Earth Resources Observation and Science Center

Home

Programs L2 Landing Page

The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center's mission is to document and analyze changes to the Earth’s land areas, across our nation and around the world. To study land change, EROS researchers utilize a vast database of images of the Earth’s surface, including those acquired by Landsat satellites.

Explore EROS

Science at EROS

Science at EROS

EROS scientists use Landsat satellite imagery and other earth-observation data to study land change through time and to assess the impacts of land change regionally, nationally, and globally.

EROS Science

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

EROS maintains the largest, continuous, civilian record of the Earth's land areas in the form of satellite images and other types of remotely sensed data that are fundamental to land change research. We acquire thousands of new images every day.

Imagery & More

Find Data

Find Data

Millions of satellite images, aerial photos, and other types of remotely sensed data of the Earth's land areas are available from EROS--easy to search for and download with user-friendly tools. Most are available free of charge.

Data & Tools

News

Date published: July 5, 2018

A Testimonial for Analysis Ready Data

Jim Vogelmann discovered something interesting about Analysis Ready Data (ARD) these last few months as he and his colleagues worked on finding a better way to quantify fire risk in the Great Basin of the western United States.

ARD, Vogelmann learned, works really well.

Date published: June 27, 2018

EROS Evapotranspiration Model Key Part of Upper Rio Grande Basin Study

Kyle Douglas-Mankin wants to know where the raindrops go when they fall on the arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Upper Rio Grande Basin.

Date published: June 15, 2018

Landsat 7 Flight Operations Transition to New Home Now Complete

Life in satellite flight operations is busy enough without the disruption of uprooting and moving an entire Mission Operations Center (MOC). Yet that’s been the reality for the Landsat 7 MOC as it transitioned this spring into a new address at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

Since 1972, EROS has become synonymous with remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's land areas, cutting-edge research as to how landscapes are changing over time, and analyses of the impacts land change is having on both the planet and its people.

EROS Land Change Research & Applications
Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: February 1, 2018

2018 William T. Pecora Award: Nominations being accepted through June 15, 2018

The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. Nominations for the 2018 award must be received by June 15, 2018.

Date published: March 22, 2017

Pecora 20 Remote Sensing Symposium, Call for Abstracts and Award Nominations

The 20th William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium, with the theme “Observing a Changing Earth: Science for Decisions…Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection,” will be held November 14-16, 2017, in Sioux Falls, SD. The deadline for submitting abstracts and nominations for the William T. Pecora Award is June 1, 2017.

Date published: April 15, 2016

Climate Change

Ever-increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases have led to a rise in the Earth’s average surface temperature, which in turn is driving climate change on local, regional, and global scales. At EROS, we are working to better understand the impact of a changing climate on ecological systems, natural resources, coastlines, biogeochemical cycles, and human activities.

Date published: April 15, 2016

Landscape Dynamics

How do changes in land cover and land use affect agriculture, ecosystems, wildlife, resources, and human communities in the U.S. and around the world? Scientists with the EROS Landscape Dynamics project use satellite imagery and other types of data to answer those and many more questions about land change and its impacts.

Date published: April 15, 2016

Hazards & Disasters

Earthquakes. Famines. Floods. Volcanic eruptions. Sound science is key to assessing, preparing for, and mitigating these and other hazards. EROS provides satellite imagery and other essential remotely sensed data for monitoring drought and wildfire risks, forecasting floods and famines, aiding in disaster relief, and studying threats to human health.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence

The Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence is a research and educational collaboration between USGS EROS and South Dakota State University that develops and applies geospatial technologies such as remote sensing, modeling, and geographic information systems to monitor and analyze land change.

Date published: April 13, 2016

International Activities

In countries around the world, EROS trains scientists, engineers, and land managers in the use of remotely sensed data, and collaborates on projects focused on sustainable development, natural resource management, land cover change, flood monitoring, and early warning systems for drought, famine, and infectious disease.

EROS offers a unique source of satellite imagery and other remotely sensed data of the Earth's land areas. These data are used by scientists, resource managers, urban planners, and many others worldwide to study land change and its impacts on natural systems and human endeavors.

