National Land Imaging Program


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November 18, 2020

Image of the Week - Petermann Glacier 2020 Update

Petermann Glacier in northwestern Greenland is known to generate large icebergs, most notably in 2010 and 2012. Another large iceberg may be forming now. A new rift was spotted on the glacier in 2017. Since then, imagery from both Landsat and Europe's Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites show the rift lengthening and meeting up with and older crack. The potential iceberg could

November 16, 2020

Outreach EROS Overview

This is EROS.

It's located just north of Sioux Falls in South Dakota in the United States on the planet Earth!

EROS stands for Earth Resources Observation and Science. It's a federal government facility where over 600 talented women and men work together to capture, store, and study images of the Earth taken from high above. Our Earth is always changing, and

Brazilian and U.S. researchers, pictured with the logo for the USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
November 9, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 39 – Brazil’s Water Use

Brazil is a fascinating study in water use. Brazil uses roughly 70 percent of the water consumed in the world today, and its herds of cattle, pigs and poultry are among the largest in the world. Water management teams from that country’s National Water Agency have worked in recent years with researchers from the USGS EROS Center to learn how to map, and therefore more

Dr. Curtis Woodcock with the logo for the USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
November 3, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 38 – Time Series Analysis with Landsat

In the past, remote sensing scientists looked for change on the Earth’s surface primarily by comparing one Landsat image to another. Today, open access to Landsat data, high-performance and cloud computing capabilities and sophisticated algorithms can be used to scan the entirety of the archive for change, enabling researchers to learn more about how the landscape shifts

Color photo of Mike Budde with the logo for the USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
October 9, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 36 – International Charter Turns 20

When a disaster like a hurricane, flood or major wildfire hits a remote part of the world, the International Charter Space and Natural Disasters springs into action. The Charter’s members collect and distribute satellite-derived data that documents the damage, as well as derived products like as fire perimeter or structural damage maps – all at no cost to national

Color image of Eyes on Earth podcast graphic with photo of West Africa, podcast guests
October 2, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 37 – Insuring West Africa’s Crops

The Green Revolution leaned on fertilizers, drought-resistant seeds and other modern innovations to boost agricultural production across much of the planet in the second half of the 20th Century. But many of those innovations never reached West Africa, partially because the lack of social safety nets and crop insurance made such investments too risky. On this episode of

September 11, 2020

Image of the Week - Summer Fires Rage in California

As fire season continues in the western United States let's look back at a number of incidents tracked by officials across California in August. These fires were captured during the day by Landsats 7 and 8, in natural color bands of the visible spectrum. Landsat sensors also record infrared wavelengths revealing burn scars and active fires. Natural color images show smoke

Geographers with OpenET project, pictured with graphic for the Eyes on Earth podcast
September 3, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 35 – Watching the Water Supply with OpenET

Evapotranspiration is the process by which water transpires from the leaves and stems of plants and evaporates from the Earth’s surface. ET is an important metric for managing water use, but data availability has long been an issue. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we talk about OpenET, a bold initiative whose goal is to improve water management by making that water

September 2, 2020

Image of the Week - Time Travel by Permafrost

In Russia's Extreme North, a widening chasm known as the Batagaika Crater provides a unique opportunity to study the past. Early declassified aerial images recorded the crater's growth in the 1960s and 1970s followed by multispectral sensor imagery captured by Landsat and Sentinel satellites, building a continuous view over the last 60 years. But the gash in the ground

Color photo of Cody Anderson with graphic for USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
July 27, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 32 - Lunar Calibration

Calibration teams at the USGS EROS Center use a variety of methods to make sure the data collected by Landsat satellites are an accurate representation of the Earth’s surface. They’re constantly comparing new imagery to old, tweaking algorithms to correct issues that might emerge, and using unchanging Earth surface sites and on-the-ground readings to check for consistency

Color photo of Matt Hansen with graphic for Eyes on Earth podcast.
July 24, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 33 – Global Land Change

Mapping land cover across the United States using Landsat satellite data is a difficult, time-intensive job, but there are jobs far larger. Matt Hansen, a Maryland-based professor and member of the Landsat Science Team focuses his efforts on mapping land cover and change on a global scale. In this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from Matt on how he and his team use the

Color photo of Guy Thayer with graphic for USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
July 22, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 31 – Landsat 7 Flight Operations

Just recently, in mid-July, the flight operations team charged with keeping the Landsat 7 satellite running smoothly achieved a major milestone. They have gone 8 straight years now without an operator error. Considering that the team is operating a machine that costs hundreds of millions of dollars and flies at more than 17,000 miles per hour, avoiding any kind or operator