Quotes to Note

“We knew that ice had been retreating from this region recently but now, thanks to a wealth of freely available satellite data, we know this has been occurring pervasively along the coastline for almost half a century.”

— Frazer Christie PhD student, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh
June 2, 2016 •

Antarctic Coastline Images Reveal Four Decades of Ice Loss to Ocean

“For our main aim of quantifying surface water extent dynamics during a period of high hydro-climatic variability, Landsat was the only satellite archive to meet all our criteria.”

— Mirela Tulbure
May 25, 2016 •

Thirsting for Equitable Water Distribution, Australia Turns to Landsat

“The primary archive available for reviewing the positions of coastlines and effects of sea-level rise is Landsat.”

— John Trinder, Prof Emeritus, University of New South Wales, Australia
May 18, 2016 •

Landsat Archive for Monitoring Coastline Changes, GIM International

“Free and open access to the Landsat archive has already spurred scientific innovation and provided a foundation for REDD+ monitoring, reporting and verification.”

— Doug Morton, NASA Goddard
April 27, 2016 •

Staying Alert: How a New Landsat-Based Tool Spots Deforestation

“An alert system operating at the scale presented here depends on systematic global acquisitions, robust preprocessing, and free and accessible data. Only Landsat has these criteria at medium spatial resolutions, with Sentinel aspiring to emulate Landsat.”

— Matt Hansen, University of Maryland
April 27, 2016 •

Staying Alert: How a New Landsat-Based Tool Spots Deforestation

“Since the first in the line of Landsat craft entered orbit in 1972, this satellite program has proven valuable to the economy of the United States.”

— AIA white paper
April 20, 2016 •

Knowing Our Home–Understanding Earth from Space

“New sensors are nice, but can’t let us see back in time. Happy 17th!”

— Daniela Moody, a Descartes Lab scientist
April 15, 2016 •

wishing Landsat 7 a happy launch anniversary on Twitter

“With 32 years’ worth of data — and ongoing data collection — the Landsat data record (satellites 5, 7 and 8) captures the decadal and interannual variability in forest losses and gains needed to drive global carbon cycle models.”

— Doug Morton
April 1, 2016 •

Nature Climate Change

“Once you start playing around with Landsat, it kind of becomes your hammer.”

— Al Shaw, a ProPublica investigative geo-journalist who worked on the “Losing Ground” project
March 10, 2016 •

speaking at the 2016 National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting conference

“We basically built … Tinder for Landsat maps: Swipe right if it’s good, swipe left if it’s bad.”

— James Crawford, Orbital Insight CEO on his company’s surface water detection app
February 25, 2016 •

MIT Technology Review

“The majority of tropical countries are using Landsat imagery as the primary source of information to support their forest change assessments.”

— Johannes Reiche
February 1, 2016 •

Nature Climate Change

“The Landsat satellites have also proved to be very useful, particularly for trying to do more detailed, finer-scale risk mapping.”

— Dr. Michael Wimberly, Landscape Ecologist, South Dakota State University on using satellite imagery to fight West Nile Virus by creating weekly risk assessment maps
January 5, 2016 •

“The rich history of Landsat (40+ years) enables not only change detection and trend analysis, but also provides a unique oppurtunity for hydrologic model calibration and validation as shown in this application.”

— Naga Manohar Velpuri, USGS FEWS NET
December 18, 2015 •

Monitoring Small Surface Water Bodies in Africa

“Landsat enabled us to collect a multi-decadal record of the [river] reaches at almost annual resolution. By extending our record into the past we were able to examine how the reaches changed through time providing us with a truly invaluable dataset.”

— Joshua Ahmed, Cardiff University
December 18, 2015 •

The Mechanics of Meander Migration

“The Landsat satellites have provided an unprecedented volume of high quality medium-resolution imagery spanning more than 30 years. Without this record it would be exceedingly difficult to place presently observed changes in ice discharge into a longer-term context.”

