National Land Imaging Program


Our Nation’s economic security and environmental vitality rely on continuous monitoring of the Earth’s continents, islands, and coastal regions in order to record, study, and understand land change at local, regional, and global scales. The USGS National Land Imaging (NLI) Program helps meet this need.

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This Image Gallery allows users to see how the surface of the Earth is changing rapidly, at local, regional, national, even global scales, with significant repercussions for people, the economy, and the environment.

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Follow these links to learn more about our remote sensing research partnerships, how to access and download data, our image collections, news articles, and more.

Requirements Capabilities & Analysis for Earth Observations

NLI Highlights

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Pecora Award

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Landsat Science Products (formerly Essential Climate Variables)


Date published: August 14, 2018

USGS Solicits Proposals for Remote Sensing Education, Outreach and Research Grant

The National Land Imaging (NLI) Program of the USGS Land Resources Mission Area is soliciting applications from qualified Educational Institutions, State and Local Governments, and Non-profit Organizations (NPOs).

Date published: June 20, 2018

Landsat Advisory Group undertakes a Landsat Cost Recovery Study

The Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have requested a Federal Advisory Committee to review USGS’s current free-and-open policy for user access to Landsat data.  The following material provides a synopsis of frequently-asked questions and answers about the ongoing review.


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Year Published: 2019

Landsat 9

Landsat 9 is a partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that will continue the Landsat program’s critical role of repeat global observations for monitoring, understanding, and managing Earth’s natural resources. Since 1972, Landsat data have provided a unique resource for...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2019, Landsat 9 (ver. 1.1, May 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3008, 2 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

Landsat: The cornerstone of global land imaging

Since 1972, the joint NASA/ U.S. Geological Survey Landsat series of Earth Observation satellites have provided an uninterrupted space-based data record of the Earth’s land surface to help advance scientific research towards the understanding of our planet and the environmental impact of its inhabitants. Early Landsat satellites offered a wealth...

Butcher, Ginger; Barnes, Christopher; Owen, Linda

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of contemporary land-use and land-cover change on the carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems in the United States

Changes in land use and land cover (LULC) can have profound effects on terrestrial carbon dynamics, yet their effects on the global carbon budget remain uncertain. While land change impacts on ecosystem carbon dynamics have been the focus of numerous studies, few efforts have been based on observational data incorporating multiple ecosystem types...

Sleeter, Benjamin M.; Liu, Jinxun; Daniel, Colin; Rayfield, Bronwyn; Sherba, Jason T.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Zhu, Zhiliang; Selmants, Paul; Loveland, Thomas R.
Sleeter, B.M., et al., 2018, Effects of contemporary land-use and land-cover change on the carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems in the United States, Environmental Research Letters, doi: