“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.”

“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…

“The availability and accessibility of remotely sensed digital imagery obtained from Landsat satellites allow coastal scientist—and more importantly community members—the opportunity to map, evaluate and continuously monitor shoreline movement at regular intervals given the unprecedented pace of Arctic climate change.”

“Remote sensing with satellites such as Landsat and sensors such as MODIS allows scientists to conduct a range of studies they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.”

Landsat satellite imagery is ideal for gauging vegetation cover shifts because it supplies spectral data for surface areas of about 90 square meters – fine enough to track changing spectral signal patterns across large study areas.

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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 a…

“Satellite technologies have led to one of the most productive periods in the history of cartography, comparable only to the golden age of mapmaking in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“By unleashing the power of our vast and open data resources, the Climate Data Initiative helps spark private sector innovation and will leverage resources for those on the front lines who are dealing with climate change. We are pooling into one place data from across the federal government to make it more accessible to the public and we hope our efforts will inspire other countries to follow suit.”

“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.”

“Without Landsat we would not have the record we have today about deforestation and changing agriculture across a vast and important biome.”

“Remote sensing with satellites such as Landsat and sensors such as MODIS allows scientists to conduct a range of studies they wouldn’t otherwise be able 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 hope to accelerate innovation in climate research, humanitarian relief, and disaster preparedness efforts around the world by making Landsat data readily available near our flexible computing resources.”

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

“Landsat provides a very good coverage of Amazonia both spatially and temporally. We have known for some time already that the Landsat images can be used to identify ecologically relevant environmental and biotic variation in Amazonian rainforests, but this is the first time we use satellite images to actually predict species distributions.”

“Thanks to satellites and to science, we now know much more about Earth than we did on the first Earth Day fifty years ago.”

“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.”

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.