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

“It’s a treasure trove.”

“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.”

“A new era of open-access satellite data has arrived. In 2008, The U.S. Geological Survey released for free to the public its Landsat archive, which dates back to the 1970s and is the world’s largest collection of Earth imagery.”

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

“The US satellite series—its current flier is named Landsat 8—pioneered the science of monitoring the planet from orbit. It has assembled a continuous record of the world’s fluctuating features that stretches back more than 40 years. In satellite terms, it is the gold standard.”

“Earth Observation data acquired by the Landsat missions are of immense value to the global community and constitute the world’s longest continuous civilian Earth Observation program.”

“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.”

“Usage rocketed in 2008, when Landsat made its images free. More than a million images were downloaded in the first year, compared with a previous annual high of 25,000 images sold. More than 20 million images have been downloaded since the archive opened and the rate continues to increase.”

“Our Landsat-based insect atlas facilitates comparisons across space, time, and insect agents that have not been possible to date.”

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

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

“The economic and scientific benefits to the United States of Landsat imagery far exceed the investment in the system.”

“The Landsat program has given each and every one of us in every part of the world a thoroughly objective, continuous look at ourselves in the mirror since 1972.”

“The Landsat science community is giddy at the results they’re seeing from the latest Landsat instrument. It’s that much better than the last one.”

“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.”

“It’s really by stepping back and looking at the Earth, observing these changes in their context from space, can we really understand what’s happening.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

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.