“I would summarize Landsat 8’s science impacts in three ways: More data, better data, and improved, expanded applications.”

“Landsat provides an unparalleled record of how terrestrial Earth has changed since the early 1970s, closely coinciding with the beginning of rapid environmental change. It provides important historical context for the current state of land cover and land use and provides a reference for identifying abnormal types and rates of change.”

“Because of Landsat’s global purview 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.”

“When fighting broke out, the [New York Times] graphics team pulled up images from [the] Landsat 8 satellite to look for changes on the ground.”

“That’s the beauty of Landsat—it allows us to quantify these spatial patterns that are of high interest to water managers.”

“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.”

“We believe this type of continuous mapping of forest metrics at expansive scales would not have been possible without the excellent radiometric characteristics of Landsat 8, particularly the high level of quantization and the outstanding signal-to-noise ratio, which enables fine distinctions that were not previously possible.”

“Landsat makes it possible to compare images over almost 5 decades and makes the role of climate change unmistakable in this incredibly beautiful mountainous part of Alaska.”

“Having Landsat 9 in progress, and a long-term commitment to sustainable land imaging, is great for natural resource science and for data-driven industries such as precision agriculture and insurance.”

“The success of a mission, and the societal benefits it creates, relies on many factors, including design, manufacture, launch, and operation of the sensor. However, it also includes data acquisition, accessibility, availability, and continuity, all of which are embodied by the Landsat program.”

“Landsat is indispensable for Timelapse in Google Earth—and so much more. Thank you @USGSLandsat @NASA_Landsat program, the world’s only long-term, continuous, data record of the entire Earth’s land surfaces dating back to 1972.”

“Landsat is key to a wide range of applications that support global glacier monitoring and elucidate the impacts of global climate change.”

“With the full Landsat record available, we can finally look at really big problems, like the global carbon cycle.”

“LANDFIRE is the only complete, nationally consistent collection of spatial resource datasets with an ecological foundation.”

“While Landsat instruments are fundamentally just electro-optical transducers that ingest photons and eject a digital bit stream, this transduction relies upon the state of the art in numerous technologies including optics, precision electromechanics, detectors, advanced materials, cryogenics, and signal processing.”

“If you don’t do the calibration right, you can’t do anything else.”

“The first step of ecosystem accounting is to actually map the dynamics of ecosystems over time.”

“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…

“Our mapping techniques build on the historical Landsat record to provide highly needed information on regional scale and this helps in evaluating subtle changes in mangroves over a long period of time (trends) and to detect sudden changes due to natural catastrophes or dramatic anthropogenic impacts… [and] Thanks to the increased abundance of Landsat satellite images, it is becoming progressively easier to collect available images of mangrove habitats captured at low tide and high tide.”

“We are learning more about cool things to do with Landsat at a faster rate than anytime in the past.”

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

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.