Dec 18, 2019
Understanding the Ecological and Environmental Impacts of Urbanization

Landsat-based urban extent and phenology indicators provide new information about urban environments.

Phoenix, AZ

Dec 9, 2019
How Urban Heat Affects the Socially Vulnerable in Sun Belt Cities

Socio-economically vulnerable populations are at a higher risk of experiencing urban heat effects.

Baltimore City

Sep 5, 2019
Hot in the City, And Hotter Still in Low-Income Areas

A new investigative report published by NPR has found that it’s hotter in cities’ low income areas.

impervious surfaces in NYC

Feb 26, 2019
High-Resolution Data Products Help Illuminate Urbanization’s Reach

Two new Landsat-based data products and a mapping tool provide data on man-made impervious surfaces and urban extents throughout the world.

growing city sizes

Dec 14, 2018
As Cities Grow, So Does the Urban Growing Season

New insights on how vegetation phenology in urban and surrounding areas respond to urbanization.


Dec 16, 2016
A Map for Preserving a Sustainable Society

On creating a high-quality map of urban areas in India.

Springtime on an Urban Heat Island

Dec 15, 2016
Springtime on an Urban Heat Island

How the urban heat island of Boston affects the growing season of vegetation in and around the city.

Medellin at dusk

Dec 15, 2016
Mapping Cities Worldwide

We know very little about cities worldwide. In many instances we have little idea about the use and morphology of cities.

Milan skyline

Nov 1, 2015
Urbanization Affects Air and Water in Italy’s Po Plain

In a recent Eos Project Update, a group of researchers from Italy and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab shared the results of their large Po Plain Experiment (POPLEX).

Typical American suburban community with model homes.

Sep 15, 2015
USGS Maps Anthropogenic Land Use Trends, 1974–2012

More and more we hear the term “anthropocene” used to describe the current epoch of our planet when humankind has had a profound impact on Earth. This month, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a Landsat-based report and dataset on […]

urban heat island

Aug 25, 2015
Vegetation Essential for Limiting City Warming Effects

Cities are well known hot spots – literally. The urban heat island effect has long been observed to raise the temperature of big cities by 1 to 3°C (1.8 to 5.4°F), a rise that is due to the presence of asphalt, concrete, buildings, and other […]

ProPublica Landsat Las Vegas

Jun 4, 2015
ProPublica Welcomes Readers to Las Vegas with Landsat

ProPublica has put together an interactive graphic called Welcome to Las Vegas*” that uses 40 years worth of Landsat data, together with a graphic representation of the city’s changing skyline and its water use statistics.

abandoned farm in Montana

Sep 26, 2014
Modeling a Changing American Landscape

Land change is a signature activity of human civilization. Since the dawn of history, people have purposefully converted natural landscapes to human-dominated areas. Typical motivations for land change are cultivation (e.g. slash-and-burn […]

Bahrain built-up areas 2013

Apr 22, 2014
Looking at Urban Expansion in Bahrain

Satellite images since 1987 show substantial environmental change on the island nation of Bahrain, including shifting vegetation patterns and more than a doubling in the extent of urbanization, according to a new analysis by the Geospatial […]

May 9, 2013
Landsat Images Provide the Gold Standard for New Earth Applications

May 9, 2013 • Images from Landsat satellites provided free to the public by the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey were the starting points for “a new breakthrough” reported today by Time and announced on the Official […]

Las Vegas in 2010

Mar 7, 2012
What Doesn’t Stay in Vegas? Sprawl

Mar 7, 2012 • The city of Las Vegas, Nevada has undergone a massive growth spurt. An image series, created in honor of Landsat 5’s twenty-eighth birthday, shows the city sprawling across the desert over time. Data from the expansion […]

Feb 8, 2011
Mapping and Measuring Urban Expansion to Inform Policy

Feb 8, 2011 • While urban expansion in Europe and America has been stymied by the recent economic slowdown, the developing world’s cities have been gobbling up land. In cities with more than 100,000 people, urban land cover expansion is […]

Mar 10, 2010
Landsat and the “Human Invader”

Mar 10, 2010 • In an article titled “Modeling the human invader in the United States,” USGS scientists Thomas Stohlgren, Catherine Jarnevich, and Chandra Giri modeled humans as an “invasive species” as they “spread” in the conterminous U.S. […]

Feb 23, 2010
Deforestation Driven by 21st Century Urbanites

Feb 23, 2010 • A recently published Nature Geoscience article by Ruth DeFries et al. reveals that urban pressures (for food and resources) have replaced subsistence farmers as the leading driver of tropical deforestation this century. The […]

Land cover in the York, PA region

Feb 22, 2010
Landsat Images Offer Clearer Picture of Changes in Chesapeake Watershed

Feb 22, 2010 • Images taken from satellites more than 400 miles above the Earth’s surface are bringing land-cover changes throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed into tighter focus. The images, which capture tracts as small as 30 […]

Jun 24, 2009
Landsat Looks at Land Use Trends Around Mobile Bay

Jun 24, 2009 • A recent NASA Technical Report from Stennis Space Center has used Landsat data to document land use changes in Alabama’s Mobile Bay watershed between 1972 and 2008. Over those 36 years, researchers found a 55 percent […]

Jul 10, 2008
Diversity and Biomass of Tropical Forests Cleared for Land Development

Jul 10, 2008 • To learn more about the tropical forests that are cleared when urban and residential development spreads, scientists assembled the most comprehensive time series of land cover maps to date for the island of Puerto Rico.  They […]

Chesapeake Bay

Apr 22, 2008
Landsat’s Role in Chesapeake Bay Management

Apr 22, 2008 • John Smith’s Bay Then & Now – When Captain John Smith first explored the Chesapeake Bay in 1607, the “Great Shellfish Bay,” as it was called by the Algonquian Natives, had transparent waters teeming with aquatic […]

Karen Seto

Jul 4, 2007
Landsat Links Urban Growth and Rainfall Pattern Change

Jul 4, 2007 • For the first time, scientists have used satellite images to demonstrate a link between rapid city growth and rainfall patterns, as well as to assess compliance with an international treaty to protect wetlands. The results […]

Cities from Space

Feb 15, 2007
Landsat Data Used to Understand Urban Environments

A new website featuring Landsat images of 77 international cities has been published by the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). By analyzing urban reflectance (both visible and infrared) and surface temperatures, SEDAC has […]