Earth Resources Observation and Science Center

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The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center's mission is to document and analyze changes to the Earth’s land areas, across our nation and around the world. To study land change, EROS researchers utilize a vast database of images of the Earth’s surface, including those acquired by Landsat satellites.

Explore EROS

Science at EROS

Science at EROS

EROS scientists use Landsat satellite imagery and other earth-observation data to study land change through time and to assess the impacts of land change regionally, nationally, and globally.

EROS Science

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

EROS maintains the largest, continuous, civilian record of the Earth's land areas in the form of satellite images and other types of remotely sensed data that are fundamental to land change research. We acquire thousands of new images every day.

Imagery & More

Find Data

Find Data

Millions of satellite images, aerial photos, and other types of remotely sensed data of the Earth's land areas are available from EROS--easy to search for and download with user-friendly tools. Most are available free of charge.

Data & Tools

News

Date published: May 16, 2018

2017 CEOS Chair Team Led by USGS EROS Given Unit Award for Excellence of Service

EROS team earns top honor from Department of Interior for work with international body.

Date published: May 7, 2018

EROS Work Called 'Critical' to Wildfire Mapping, Response

Remotely-sensed data key to response in tracking danger in areas like Montecito 

Date published: April 30, 2018

Loveland Selected for South Dakota Hall of Fame

Former Chief Scientist's contributions as head of Landsat Science Team, commitment to education recognized

Since 1972, EROS has become synonymous with remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's land areas, cutting-edge research as to how landscapes are changing over time, and analyses of the impacts land change is having on both the planet and its people.

EROS Land Change Research & Applications
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Date published: February 1, 2018

2018 William T. Pecora Award: Nominations being accepted through June 15, 2018

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 2018 award must be received by June 15, 2018.

Date published: March 22, 2017

Pecora 20 Remote Sensing Symposium, Call for Abstracts and Award Nominations

The 20th William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium, with the theme “Observing a Changing Earth: Science for Decisions…Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection,” will be held November 14-16, 2017, in Sioux Falls, SD. The deadline for submitting abstracts and nominations for the William T. Pecora Award is June 1, 2017.

Date published: April 15, 2016

Climate Change

Ever-increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases have led to a rise in the Earth’s average surface temperature, which in turn is driving climate change on local, regional, and global scales. At EROS, we are working to better understand the impact of a changing climate on ecological systems, natural resources, coastlines, biogeochemical cycles, and human activities.

Date published: April 15, 2016

Landscape Dynamics

How do changes in land cover and land use affect agriculture, ecosystems, wildlife, resources, and human communities in the U.S. and around the world? Scientists with the EROS Landscape Dynamics project use satellite imagery and other types of data to answer those and many more questions about land change and its impacts.

Date published: April 15, 2016

Hazards & Disasters

Earthquakes. Famines. Floods. Volcanic eruptions. Sound science is key to assessing, preparing for, and mitigating these and other hazards. EROS provides satellite imagery and other essential remotely sensed data for monitoring drought and wildfire risks, forecasting floods and famines, aiding in disaster relief, and studying threats to human health.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence

The Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence is a research and educational collaboration between USGS EROS and South Dakota State University that develops and applies geospatial technologies such as remote sensing, modeling, and geographic information systems to monitor and analyze land change.

Date published: April 13, 2016

International Activities

In countries around the world, EROS trains scientists, engineers, and land managers in the use of remotely sensed data, and collaborates on projects focused on sustainable development, natural resource management, land cover change, flood monitoring, and early warning systems for drought, famine, and infectious disease.

EROS offers a unique source of satellite imagery and other remotely sensed data of the Earth's land areas. These data are used by scientists, resource managers, urban planners, and many others worldwide to study land change and its impacts on natural systems and human endeavors.

Explore and Access Our Data
Filter Total Items: 11
Date published: May 15, 2018

CoNED Project Viewer

The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Project Viewer is a portal to the topobathymetric models created with the expertise of the expertise of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD. 

Date published: May 9, 2018

EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer

The EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer displays imagery in near real-time as Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 orbit the Earth. Along with the near real-time video stream, EarthNow! also replays acquisition recordings from a list of previous Landsat overpasses. When Landsat 7 or Landsat 8 are out of viewing range of a ground station, the most recent overpass is displayed.

Date published: May 9, 2018

Earth Explorer

Use Earth Explorer to find and download images from the entire series of Landsat satellites, Sentinel 2, ASTER, MODIS and other LP DAAC archive products. Earth Explorer is also a portal to aerial photography, point cloud data, phenology and land cover mapping tools and more.

Date published: July 18, 2017

GloVis

The USGS Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis) is an online search and order tool for selected  is an online search and order tool for selected remote sensing data.  

