Landsat, blog post

“We use Landsat images on a daily basis at SkyTruth for environmental monitoring.”

— Kimbra Cutlip, SkyTruth
October 3, 2016 •

Marking 50 Years of Landsat, blog post

“The Deltares Aqua Monitor is the first global-scale tool that shows at 30-m resolution where water is converted to land and vice versa. With assistance from Google Earth Engine, it analyzes satellite imagery from multiple Landsat missions, which observed Earth for more than three decades, on the fly.”

— Donchyts et al.
September 1, 2016 •

Nature Climate Change

“Nothing is harder to image than the past. It is imperative that all Landsat observations are archived and made available to users.”

— Wulder et al., 2015
August 23, 2016 •

The global Landsat archive: Status, consolidation, and direction

“Work has begun on the next mission, Landsat 9, with launch scheduled for late 2020. Plans for the next generation of Landsat are also underway, with a series of studies leading to a decision on the Landsat 10 and beyond architecture in 2018.”

— Timothy Newman, USGS Land Remote Sensing Program Coordinator
July 18, 2016 •


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

— Rory Quinn, marine geoscientist, maritime archaeologist, and Landsat data user
July 18, 2016 •

Satellite imagery enhances coastal hydrography, geodatapoint

“This [Google Earth] update was made possible in a large part thanks to the Landsat program and its commitment to free and accessible open data. Landsat, a joint program of the USGS and NASA, has observed the Earth continuously from 1972 to the present day and offers a wealth of information on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time.”

— Chris Herwig, Google Earth and Earth Engine
June 27, 2016 •

“Landsat 8, which launched into orbit in 2013, is the newest sensor in the USGS/NASA Landsat Program — superior to its predecessors in many ways. Landsat 8 captures images with greater detail, truer colors, and at an unprecedented frequency — capturing twice as many images as Landsat 7 does every day.”

— Chris Herwig, Google Earth and Earth Engine
June 27, 2016 •
— Kevin Conole, Senior Program Specialist, NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations to 59th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
February 14, 2022 •