— Alex Gardner, NASA JPL
December 18, 2015 •

Measuring Movement at the Bottom of the Earth

“Landsat offers a globally consistent data set with a short enough revisit time to allow us to consider the percent of time that surface water is present on an annual and seasonal basis, while its 30 meter resolution also enables detection of smaller ponds and rivers, providing greater connectivity.”

— Amy Hudson, University of Maryland
December 18, 2015 •

Tracking Global Surface Water Dynamics with Landsat

“In order to produce a rock outcrop map for the entire Antarctic continent, we required a freely available georeferenced multispectral dataset. The dataset needed to cover the high latitudes; be recently acquired; be of a high enough resolution to identify individual outcrops and geomorphological features; and have suitable coverage of the continent. On this basis, the Landsat 8 multispectral satellite data was chosen for analysis as no other platform met these requirements. It would not have been possible, or at least would have been prohibitively expensive, to carry out this study without Landsat data.”

— Martin Black, British Antarctic Survey
December 17, 2015 •

Mapping Antarctic Rock Outcrops with Landsat 8

“Until recently the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has relied on very high spatial resolution imagery to assess environmental conditions that may pose threats to national security. This project has demonstrated the beneficial use of Landsat to assess water quality at a regional scale, which enables a broader understanding of changing environmental conditions.”

— Chase Mueller, NASA Ames
December 16, 2015 •

Monitoring Water Quality Trends in the Niger River Basin

“Assessing land cover change, especially the dynamics of smaller water bodies, requires spatial resolution and temporal frequency that are currently only available from the Landsat program. The continuation of the Landsat program will increase the data quantity available for analysis.”

— Jennifer Rover, USGS
December 14, 2015 •

Finding Land Surface Change with Landsat: An Automation

“The issue of forest disturbance could not have been addressed without our analysis of Landsat Time-series Stacks”

— Charles Perry, USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis
December 14, 2015 •

Landsat Helps Inform Restoration Decisions in the Great Lakes

“A recent industry report estimates that total annual value of $2.19 billion, far exceeding the multi-year total cost of building, launching, and managing Landsat satellites and sensors. The value is derived from consumer use of the data. There is no inherent value in idle data.”

— NASA API website
December 11, 2015 •

“NASA’s comprehensive study of Earth has provided much of the underlying understanding of current trends in the planet’s climate – including definitive measurements of rising sea levels, glacier retreat, ice sheet changes and the decline in the volume of the Arctic sea ice cap. Our satellites have provided global, long-term views of plant life on land and in the ocean. And our supercomputing power is allowing us to better understand how all the parts of the Earth system work together and help us to predict how this could change.”

— Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
December 4, 2015 •

NASA’s Work to Understand Climate: A Global Perspective

“We recognize the essential role forests play in the long-term health of our planet, in contributing to sustainable development, and in meeting our shared goal of avoiding dangerous climate change. More than a billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods, and the remaining six billion of us depend on forests for a variety of economic, social, and environmental benefits such as the rainfall, biodiversity, pollinators, carbon storage, and clean water they provide. Forests also play a critical role for many countries in their ability to adapt to a changing climate.”

— Leaders of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, United Kingdom, and the United States
December 1, 2015 •

Government Leaders Endorse Forests as Key Climate Solution

“Having all of this [30 m] Landsat data available more or less globally since 1984 will keep glaciologists busy for some more years, if not decades.”

— Frank Paul, glaciologist
November 27, 2015 •

Animating the "Karakoram Anomaly" with Landsat

“Landsat is key to a wide range of applications that support global glacier monitoring and elucidate the impacts of global climate change.”

— Frank Paul, glaciologist
November 27, 2015 •

Animating the "Karakoram Anomaly" with Landsat

“This research was only possible thanks to the free and open Landsat data policy.”