Date published: April 27, 2016

EarthExplorer

The EarthExplorer (EE) tool provides users the ability to query, search, and order satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products. In addition to data from the Landsat missions, EE provides access to MODIS land data products from the NASA Terra and Aqua missions, and ASTER level-1B data products over the U.S. and and Territories from the NASA ASTER mission.

Date published: April 18, 2016

Find and Access Data at EROS

The EROS data archive contains a vast array of satellite imagery, aerial photos, digitized maps, elevation and land cover products, and much more. Most are easily downloadable via the internet.

Date published: March 30, 2016

Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS) Explorer

The Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDSExplorer) is an event-based interface that provides a single point-of-entry for access to remotely sensed imagery and other geospatial datasets as they become available during a response.

Date published: March 21, 2016

Digital Globe

High-resolution GeoEye, QuickBird and WorldView image catalog.

Date published: March 19, 2016

Geospatial Platform

The GeoPlatform provides shared and trusted geospatial data, services, and applications for use by the public and by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs.

Date published: March 4, 2016

LANDFIRE Data Distribution

Map interface to view and download LANDFIRE data sets, receive alerts and notifications.

Date published: February 19, 2016

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Geospatial Data Gateway

Natural resources and environmental data, including orthoimagery, hydrologic, and cartographic data.

Filter Total Items: 1,678
Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report

This is the ninth annual report highlighting U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science and decision-support activities conducted for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI). The activities address specific management needs identified by WLCI partner agencies. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, there were 26 active USGS WLCI science-based projects...

Bowen, Zachary H.; Aikens, Ellen; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Assal, Timothy J.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Chong, Geneva W.; Eddy-Miller, Cheryl; Garman, Steven L.; Germaine, Stephen S.; Homer, Collin G.; Johnston, Aaron; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Manier, Daniel J.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Miller, Kirk A.; Walters, Annika W.; Wheeler, Jerrod D.; Wieferich, Daniel; Wilson, Anna B.; Wyckoff, Teal B.; Zeigenfuss, Linda C.
Bowen, Z.H., Aikens, E., Aldridge, C.L., Anderson, P.J., Assal, T.J., Chalfoun, A.D., Chong, G.W., Eddy-Miller, C.A., Garman, S.L., Germaine, S.S., Homer, C.G., Johnston, A., Kauffman, M.J., Manier, D.J., Melcher, C.P., Miller, K.A., Walters, A.W., Wheeler, J.D., Wieferich, D., Wilson, A.B., Wyckoff, T.B., and Zeigenfuss, L.C., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1048, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181048.

Year Published: 2018

Fusing MODIS with Landsat 8 data to downscale weekly normalized difference vegetation index estimates for central Great Basin rangelands, USA

Data fused from distinct but complementary satellite sensors mitigate tradeoffs that researchers make when selecting between spatial and temporal resolutions of remotely sensed data. We integrated data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor aboard the Terra satellite and the Operational Land Imager sensor aboard the...

Boyte, Stephen; Wylie, Bruce K.; Rigge, Matthew B.; Dahal, Devendra
Boyte, Stephen P., Bruce K. Wylie, Matthew B. Rigge, Devendra Dahal. 2018. Fusing MODIS with Landsat 8 data to downscale weekly normalized vegetation index estimates for central Great Basin rangelands, USA. GIScience & Remote Sensing 55:376-399.

Year Published: 2018

Challenges in complementing data from ground-based sensors with satellite-derived products to measure ecological changes in relation to climate – lessons from temperate wetland-upland landscapes

Assessing climate-related ecological changes across spatiotemporal scales meaningful to resource managers is challenging because no one method reliably produces essential data at both fine and broad scales. We recently confronted such challenges while integrating data from ground- and satellite-based sensors for an assessment of four wetland-rich...

Gallant, Alisa L.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Brown, Jesslyn F.; Senay, Gabriel B.; Roth, Mark F.
Gallant, A.L., Sadinski, W., Brown, J.F., Senay, G.B., Roth, M.R., Submitted, Challenges in complementing data from ground-based sensors with satellite-derived products to measure ecological changes in relation to climate – lessons from temperate wetland-upland landscapes: Sensors.

Year Published: 2018

2017 Landsat Science Team Summer Meeting Summary

The summer meeting of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)-NASA Landsat Science Team (LST) was held June 11-13, 2017, at the USGS’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD. This was the final meeting of the Second (2012-2017) LST.1 Frank Kelly [EROS—Center Director] welcomed the attendees and expressed his thanks to...

Crawford, Christopher J.; Loveland, Thomas R.; Wulder, Michael A.; Irons, James R.
Crawford, C.J., T.R. Loveland, M.A. Wulder, and J.R. Irons (2018). 2017 Landsat Science Team Summer Meeting Summary 30(1): 21-25.

