“The results of the Scopus bibliometric analysis indicate that inland water quality remote sensing has been growing dramatically since its introduction in the 1970s…The most pronounced year-on-year jump occurs right after 2008, which corresponds to the public release of freely available Landsat imagery by NASA and the US Geological Survey…This result is consistent with previous research showing that for multiple earth observation fields, the release of the Landsat archive resulted in more fr…

“A sizable portion of our greenhouse gas contribution to the atmosphere comes from land use. And having Landsat data to look back to the 1970s, from there to now, you can then calculate or approximate year-by-year what that contribution is, and that’s extremely important.”

“Landsat satellite data are the most important source we have about how much deforestation happens each year across the Amazon.”

“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.”

“You can see the changes of your orchard over time & over space, and by measuring the canopy temperature [with Landsat] you can see whether the canopy is in balance with the rest of the environment around the trees.”

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

“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.”

“We cannot replace Landsat with Copernicus. In fact the programs complement each other. The world has been benefitting from Landsat data for the past 40 years now. It is really a unique and extremely valuable data source that has provided knowledge and understanding of the planet.”

“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.”

“Another landmark program within USGS is called Landsat… USGS made a decision…to be able to open up that data, make it free, and the scientific discoveries, the articles, the access, the utility of that data just went absolutely through the roof. So it’s been a really wonderful story about how opening up scientific data allows more discovery, gets people more excited… We really do try to put our data out there in a way that it is usable by the most amount of people as possible.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Landsat data are a key climate data source. That’s true for vegetation, for the carbon cycle, and it’s true for the cryosphere.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“Landsat 8 imagery is an incredibly powerful resource. It is some of the most valuable open data produced by the US Government. Our partners rely on Landsat data for everything from evaluating droughts to tracking conflict.”

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.

“The community was very vocal regarding the value of a free and open data policy.”

“I saw more use of Landsat as the gold standard of calibration than I’ve ever seen in the past. Most of the commercial vendors I heard from called out Landsat as the gold standard. Even the European vendors called out Landsat, which I thought was unique.”

“The [Landsat-informed] World Settlement Footprint is a great example on how we can mobilize the data revolution for the benefits of all countries and cities, leaving no one behind, which is one of the leitmotifs of the 2030 agenda on sustainable development.”

“Landsat is really important because it gives us that time component. We can go back in time and see what an area let’s say a coastal zone or a mangrove forest has been like over time.”

“The Landsat satellite program has provided images of the Earth’s surface for more than 40 years, and so it is ideal for documenting long-term changes in ecosystems such as giant kelp forests.”

“Science and reliable data need to be at the heart of policy decisions around the globe if we are to tackle climate change and other serious environmental challenges facing our world. It is vital that we share the trusted data that comes from Earth observation so citizens, scientists, and political leaders everywhere can most effectively work together to meet these most difficult challenges.”

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.