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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Image of the Week

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

Image Collections

Pecora Award

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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.

Date published: March 2, 2018

CMGP Lidar Coordinator selected to serve as USGS Federal Point of Contact/Coordinator for 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study

Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program and Chair of the USGS Lidar Points of Contact Working Group, was selected by the USGS National Geospatial Program to serve as the USGS Federal Point of Contact for the national 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study, coordinating survey nominations across Mission Areas and Regions and compiling responses...


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:

Year Published: 2014

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) activities at the Department of the Interior

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for protecting and managing the natural resources and heritage on almost 20% of the land in the United States. The DOI’s mission requires access to remotely sensed data over vast lands, including areas that are remote and potentially dangerous to access. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS...

Quirk, Bruce K.; Hutt, Michael E.

Year Published: 2014

National requirements for improved elevation data

This report presents the results of surveys, structured interviews, and workshops conducted to identify key national requirements for improved elevation data for the United States and its territories, including coastlines. Organizations also identified and reported the expected economic benefits that would be realized if their requirements for...

Snyder, Gregory I.; Sugarbaker, Larry J.; Jason, Allyson L.; Maune, David F.
National requirements for improved elevation data; 2014; OFR; 2013-1237; Snyder, Gregory I.; Sugarbaker, Larry J.; Jason, Allyson L.; Maune, David F.