Year Published: 2018

Anthropogenic enhancement of moderate-to-strong El Niño events likely contributed to drought and poor harvests in southern Africa during 2016

In December–February (DJF) of 2015/16, a strong El Niño (Niño‑3.4 SST >29°C) contributed to a severe drought over southern Africa (SA; Funk et al. 2016). A 9-million ton cereal deficit resulted in 26 mil‑ lion people in need of humanitarian assistance (SADC 2016). While SA rainfall has a well-documented nega‑ tive teleconnection with Niño‑3.4...

Funk, Chris; Davenport, Frank; Harrison, Laura; Magadzire, Tamuka; Galu, Gideon; Artan, Guleid A.; Shukla, Shraddhanand; Korecha, Diriba; Indeje, Matayo; Pomposi, Catherine; Macharia, Denis; Husak, Gregory; Dieudonne Nsadisa, Faka

Year Published: 2018

Integrating future scenario‐based crop expansion and crop conditions to map switchgrass biofuel potential in eastern Nebraska, USA

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been evaluated as one potential source for cellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Planting switchgrass in marginal croplands and waterway buffers can reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and improve regional ecosystem services (i.e. it serves as a potential carbon sink). In previous studies, we mapped high risk...

Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.
Gu, Y. and Wylie, B. K. (2017), Integrating future scenario-based crop expansion and crop conditions to map switchgrass biofuel potential in eastern Nebraska, USA. GCB Bioenergy. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12468

Year Published: 2018

Estimating carbon and showing impacts of drought using satellite data in regression-tree models

Integrating spatially explicit biogeophysical and remotely sensed data into regression-tree models enables the spatial extrapolation of training data over large geographic spaces, allowing a better understanding of broad-scale ecosystem processes. The current study presents annual gross primary production (GPP) and annual ecosystem respiration (RE...

Boyte, Stephen; Wylie, Bruce K.; Howard, Danny; Dahal, Devendra; Gilmanov, Tagir G.
Boyte, S.P., B.K. Wylie, D.M. Howard, D.Dahal, T. Gilmanov. 2018. Estimating carbon and showing impacts of drought using satellite data in regression-tree models. International Journal of Remote Sensing 39:374-398.

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey shrub/grass products provide new approach to shrubland monitoring

In the Western United States, shrubland ecosystems provide vital ecological, hydrological, biological, agricultural, and recreational services. However, disturbances such as livestock grazing, exotic species invasion, conversion to agriculture, climate change, urban expansion, and energy development are altering these ecosystems.Improving our...

Young, Steven M.
Young, S.M., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey shrub/grass products provide new approach to shrubland monitoring: U.S. Geological Fact Sheet 2017–3084, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173084.

Year Published: 2017

Radiometric characterization of Landsat Collection 1 products

Landsat data in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) archive are being reprocessed to generate a tiered collection of consistently geolocated and radiometrically calibrated products that are suitable for time series analyses. With the implementation of the collection management, no major updates will be made to calibration of the Landsat sensors...

Micijevic, Esad; Haque, Md. Obaidul; Mishra, Nischal

Year Published: 2017

Examining the value of global seasonal reference evapotranspiration forecasts to support FEWS NET’s food insecurity outlooks

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) team provides food insecurity outlooks for several developing countries in Africa, Central Asia, and Central America. This study describes development of a new global reference evapotranspiration (ETo) seasonal reforecast and skill evaluation with a particular emphasis on the potential use of...

Shukla, Shraddhanand; McEvoy, Daniel; Hobbins, Michael; Husak, Gregory; Huntington, Justin; Funk, Chris; Macharia, Denis; Verdin, James P.
Shukla S., McEvoy D., Hobbins M., Husak G., Huntington, J., Funk C. and Verdin J. (2017) Examining the value of seasonal reference evapotranspiration forecasts to support FEWS NET's food security outlooks,

Year Published: 2017

Historical cover trends in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem from 1985 to 2013: Links with climate, disturbance, and management

Understanding the causes and consequences of component change in sagebrush steppe is crucial for evaluating ecosystem sustainability. The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe ecosystem of the northwest USA has been impacted by the invasion of exotic grasses, increasing fire return intervals, changing land management practices, and fragmentation...

Shi, Hua; Rigge, Matthew B.; Homer, Collin G.; Xian, George Z.; Meyer, Debbie; Bunde, Brett

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Date published: May 11, 2018

Remote Sensing Memory Game

Test your memory with this remote sensing matching game!

Date published: May 11, 2018

Landsat State Mosaic Puzzle Game

How well do you know your state? Find out by completing the puzzle! Once you master your state, you can choose another state or try one of our other images.

Date published: May 8, 2018

Tracking Change Over Time

The Earth Resources Observation and Science Center offers educational resources designed for elementary- and middle-school students. The U.S. Geological Survey offers more options through its science education resource page.

