“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 ha…

“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.”

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

“You can launch a new satellite, but you can’t put something up in the past. Landsat will always be that historic record that new satellites can tie themselves to.”

“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.”

“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.”

“The advent of Landsat data enabled an unparalleled increase in our understanding of the Earth system.”

“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”

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

“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.”

“There is no other asset in the sky that can show us what Landsat does in terms of the effect of this eruption and also the effect of recovery following the eruption.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Landsat 8 can collect more than 700 images per day—14 times as much as in the 1980s.”

“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.”

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

“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, produce…

“[Landsat] became freely available in 2008 and I think that that completely changed how we are able to use this type of data for decision making.”

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

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

“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.”

“Landsat data gives us a fuller picture of the planet we live on and the resources humanity needs to survive.”

“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.”

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

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.