“The value of the Landsat archive is that we have a long-term memory of the changes that have occurred across the Amazon frontier.”


“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.”


“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) websi…


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


“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.”


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


“When the archive was opened, there were more Landsat images outside it than in it. Many images were retained by the global network of receiving stations. An effort to consolidate these has added more than 3 million images to the repository since 2010; agreements are in place for a further 2 million to be ingested.”


“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.”


“Since late 2008, when Landsat data was made available to all users free of charge, over 22 million Landsat scenes have been downloaded through the USGS-EROS website—and the rate of downloads is still increasing.”


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


“I’d go to meetings and people were just jumping up and down because they had discovered another use for the data.”


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


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


“Giant kelp forests are especially sensitive to environmental changes and have a history of undergoing abrupt, dramatic declines and increases in response to a variety of climatic and human-induced factors. The application of our remote sensing methods to the long-term (continuous since 1984), high frequency (~ once per month) global coverage of Landsat imagery is providing a unique opportunity for studying these dynamics over spatial and temporal scales that were previously impossible to e…


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


“A 35-year dataset in marine biology is really hard to find… But we need long-term data to understand climate change and how it impacts populations. This was an exponential increase in the amount of information available about kelp forests in Oregon.”


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


“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.”


“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.”


Landsat 9 bw
Landsat 9 bw
Landsat 9 bw

The NASA/USGS Landsat Program provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. Landsat data give us information essential for making informed decisions about Earth’s resources and environment.