Filter Total Items: 157
May 16, 2018

Image of the Week - Hawaii's Lava Flow

Lava continues to flow, changing the landscape, vegetation and coastline in Hawaii.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

May 16, 2018

An Overview of EROS

The EROS mission is to document and study changes to earth. With a vast archive of imagery from multiple sources, the EROS archive is the longest continuous record or earth's changing landscapes.

May 11, 2018

Image of the Week - Rattlesnake Fire, AZ

Landsat and Sentinel sensors capture the Rattlesnake Fire as it burns in Arizona.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

May 4, 2018

Image of the Week - Sandy's Lasting Effects on Fire Island, NY

Fire Island, a barrier island off the coast of Long Island has seen large changes from Hurricane Sandy and several other powerful storms since.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (...

color photograph
April 25, 2018

Garretson School Second Graders

A group of second-graders from the Garretson School District in Garretson, South Dakota pose for a photo at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center near Sioux Falls, SD.

April 23, 2018

Image of the Week - Urban Growth in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

For over 45 years Landsat has been monitoring the earth. In that time Las Vegas, Nevada has seen incredible urban growth, as documented in images like these.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (...

April 20, 2018

MODIS and VIIRS Observe Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor is located onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor is located onboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) and data products created by NASA provide a continuation of the MODIS data heritage. These data are crucial for studying changes...

April 18, 2018

Landsat in Action - The Accuracy of Landsat with Jeff Masek

Landsat 9 Project Scientist Jeff Masek discusses the ways Landsat data is used and how important it is to have high quality data.
 

April 18, 2018

Landsat in Action - Studying Phenology with Patrick Hostert

Patrick Hostert from the University of Berlin discusses the value of Landsat's long archive to studying phenology.
 

April 16, 2018

10th Anniversary of Landsat's Free & Open Data Policy

Leaders in the field of remote sensing discuss working with Landsat data since it began in 1972. With the change to a free and open policy 10 years ago, new and exciting possibilities have opened up.

April 13, 2018

Image of the Week - Landsat's View of the Boston Marathon

This is a view of the route the Boston Marathon will take, as seen from Landsat 8.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)
 

April 6, 2018

Image of the Week - From Chile to Your Smartphone

This salt flat in Chile producing a large amount of the world's lithium, a critical resource in electronics and batteries.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros....

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Date published: May 16, 2018

2017 CEOS Chair Team Led by USGS EROS Given Unit Award for Excellence of Service

EROS team earns top honor from Department of Interior for work with international body.

Date published: May 7, 2018

EROS Work Called 'Critical' to Wildfire Mapping, Response

Remotely-sensed data key to response in tracking danger in areas like Montecito 

Date published: April 30, 2018

Loveland Selected for South Dakota Hall of Fame

Former Chief Scientist's contributions as head of Landsat Science Team, commitment to education recognized

Date published: April 26, 2018

Senay, EROS Helping to Solve Riddle of Water Use in Upper Klamath Basin

Scientists at EROS use remote sensing data to assist in the understanding of water dynamics in Upper Klamath 

Date published: March 14, 2018

EROS Plays Major Role in Evolution of Lidar Technology and Applications

USGS has produced topographic maps of American landscapes for more than a century as part of its Congressional mandate to maintain the elevation data that helps document change across the Nation. The use of LiDAR, refined at EROS, is key to modern topography.

Date published: December 15, 2017

USGS and NASA Select New Landsat Science Team

The USGS and NASA have selected the scientists and engineers who will serve on the next Landsat Science Team. 

Date published: November 20, 2017

Satellite Imagery Aids Rescue Efforts for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Free and rapid imagery was provided through the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System.

Date published: November 15, 2017

USGS-NASA Pecora Award Recognizes Excellence in Earth Observation

Two awardees have been presented with the 2017 William T. Pecora Award for achievements in Earth remote sensing. 

Date published: November 8, 2017

Significant Milestone in Improving Usability of Landsat Satellite Data

Improvements to the quality and usability of Landsat satellite data have been made with the release of a new USGS product called Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD). 

Date published: November 8, 2017

Media Advisory: Pecora 20 Conference on New Trends in Remote Sensing

Monitoring our changing planet is critical to supporting a world population expected to reach eight billion by 2025. Observing the Earth from space offers unprecedented levels of data and a holistic view, which enables scientists to detect the most critical trends in natural resource conditions at local and global scales.

Date published: July 20, 2017

USGS Now Archiving, Redistributing Indian Resourcesat Data

Resourcesat data that are important for understanding changes associated with agriculture, forestry, phenology, and other applications are now available in the USGS archive.

Date published: June 26, 2017

Peering into the Future of Agricultural Change

What would it take to produce a billion tons of biomass for fuel production?