Mission Areas

Land Remote Sensing Program

Programs L2 Landing Page

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 Land Remote Sensing (LRS) Program helps meet this need.

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LRS and Remote Sensing

LRS and Remote Sensing

LRS works to provide continuous and easy access to remotely sensed land data, acquire regional and global land datasets from multiple sources, and define and develop future satellite missions to enhance the study of land change and its impacts.

Remote Sensing News

Featured Science

Featured Science

How are Landsat images and other remotely sensed data helping scientists understand land change and its implications? Check out our Featured Science articles for important news and key updates.

Science in Action

More to Explore

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

Find and Download Data

Image Collections

Newsroom

Pecora Award

News

Illustration of Landsat 7 in orbit
February 27, 2017

On Tuesday, February 7, Landsat 7’s Flight Operations Team fired the spacecraft’s 1-pound thrusters for about 13 minutes. After a pause of about 7½ hours, the thrusters fired a second time for about 13 minutes.This was the last such maneuver for Landsat 7 and the beginning of the end for the satellite, which has provided images of the earth’s changing resources for more than 17 years. 

USGS logo
October 31, 2016

Working together to advance international coordination of Earth observation programs

Artist’s rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit. NASA graphic.
October 11, 2016

Looking into the past to see the future on Earth Observation Day

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Raw imagery from the Falcon using a sony ILCE-5100 sensor.
April 13, 2016

The USGS National UAS Project Office supports the safe, efficient, and cost-effective adoption of UAS technology into the research and operational activities of the DOI.

Pecora Brochure for nominations
March 15, 2016

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 2016 award must be received by June 10, 2016.

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USGS logo
April 27, 2016

EarthExplorer

Query and order satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products through the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS logo
April 27, 2016

EarthNow!

EarthNow! displays data received from the Landsat 7 satellite. When a Landsat satellite passes within range of the ground station at the USGS Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS), image data are downlinked and displayed in near-real time. When no satellites are within range, the most recent pass is displayed.

USGS logo
April 27, 2016

LandsatLook Viewer

The USGS LandsatLook Viewer allows comprehensive searching and downloading of full-resolution LandsatLook images, along with access to Level 1 Data Products.

USGS logo
April 27, 2016

Emergency Operations Portal

Explore critical pre- and post-disaster images and datasets online for immediate viewing and downloading. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Emergency Operations, in support of the Department of Homeland Security, provides these images for use in disaster preparations, rescue and relief operations, damage assessments, and reconstruction efforts.

Death Valley, Landsat 8
April 20, 2016

Find and Access Remotely Sensed Data

This link takes you to the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center remotely sensed land data archive, which contains millions of satellite images, as well as aerial photos, digitized maps, elevation and land cover products, and much more. Most are easily downloadable via the internet.

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Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
March 14, 2016

Explore our extensive collection of digitized maps and elevation products.

SLR graphic
March 12, 2016

With the National Map viewer, you have access to geospatial data and tools, web mapping services, and application services for orthoimagery, elevation, and land cover data.

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Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) activities at the Department of the Interior
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.
National requirements for improved elevation data
Year Published: 2014

National requirements for improved elevation data

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.
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2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).  Information about the MODIS Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data products, the thematic fire mask classes, and using a color map to visualize fires will be provided in this video. The video will also cover how to find Thermal Anomalies and Fire resources on the LP DAAC website. To learn more about on MODIS Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information.

2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).  Information about the MODIS Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data products, changes between the Version 5 and Version 6 products, and how to access the data using NASA’s Earthdata Search is provided. To learn more about MODIS Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information.

2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about MODIS Thermal Anomalies and Fire quality information, including how to decode quality bits, tools for working with quality data, and where to find additional information, will be provided.  To learn more about MODIS Version 6 Thermal Anomalies and Fire data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information.

March 2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about the MODIS Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data products, changes between the Version 5 and Version 6 products, and how to access the data using NASA’s Earthdata Search is provided. To learn more about MODIS Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information. 
 

March 2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about MODIS Land Surface Temperature quality information, including how to decode quality bits, tools for working with quality data, and where to find additional information, will be provided. To learn more about MODIS Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information. 
 

