Landsat satellites have acquired data from across the globe for nearly five decades. The National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center holds the single most geographically and temporally rich collection of Landsat data in the world.
Throughout the years, data have been acquired at numerous International Ground Stations (IGS). Much of the data held internationally are unique, relative to each station's area of coverage and were not duplicated in the USGS archive.
In 2010, the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation (LGAC) effort began, with a goal to consolidate the Landsat data archives of all international ground stations, make the data more accessible to the global Landsat community, and significantly increase the frequency of observations over a given area of interest to improve scientific uses such as change detection and analysis. *See this 2016 paper about the history, status and direction of the LGAC effort.
Bringing Landsat data from many collection stations worldwide to one archive includes several challenges:
- Various data formats and processing methods
- Unknown data formats and processing methods (stations no longer active)
- Media storage age and conditions
Various or obsolete technologies used to ingest data
While every technology asset available will be explored, some data unfortunately may be irrecoverable.
As this effort to systematically acquire, reconcile, and ingest all recoverable foreign data continues, all data successfully ingested into the USGS Landsat archive become available on EarthExplorer, GloVis, and the LandsatLook Viewer.
The maps below display Landsat scenes received from International Ground Stations. The WRS-2 map displays Landsat 7 ETM+, Landsat 4-5 TM, and Landsat 4-5 MSS data received. The WRS-1 map displays Landsat 1-3 MSS data received.
Landsat International Cooperators and Global Archive Consolidation
The global Landsat archive: Status, consolidation, and direction
Landsat International Cooperators and Global Archive ConsolidationLandsat missions have always been an important component of U.S. foreign policy, as well as science and technology policy. The Landsat program’s longstanding network of International Cooperators (ICs), which operates numerous International Ground Stations (IGS) around the world, embodies the United States’ policy of peaceful use of outer space and the worldwide dissemination of civil space technolAuthors
The global Landsat archive: Status, consolidation, and directionNew and previously unimaginable Landsat applications have been fostered by a policy change in 2008 that made analysis-ready Landsat data free and open access. Since 1972, Landsat has been collecting images of the Earth, with the early years of the program constrained by onboard satellite and ground systems, as well as limitations across the range of required computing, networking, and storage capaAuthorsMichael A. Wulder, Joanne C. White, Thomas Loveland, Curtis Woodcock, Alan Belward, Warren B. Cohen, Eugene A. Fosnight, Jerad Shaw, Jeffery G. Masek, David P. Roy