— Frank Paul, glaciologist
November 27, 2015 •

Animating the “Karakoram Anomaly” with Landsat

“Science and reliable data need to be at the heart of policy decisions around the globe if we are to tackle climate change and other serious environmental challenges facing our world. It is vital that we share the trusted data that comes from Earth observation so citizens, scientists, and political leaders everywhere can most effectively work together to meet these most difficult challenges.”

— Secretary Sally Jewell
November 13, 2015 •

Secretary Jewell and Mexican Leaders Sign Agreement for Sharing Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data

“You can acquire data until the cows come home. But if the data isn’t available, you can only go so far. If people can’t rely on data availability and continuity, they won’t build a system to use it. And then the whole puzzle falls apart.”

— Alyssa Whitcraft, program scientist at GEOGLAM
October 29, 2015 •

GEOGLAM: Working Together to Reduce Poverty and Fight Global Hunger, earthzine

“The Landsat archive holds great potential for studying the processes behind the Greenland Ice Sheet’s response to our changing climate over multi-decadal time scales. It is essential that this record be exploited over other areas of the Greenland Ice Sheet.”

— Noel Gourmelen
October 28, 2015 •

Despite Warming, Landsat Reveals Decadal Slowdowns on Greenland Ice Sheet

“Landsat offers a unique continuous record of the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the last 40 years, no other mission would have been able to provide observations of ice velocity change over such a long time period.”

— Noel Gourmelen
October 28, 2015 •

Despite Warming, Landsat Reveals Decadal Slowdowns on Greenland Ice Sheet

“We would not have been able to complete this research without Landsat’s free and open data policy.”

— Noel Gourmelen
October 28, 2015 •

Despite Warming, Landsat Reveals Decadal Slowdowns on Greenland Ice Sheet

“By analyzing velocity estimates extracted from 30 years of Landsat data, this study highlights the complex, and sometimes counterintuitive, interplay between surface meltwater and ice motion.”

— Thomas Neumann
October 28, 2015 •

Land-Facing, Southwest Greenland Ice Sheet Movement Decreasing

“One of the things we like about the [Landsat] satellite is that as it orbits the Earth it is calibrated consistently so we have a globally constant picture that we can make comparisons—apples to apples—of what’s happening. We can drill down to countries, even parks, and say this is what is happening at a local scale. That is another really powerful part of this big data story.”

— Matt Hansen
October 21, 2015 •

Visualizing Data—Landsat at the World Economic Forum

“Very importantly, big data and its use for societal good is based on really progressive data policies. The Landsat sensor has 40 years of data in the archive and it is available to anyone on the planet.”

— Matt Hansen
October 21, 2015 •

Visualizing Data—Landsat at the World Economic Forum

“Having water consumption maps produced quickly on Smartphones has been everyone’s dream. In two years time we hope to see all farmers watching their fields from their phones and scheduling irrigations. EEEFlux is making Landsat the evapotranspiration satellite.”

— Ayse Kilic, University of Nebraska
October 14, 2015 •

Tracking Agricultural Water Use on a Smartphone

“The use of [Landsat] satellite imagery provides the means to monitor the agricultural water consumption over every square foot of land surface.”

— Ayse Kilic, University of Nebraska
October 14, 2015 •

Tracking Agricultural Water Use on a Smartphone

“When we showed historical Landsat and more recent high resolution images to communities and shared our analysis, people realized what they’d lost over time and wanted to engage in conversations about how to bring the forests back.”

— Lilian Pintea, VP of conservation science, Jane Goodall Institute
September 29, 2015 •

Landsat Images Advance Watershed Restoration in Western Tanzania

“We looked at satellite images taken by the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat missions from 1972 and 1999 and the loss of forest and woodland cover along valleys and steep slopes was clear: eighty percent of the forests were gone. Through our analysis of Landsat forest change maps using GIS, we also calculated that the risk of landslide had increased fivefold during that time.”