Explore and Access Our Data
Filter Total Items: 15
Date published: July 3, 2018

EarthExplorer Bulk Download Application

The Bulk Download Application is an easy-to-use tool for downloading large quantities of satellite imagery and geospatial data.

Once scenes are added to a Bulk Order via Earth Explorer, the Bulk Download Application can be used to automatically retrieve them with little to no user interaction.

Date published: July 3, 2018

EarthExplorer Scene List Upload

The File List Ordering Tool allows text file, metadata export, and scene list uploads for more effective downloading and/or ordering for all datasets visible on EarthExplorer.  User login required.

Date published: June 6, 2018

Remote Sensing Memory Game

In this interactive matching game developed by USGS and AmericaView, you’ll compare satellite images that show land cover change at various locations around the world. The goal is to find all the matching pairs of images in the shortest amount of time. 

Date published: June 6, 2018

Landsat State Mosaic Puzzle Game

How well do you know your state? Find out by completing the puzzle! Once you master your state, you can choose another state or try one of our other images. Click here to play.

Date published: May 15, 2018

CoNED Project Viewer

The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Project Viewer is a portal to the topobathymetric models created with the expertise of the expertise of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD. 

Date published: May 9, 2018

EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer

The EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer displays imagery in near real-time as Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 orbit the Earth. Along with the near real-time video stream, EarthNow! also replays acquisition recordings from a list of previous Landsat overpasses. When Landsat 7 or Landsat 8 are out of viewing range of a ground station, the most recent overpass is displayed.

Date published: May 9, 2018

EarthExplorer

Use EarthExplorer to find and download images from the entire series of Landsat satellites, Sentinel 2, ASTER, MODIS and other LP DAAC archive products. EarthExplorer is also a portal to aerial photography, point cloud data, phenology and land cover mapping tools and more.

Date published: July 18, 2017

GloVis

The USGS Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis) is an online search and order tool for selected remote sensing data.  

Date published: April 27, 2016

EarthExplorer

The EarthExplorer (EE) tool provides users the ability to query, search, and order satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products. In addition to data from the Landsat missions, EE provides access to MODIS land data products from the NASA Terra and Aqua missions, and ASTER level-1B data products over the U.S. and and Territories from the NASA ASTER mission.

Date published: April 18, 2016

Find and Access Data at EROS

The EROS data archive contains a vast array of satellite imagery, aerial photos, digitized maps, elevation and land cover products, and much more. Most are easily downloadable via the internet.

Date published: March 30, 2016

Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS) Explorer

The Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDSExplorer) is an event-based interface that provides a single point-of-entry for access to remotely sensed imagery and other geospatial datasets as they become available during a response.

Date published: March 21, 2016

Digital Globe

High-resolution GeoEye, QuickBird and WorldView image catalog.

Filter Total Items: 1,684
Year Published: 2018

Quantifying variance across spatial scales as part of fire regime classifications

The emergence of large‐scale fire classifications and products informed by remote sensing data has enabled opportunities to include variability or heterogeneity as part of modern fire regime classifications. Currently, basic fire metrics such as mean fire return intervals are calculated without considering spatial variance in a management context...

Rheinhardt, Scholtz; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D.; Leis, Sherry A.; Picotte, Joshua J.; Twidwell, Dirac
Scholtz, R., S. D. Fuhlendorf, S. A. Leis, J. J. Picotte, and D. Twidwell. 2018. Quantifying variance across spatial scales as part of fire regime classifications. Ecosphere 9(7):e02343. 10.1002/ecs2.2343

Year Published: 2018

Coastal National Elevation Database

The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Applications Project develops enhanced topographic (land elevation) and bathymetric (water depth) datasets that serve as valuable resources for coastal hazards research (Danielson and others, 2016; Thatcher and others, 2016). These datasets are used widely for mapping inundation zones from riverine...

Danielson, Jeffrey J.; Poppenga, Sandra K.; Tyler, Dean J.; Palaseanu-Lovejoy, Monica; Gesch, Dean B.
Danielson, J.J., Poppenga, S.K., Tyler, D.J., Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., and Gesch, D.B., 2018, Coastal National Elevation Database: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3037, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/2018.