March 2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Vegetation Indices data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).  Information about the MODIS Version 6 Vegetation Indices products, changes between the Version 5 and Version 6 products, and how to access the data using NASA’s Earthdata Search is provided. To learn more about MODIS Version 6 Vegetation Indices data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information.

March 2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Vegetation Indices data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about MODIS Vegetation Indices quality information, including how to decode quality bits, tools for working with quality data, and where to find additional information, will be provided. To learn more about MODIS Version 6 Vegetation Indices data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information.

March 2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about the MODIS Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data products, the scale factor of the data and other data values, and using a color map to visualize Land Surface Temperature will be provided in this video. The video will also cover how to find Land Surface Temperature resources on the LP DAAC website. To learn more about on MODIS Version 6 Land Surface Temperature data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information. 
 

March 2017 (approx.)

This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Vegetation Indices data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about MODIS Vegetation Indices quality information, including how to decode quality bits, tools for working with quality data, and where to find additional information, will be provided. To learn more about MODIS Version 6 Vegetation Indices data and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

The LP DAAC is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes and distributes NASA Earth science land processes data and information.

Satellite image showing wildflower blooming in California.
March 28, 2017

After 5 years of drought, California finally got relief during the winter of 2016–2017 with much needed precipitation. One result of this additional moisture was a springtime abundance of wildflowers.

There were many places to see this wildflower “superbloom” in southern California. This pair of images from Landsat 8 offers an example of a large area of massive wildflower displays just north of Los Padres National Forest.

Satellite image showing burn damage caused by fires.
March 17, 2017

Landsat's shortwave infrared (SWIR) band measures reduced moisture content in soil and vegetation. When combined with its near-infrared (NIR) band, which helps reveal actively growing vegetation, Landsat produces highly accurate images and maps of burned areas.

Satellite image that shows the Erta Ale volcano eruption.
February 11, 2017

Landsat 8’s shortwave infrared (SWIR) band is useful in viewing recent eruptions at Erta Ale volcano in northern Ethiopia near the Eritrea border. The volcano’s name means “smoking mountain,” and its southernmost vent is referred to as “the gateway to hell.” Both names acknowledge its long-term volcanic activity since the early 1900s, and the persistent filling and draining of lava lakes within its main crater rim. The lava lakes have been filled most recently since the 1960s.

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Illustration of Landsat 7 in orbit
February 27, 2017

On Tuesday, February 7, Landsat 7’s Flight Operations Team fired the spacecraft’s 1-pound thrusters for about 13 minutes. After a pause of about 7½ hours, the thrusters fired a second time for about 13 minutes.This was the last such maneuver for Landsat 7 and the beginning of the end for the satellite, which has provided images of the earth’s changing resources for more than 17 years. 

USGS logo
October 31, 2016

Working together to advance international coordination of Earth observation programs

Artist’s rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit. NASA graphic.
October 11, 2016

Looking into the past to see the future on Earth Observation Day

Dr. William Pecora, USGS Director, 1965-71
September 21, 2016

An annual award for outstanding achievement in remote sensing

Canyonlands National Park as seen by Landsat 8
September 21, 2016

Toward a space-based perspective of our planet in the 1960s

Landsat 8
July 18, 2016

In western North America, mountain pine beetles infest and ravage thousands of acres of forest lands. Landsat satellites bear witness to the onslaught in a way that neither humans nor most other satellites can.

The use of irrigation water in California fields like this can be monitored by Landsat satellites.
April 29, 2016

As droughts rage and aquifers dwindle, people may wonder: Is there enough water to meet all our needs?  Landsat satellites are helping to answer that question.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
March 15, 2016

The U.S. Geological Survey and the European Space Agency (ESA) have established an innovative partnership to enable USGS storage and redistribution of Earth observation data acquired by Copernicus program satellites.

Image: Battle Creek Flooding May 2015, SD
September 28, 2015

Join millions of people participating in America’s PrepareAthon! on Sept. 30. This campaign encourages the nation to conduct drills, discussions and exercises to practice what to do before, during and after a disaster or emergency strikes.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
June 18, 2015

On June 18, 2015 in Canberra, Australia, the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia signed a comprehensive new partnership to maximize land remote sensing operations and data that can help to address issues of national and international significance.