“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.”

“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.”

“Work has begun on the next mission, Landsat 9, with launch scheduled for late 2020. Plans for the next generation of Landsat are also underway, with a series of studies leading to a decision on the Landsat 10 and beyond architecture in 2018.”

“[T]he case for open data is more than proven by Landsat and Copernicus. Many innovative applications using these datasets are the dividends that benefit the taxpayer.”

“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.”

“We use Landsat 8 to document glacier velocity patterns on a mountain-range-wide scale. Mapping glacier velocity is facilitated by Landsat’s high radiometric resolution and precise geolocation.”

“It’s a treasure trove.”

“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.”

“The long time span covered by the Landsat scenes allows us to determine long-term flow velocity trends. The high temporal resolution lets us analyze seasonal flow velocity variations of numerous outlet glaciers…The monitoring system provides a powerful tool to examine the flow velocity pattern throughout time and space, and we have detected an acceleration pattern for a number of outlet glaciers.”

“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.”

“The Landsat archives were the foundation of our study. Landsat unlocks the previous three decades’ of global river changes by recording these ‘natural experiments.’ We were able to quantify the degree of accelerated migration and channel widening caused by 13 cutoff events, estimate the amount of sediment released into the channel due to the cutoffs, and infer the physical processes driving river response to cutoffs.”

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

“The opening of the Landsat archive in 2008 was pivotal… We now have the best available map of disturbances for the United States.”

“The long-term acquisition plan of the Landsat mission provides a unique and invaluable dataset for tracking multi-decadal changes in the density and distribution of mangroves at continental scales.”

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

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

“There is a sensor in the Landsat satellite which measures the intensity of the reflected radiation back into space. What if we could use satellite imagery from the Landsat program to find fossils?”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

“The resolution of Landsat imagery and the size of the Landsat database enables critical insight for scalable, high resolution flood detection in several key ways… This increased resolution is particularly critical in urban areas.”

“I don’t think there’s any question about how important and how valuable MSS is.”

“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.”

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.