Year Published: 2018

Rapid crop cover mapping for the conterminous United States

Timely crop cover maps with sufficient resolution are important components to various environmental planning and research applications. Through the modification and use of a previously developed crop classification model (CCM), which was originally developed to generate historical annual crop cover maps, we hypothesized that such crop cover maps...

Dahal, Devendra; Wylie, Bruce K.; Howard, Daniel
Dahal, D., Wylie, B. & Howard, D. Rapid Crop Cover Mapping for the Conterminous United States. Sci Rep 8, 8631, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26284-w (2018).

Year Published: 2018

National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive

The National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive is managed on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science Center. The Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 (51 U.S.C. §601) directed the U.S. Department of the Interior to establish a permanent global archive consisting of...

Faundeen, John L.; Longhenry, Ryan
Faundeen, J.L., and Longhenry, R., 2018, National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3027, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183027. [Supersedes USGS Fact Sheet 2013–3100.]

Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report

This is the ninth annual report highlighting U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science and decision-support activities conducted for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI). The activities address specific management needs identified by WLCI partner agencies. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, there were 26 active USGS WLCI science-based projects...

Bowen, Zachary H.; Aikens, Ellen; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Assal, Timothy J.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Chong, Geneva W.; Eddy-Miller, Cheryl; Garman, Steven L.; Germaine, Stephen S.; Homer, Collin G.; Johnston, Aaron; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Manier, Daniel J.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Miller, Kirk A.; Walters, Annika W.; Wheeler, Jerrod D.; Wieferich, Daniel; Wilson, Anna B.; Wyckoff, Teal B.; Zeigenfuss, Linda C.
Bowen, Z.H., Aikens, E., Aldridge, C.L., Anderson, P.J., Assal, T.J., Chalfoun, A.D., Chong, G.W., Eddy-Miller, C.A., Garman, S.L., Germaine, S.S., Homer, C.G., Johnston, A., Kauffman, M.J., Manier, D.J., Melcher, C.P., Miller, K.A., Walters, A.W., Wheeler, J.D., Wieferich, D., Wilson, A.B., Wyckoff, T.B., and Zeigenfuss, L.C., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1048, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181048.

Year Published: 2018

Fusing MODIS with Landsat 8 data to downscale weekly normalized difference vegetation index estimates for central Great Basin rangelands, USA

Data fused from distinct but complementary satellite sensors mitigate tradeoffs that researchers make when selecting between spatial and temporal resolutions of remotely sensed data. We integrated data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor aboard the Terra satellite and the Operational Land Imager sensor aboard the...

Boyte, Stephen; Wylie, Bruce K.; Rigge, Matthew B.; Dahal, Devendra
Boyte, Stephen P., Bruce K. Wylie, Matthew B. Rigge, Devendra Dahal. 2018. Fusing MODIS with Landsat 8 data to downscale weekly normalized vegetation index estimates for central Great Basin rangelands, USA. GIScience & Remote Sensing 55:376-399.

Year Published: 2018

Case Study Comparing Multiple Irrigated Land Datasets in Arizona and Colorado, USA

While there are currently a number of irrigated land datasets available for the western United States (U.S.), there is uncertainty regarding in how they relate to each other. To help understand the characteristics of available irrigated datasets, we compared (1) the Cropland Data Layer (CDL), (2) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer...

Shi, Hua; Auch, Roger F.; Vogelmann, James E.; Feng, Min; Rigge, Matthew B.; Senay, Gabriel B.; Verdin, James P.

Year Published: 2018

Challenges in complementing data from ground-based sensors with satellite-derived products to measure ecological changes in relation to climate – lessons from temperate wetland-upland landscapes

Assessing climate-related ecological changes across spatiotemporal scales meaningful to resource managers is challenging because no one method reliably produces essential data at both fine and broad scales. We recently confronted such challenges while integrating data from ground- and satellite-based sensors for an assessment of four wetland-rich...