— Lilian Pintea, VP of conservation science, Jane Goodal1 Institute, “
September 29, 2015 •

Landsat Images Advance Watershed Restoration in Western Tanzania

“When I arrived in Gombe 50-plus years ago, looking up at the stars, it never occurred to me that one day, we’d be relying on remote sensing—satellites circling the globe high above—to help unite communities of people and save Gombe’s chimpanzees. NASA—through its resources and data and funding—is helping us to apply the kinds of innovative solutions needed to address the complex problems people and chimpanzees face today.”

— Jane Goodall
September 29, 2015 •

Landsat Images Advance Watershed Restoration in Western Tanzania

“With applied conservation programs, we’re using that [Landsat] imagery to say here are the areas that we can prioritize for conservation management, and here are areas that maybe we can let go. It’s a very powerful tool for getting conservation to happen.”

— Matthew Reiter, quantitative ecologist, Point Blue
September 24, 2015 •

Landsat Helps Feed the Birds

“With the Landsat satellite system capable of delivering global coverage every 8 days, we have an unprecedented ability to monitor global forest change. The 2014 tree cover loss data, incorporating hundreds of thousands of Landsat images, confirms that deforestation is not just high in certain countries, it’s speeding up. The next step is to use this information to improve forest protection and more equitably balance economic development with the invaluable ecosystem services forests provide.”

— Matt Hansen, Professor of Geography, University of Maryland
September 2, 2015 •

New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots

“From a valuation standpoint, Landsat is an extremely valuable public good just in its direct use—let alone the economic value of all the indirect uses built on the direct data.”

— John Loomis, an economist at Colorado State University
August 30, 2015 •

Landsat Benefited U.S. Economy by $1.8 Billion in 2011

“By using Landsat 8 imagery, and classification tree analysis, which is an advanced artificial intelligence routine, we have been able to construct a reliable classification system to identify cheatgrass infestations that is accurate. This has implications for fire susceptibility. Cheatgrass is driving wildfire on rangelands and we need to identify areas that have heightened susceptibility to wildfire.”

— Keith Weber, director of the Idaho State University GIS Center
August 7, 2015 •

A Landsat-based Tool to Track Cheatgrass, Monitor Potential Wildfire Hazard

“Without Landsat’s long record, studies like ours would be impossible to undertake, because we don’t have a time machine to go back to the 1970s and 1980s and see how Turkey’s glaciers were doing then. Using Landsat and commercial satellite data together, we can map glaciers with high accuracy. It’s a powerful combination for studying the Earth from space.”

— Compton Tucker
July 23, 2015 •

NASA and Commercial Satellites Map Hidden Glacier Margins In Turkey

“The growth of open satellite-image archives such as Landsat is leading to more sophisticated data products.”

— Andrew K. Skidmore, et al.
July 23, 2015 •

Environmental science: Agree on biodiversity metrics to track from space; Nature News

“The future looks really exciting…”

— Curtis Woodcock, on Landsat science and applications
July 9, 2015 •

Landsat Science Team Meeting

“We are learning more about cool things to do with Landsat at a faster rate than anytime in the past.”

— Curtis Woodcock
July 9, 2015 •

Landsat Science Team Meeting

“Landsat 8 global ice mapping is enabled by its better data acquisition rate.”

— Ted Scambos, NSIDC, on Landsat 8 global ice flow mapping
July 8, 2015 •

Landsat Science Team Meeting

“Landsat is providing better [surface] water data—not just at the state level or nationally, but globally”

— via Alan Belward, EU Commission JRC
July 8, 2015 •

Landsat Science Team Meeting

“We are looking forward to new exciting data to complement Landsat observations and to collaborative research—especially because ESA followed USGS in its open data policy.”

— Garik Gutman, NASA Land Use / Land Cover Change program manager
June 30, 2015 •

On successful Sentinel-2 launch

“We are now beginning to see that the combination of high performance computing, data storage facilities, data preparation techniques, and advanced systems can materially accelerate the value of Landsat data.”

