Landsat in Action - Free & Open Landsat Archive with Barbara Ryan

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Detailed Description

Barbara Ryan, Director of GEO talks about the distribution of Landsat data, starting in 1972, and ultimately transitioning to the free and open policy of today.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:06

Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US

Video Credits

Producer: Steve Young


So my name is Barbara
Ryan and I'm director

of the Group on Earth
Observations, GEO,

secretariat in Geneva,

People both at NASA and
the USGS dating back to

went up, really at that time

felt that the data ought to
be broadly and openly

available. Now, finances
were an issue, so I think

that's what started the
agency out selling that

data, but a number of events
happened, obviously the

internet came into being, 
and so instead of sending

out scenes on physical
tapes, all of the sudden

you could distribute data
over the web. Anyway, 

a number of factors came
together but of course it

was a political decision
to make the change.

What it's changed is it's
changed people's views

of the planet. We've got to
look a the data, we've got

to look at how these changes
are occuring if we're going

to take any appropriate
management actions for

whatever, land degradation,
water use, energy consumption

and so it's changed people’s
view of how the earth is changing.

The data policy for Landsat
was a paradigm shift for

the world. There's no doubt
about it. Europe has adopted

a broad open data policy
for their copernicus program

the sentinel series, and I'm
absolutely convinced that

wouldn't have happened if
the US was still selling Landsat

data. Whether it's environmental
governance and transparency

or education or capacity building
or I think particularly for this

administration, or any
administration really,

economic growth, broad open
data is the way you're

going to get there.