Gallant, Alisa L.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Brown, Jesslyn F.; Senay, Gabriel B.; Roth, Mark F.
Gallant, A.L., Sadinski, W., Brown, J.F., Senay, G.B., Roth, M.R., Submitted, Challenges in complementing data from ground-based sensors with satellite-derived products to measure ecological changes in relation to climate – lessons from temperate wetland-upland landscapes: Sensors.

Year Published: 2018

2017 Landsat Science Team Summer Meeting Summary

The summer meeting of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)-NASA Landsat Science Team (LST) was held June 11-13, 2017, at the USGS’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD. This was the final meeting of the Second (2012-2017) LST.1 Frank Kelly [EROS—Center Director] welcomed the attendees and expressed his thanks to...

Crawford, Christopher J.; Loveland, Thomas R.; Wulder, Michael A.; Irons, James R.
Crawford, C.J., T.R. Loveland, M.A. Wulder, and J.R. Irons (2018). 2017 Landsat Science Team Summer Meeting Summary 30(1): 21-25.

Year Published: 2018

Anthropogenic enhancement of moderate-to-strong El Niño events likely contributed to drought and poor harvests in southern Africa during 2016

In December–February (DJF) of 2015/16, a strong El Niño (Niño‑3.4 SST >29°C) contributed to a severe drought over southern Africa (SA; Funk et al. 2016). A 9-million ton cereal deficit resulted in 26 mil‑ lion people in need of humanitarian assistance (SADC 2016). While SA rainfall has a well-documented nega‑ tive teleconnection with Niño‑3.4...

Funk, Chris; Davenport, Frank; Harrison, Laura; Magadzire, Tamuka; Galu, Gideon; Artan, Guleid A.; Shukla, Shraddhanand; Korecha, Diriba; Indeje, Matayo; Pomposi, Catherine; Macharia, Denis; Husak, Gregory; Dieudonne Nsadisa, Faka

Year Published: 2018

Integrating future scenario‐based crop expansion and crop conditions to map switchgrass biofuel potential in eastern Nebraska, USA

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been evaluated as one potential source for cellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Planting switchgrass in marginal croplands and waterway buffers can reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and improve regional ecosystem services (i.e. it serves as a potential carbon sink). In previous studies, we mapped high risk...

Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.
Gu, Y. and Wylie, B. K. (2017), Integrating future scenario-based crop expansion and crop conditions to map switchgrass biofuel potential in eastern Nebraska, USA. GCB Bioenergy. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12468

Filter Total Items: 1
Date published: May 8, 2018

Tracking Change Over Time

The Earth Resources Observation and Science Center offers educational resources designed for elementary- and middle-school students. The U.S. Geological Survey offers more options through its science education resource page.

Filter Total Items: 166
Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence
December 31, 2018

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence

Map of Alaska showing probability (%) of change occurrence. Insets show fire boundaries from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Large Fire Database and Landsat 8 imagery (bottom right; 2016) north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

June 30, 2018

Daily Operations of Landsat 7

What it takes each day to keep Landsat 7 operating smoothly. Hear the stories from inside the L7 Mission Operation Center.
 

May 24, 2018

Image of the Week - Patel Dam Tragedy in Kenya

High rainfall totals in Kenya have caused the collapse of the Patel Dam, leading to destruction and loss of life downstream.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (

...
May 24, 2018

Landsat in Action - Google's Earth Engine with Noel Gorelick

Google's Noel Gorelick talks about the value of Landsat data in the Earth Engine project.

May 24, 2018

Landsat in Action - Infrastructure of Landsat Data with Matt Hansen

Matt Hansen talks about the value of Landsat data as an infrastructure for research and innovation.
 

May 16, 2018

Image of the Week - Hawaii's Lava Flow

Lava continues to flow, changing the landscape, vegetation and coastline in Hawaii.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

...
May 16, 2018

An Overview of EROS

The EROS mission is to document and study changes to earth. With a vast archive of imagery from multiple sources, the EROS archive is the longest continuous record or earth's changing landscapes.

