“The Landsat program doesn’t produce images like the ones of astronauts playing golf on the moon nor geologists scaling an erupting volcano, but it has created one of the most important scientific repositories of data ever made.”

“This [Google Earth] update was made possible in a large part thanks to the Landsat program and its commitment to free and accessible open data. Landsat, a joint program of the USGS and NASA, has observed the Earth continuously from 1972 to the present day and offers a wealth of information on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time.”

“The Landsat time series is so convenient and easy to use and has triggered science that was not possible a few decades ago.”

“It’s a fantastic time to be a user of satellite data, if you’re in that moderate resolution domain this is amazing. The Sentinels and Landsat together is going to be really a game changer. It truly is.”

“Thanks to Landsat, we were able to dramatically improve our satellite base map in Google Earth and Google Maps on two separate occasions, first in 2013, and again in June 2016. Our most recent 15 meter-per-pixel global mosaic was made from over 1.5 million Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 images and forms the view of Earth you see across our mapping products for the first twelve zoom levels of the imagery basemap.”

“Since the first in the line of Landsat craft entered orbit in 1972, this satellite program has proven valuable to the economy of the United States.”

“New sensors are nice, but can’t let us see back in time. Happy 17th!”

“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.”

“We did a study… where we were looking at the main drivers of change in mangrove forests on a global scale. And we would not have been able to do that if it wasn’t for Landsat data and the standardized, well-calibrated data sets that come out of Landsat.”

“A growing archive of Landsat images allow us to see how quickly icesheets are changing.”

“Global Forest Watch’s ability to take advantage of Landsat imagery to produce a global forest monitoring platform highlights why remote sensing has become such a revolutionary technology. The imagery has achieved a state-of-the-art quality—NASA’s Landsat data is delivered in 30x30meter squares and has been for the past 40 years. Beyond this, it has been made radically accessible. Since 2008, anyone has been able to view and download the data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) websi…

“Landsat pays dividends not only to the prosperity of the global economy, but also to people and planet.”

“When we showed historical Landsat and more recent high resolution images to communities and shared our analysis, people realized what they’d lost over time and wanted to engage in conversations about how to bring the forests back.”

“We basically built … Tinder for Landsat maps: Swipe right if it’s good, swipe left if it’s bad.”

“The Landsat archive holds great potential for studying the processes behind the Greenland Ice Sheet’s response to our changing climate over multi-decadal time scales. It is essential that this record be exploited over other areas of the Greenland Ice Sheet.”

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

“The USGS’ incredible gift of open-source [Landsat] imagery and this kind of tool are truly advancing what non-scientists can expect when it comes to views of their planet. Never before have regular people had such ready access to geographic data at this depth and quality.”

“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.”

“During the decade following 1969, a singular development catapulted computer mapping: the launch of Landsat by NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior in July 1972.”

““When the first images appeared, people would talk about the folds in the Appalachian Mountains. There had been textbooks written that described the processes that lead to those formations. For the first time it was possible to observe from great height what people had been talking about for hundreds of years.”

“I don’t think people appreciate just how revolutionary it was when the Landsat archive became available for free and really empowered researchers and advocates to have access to that data at an affordable price to be able to do the kind of mapping that’s now been done, making visible what was previously invisible…”

“Landsat is, on its own merits, an extremely important capability for our country. It becomes all the more important when we overlay on top of that, the challenges of climate change and the fact that we are driving our climate to a place that we haven’t seen before, scientifically.”

“Free and open access to the Landsat archive has already spurred scientific innovation and provided a foundation for REDD+ monitoring, reporting and verification.”

“Continuing the critical observations made by the Landsat satellites is important now and their value will only grow in the future, given the long term environmental changes we are seeing on planet Earth.”

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.