— Dr. Suzette Kimball, acting Director of the USGS
June 18, 2015 •

A New Era of Space Collaboration between Australia and U.S.

“Until we made the map of coral reefs with Landsat 7, global maps of reefs had not improved a lot since the amazing maps that Darwin drafted.”

— Frank Muller-Karger, professor of oceanography, University of South Florida
June 17, 2015 •

“It is undeniable that having access to long-term satellite data has allowed ecologists and environmental managers to increase their understanding of the natural world, to make predictions about how this world might transform and to design efficient mitigation and adaptation strategies in the face of global environmental change.”

— Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London
June 10, 2015 •

Methods Blog

“There should be no competition between satellite remote sensing and fieldwork, there should only be collaborations.”

— Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London
June 10, 2015 •

Methods Blog

“Satellite imagery can be used retrospectively, meaning that the data collected by satellites today will probably help solve issues we are not currently even aware of—an advantage which is invaluable.”

— Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London
June 10, 2015 •

Methods Blog

“Without Landsat it would be essentially impossible to get good Ground Control Point locations from other sources.”

— Frank Warmerdam, Planet Labs
May 25, 2015 •

Landsat and the Private Tech Sector: Direct and Complementary Uses of Imagery

“We have a globally consistent, locally relevant map product that can be used in a variety of applications: estimating emissions from deforestation, modeling biodiversity, assessing protected areas, and studying forest and human health. We plan to move our record forward and backward where Landsat has a sufficiently rich archive of data.”

— Matthew Hansen, University of Maryland
May 7, 2015 •

"Mapping Forest Loss with Landsat," NASA's Earth Observatory

“In a world of scarce resources, there are distinct tradeoffs in costs and benefits of land use, and whether to conserve or convert forest to cropland. Map-based images are perhaps one of the most succinct means of helping policymakers digest complex ideas of social and economically driven environmental change.”

— Glenn Bush, a researcher at the Woods Hole Research Center
May 7, 2015 •

"Mapping Forest Loss with Landsat," NASA's Earth Observatory

“Landsat has been producing Big Data since before data was big.”

— Robinson Meyer
April 16, 2015 •

The Atlantic

“The Landsat program doesn’t produce images like the ones of astronauts playing golf on the moon nor geologists scaling an erupting volcano, but it has created one of the most important scientific repositories of data ever made.”

— Robinson Meyer
April 16, 2015 •

The Atlantic

“We have recognized for the first time that we’re not just going to do one more, then stop, but that Landsat is actually a long-term monitoring activity, like the weather satellites, that should go on in perpetuity.”

— Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist
April 16, 2015 •

NASA, USGS Begin Work on Landsat 9 to Continue Land Imaging Legacy

“With a launch in 2023, Landsat 9 would propel the program past 50 years of collecting global land cover data. That’s the hallmark of Landsat: the longer the satellites view the Earth, the more phenomena you can observe and understand.”

— Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist
April 16, 2015 •

NASA, USGS Begin Work on Landsat 9 to Continue Land Imaging Legacy

“Having Landsat 9 in progress, and a long-term commitment to sustainable land imaging, is great for natural resource science and for data-driven industries such as precision agriculture and insurance.”

— Sarah Ryker, USGS deputy associate director for climate and land use change
April 16, 2015 •

NASA, USGS Begin Work on Landsat 9 to Continue Land Imaging Legacy

“Last year the White House found that GPS, weather satellites, and Landsat are the three most critical types of Earth-orbiting assets for civil applications, because they’re used by many economic sectors and fields of research.”

— Sarah Ryker, USGS deputy associate director for climate and land use change
April 16, 2015 •

NASA, USGS Begin Work on Landsat 9 to Continue Land Imaging Legacy

“Continuing the critical observations made by the Landsat satellites is important now and their value will only grow in the future, given the long term environmental changes we are seeing on planet Earth.”

— John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for science
April 16, 2015 •

NASA, USGS Begin Work on Landsat 9 to Continue Land Imaging Legacy