Satellite image showing the damage from flooding.
May 12, 2018

Solai Dam Tragedy in Kenya

Heavy spring rains and widespread flooding has killed more than 150 people and displaced thousands in Kenya this year.

 

May 11, 2018

Image of the Week - Rattlesnake Fire, AZ

Landsat and Sentinel sensors capture the Rattlesnake Fire as it burns in Arizona.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

May 4, 2018

Image of the Week - Sandy's Lasting Effects on Fire Island, NY

Fire Island, a barrier island off the coast of Long Island has seen large changes from Hurricane Sandy and several other powerful storms since.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (

...
color photograph
April 25, 2018

Garretson School Second Graders

A group of second-graders from the Garretson School District in Garretson, South Dakota pose for a photo at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center near Sioux Falls, SD.

April 23, 2018

Image of the Week - Urban Growth in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

For over 45 years Landsat has been monitoring the earth. In that time Las Vegas, Nevada has seen incredible urban growth, as documented in images like these.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (

...
Filter Total Items: 77
Date published: July 5, 2018

A Testimonial for Analysis Ready Data

Jim Vogelmann discovered something interesting about Analysis Ready Data (ARD) these last few months as he and his colleagues worked on finding a better way to quantify fire risk in the Great Basin of the western United States.

ARD, Vogelmann learned, works really well.

Date published: June 27, 2018

EROS Evapotranspiration Model Key Part of Upper Rio Grande Basin Study

Kyle Douglas-Mankin wants to know where the raindrops go when they fall on the arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Upper Rio Grande Basin.

Date published: June 15, 2018

Landsat 7 Flight Operations Transition to New Home Now Complete

Life in satellite flight operations is busy enough without the disruption of uprooting and moving an entire Mission Operations Center (MOC). Yet that’s been the reality for the Landsat 7 MOC as it transitioned this spring into a new address at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

Date published: June 12, 2018

Landsat, Sentinel Harmony Effort Shows Promising Results in Great Basin

The advent of remote sensing was a boon to the ancient science of phenology.

Satellite data offered a global view of nature’s seasonal life cycles that historical tabulators of budding trees and buzzing bees could scarcely imagine.

From the start, however, remotely sensed phenology has come with caveats.

Date published: June 11, 2018

USGS Hosting Constellation Mission Operations Working Group in Sioux Falls

It sounds like a kind of science-fiction fantasy—space trains chugging along on orbital tracks 705 kilometers above the Earth.

In fact, they are real—in a manner of speaking.

Date published: June 6, 2018

EROS Burn Mapping Crucial in Post-Fire Risk Assessments

It began with a tree falling onto a power line.

There were sparks, then very quickly a wilderness ablaze. In its first 13 hours, the Las Conchas Fire that erupted just west of Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico on June 26, 2011, spread at an acre per second. By the time the last embers died weeks later, it had grown into what then was the largest wildfire in New Mexico history....

Date published: May 16, 2018

2017 CEOS Chair Team Led by USGS EROS Given Unit Award for Excellence of Service

EROS team earns top honor from Department of Interior for work with international body.

Date published: May 7, 2018

EROS Work Called 'Critical' to Wildfire Mapping, Response

Remotely-sensed data key to response in tracking danger in areas like Montecito 

Date published: April 30, 2018

Loveland Selected for South Dakota Hall of Fame

Former Chief Scientist's contributions as head of Landsat Science Team, commitment to education recognized

Date published: April 26, 2018

Senay, EROS Helping to Solve Riddle of Water Use in Upper Klamath Basin

Scientists at EROS use remote sensing data to assist in the understanding of water dynamics in Upper Klamath 

Date published: March 14, 2018

EROS Plays Major Role in Evolution of Lidar Technology and Applications

USGS has produced topographic maps of American landscapes for more than a century as part of its Congressional mandate to maintain the elevation data that helps document change across the Nation. The use of LiDAR, refined at EROS, is key to modern topography.

Date published: December 15, 2017

USGS and NASA Select New Landsat Science Team

The USGS and NASA have selected the scientists and engineers who will serve on the next Landsat Science Team.