I'm guessing that most people who work in the applied natural sciences would agree on the need for synoptic, multitemporal, objective, easily and freely accessible data of the Earth's surface.
Without argument, no Earth observing system meets that need as well as has the Landsat Program. Providing the longest, most comprehensive record of Earth surface changes, Landsat is unprecedented.
The next generation of Landsat systems, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission aka Landsat 8, is scheduled for launch today from Vandenberg AFB on the coast of southcentral California. Members of the AmericaView consortium work daily with Landsat data though our 300+ academic, agency, non-profit, and industry partners. Below, in no particular order, is a sample of what Landsat means to AV and our partners to both demonstrate the breadth of applications and to celebrate today's launch.
Landsat imagery extends human vision to see our Earth’s surface not just over previous years, but over previous decades - Dr. Jim Campbell, Virginia Tech / VirginiaView
Landsat: still the premiere moderate resolution terrestrial imaging program after 41 years - Dr. Tim Warner, West Virginia University / West VirginiaView
Landsat, the first and best satellite sensing system for mapping, monitoring and analysis of land and water resources over time and space (and my favorite system for the past 40 years) - Dr. Marvin Bauer, University of Minnesota / MinnesotaView
We could not have fulfilled our Legislative mandates to assess the quality of all lakes in the state without your Landsat remote sensing technologies. These data are being used for a wide variety of water quality trend detection, impairment evaluations and watershed management actions - Bruce Wilson, senior scientist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency / MinnesotaView
From the early 1970s to the present, Landsat satellite imagery has been used to create four comprehensive land cover maps of Kansas – Landsat’s spectral capabilities, spatial resolution, and repeat coverage have made it an ideal resource for studying the Kansas landscape - Dr. Steve Egbert, University of Kansas / KansasView
The Landsat image archive stretches back over 40 years and covers the entire globe: nothing else even comes close - Kevin Dobbs, University of Kansas / KansasView
Creeping landcover changes, invisible from the ground, suddenly revealed in their full extent and proximity – shocking! - Dr. Rebecca Dodge, Midland State University / TexasView
Landsat: My magic carpet ride to see the wonders of Planet Earth - Teresa Howard, The University of Texas at Austin / TexasView
Graduate and undergraduate students on our campus use Landsat data in their research and training each year – to date nearly 400 UAF students directly benefited from free Landsat data - Dr. Anupma Prakash, University of Alaska Fairbanks / AlaskaView
Landsat has been instrumental in helping the state of Alabama monitor land use and associated impacts on its many natural resources - Dr. Luke Marzen, Auburn University / AlabamaView
With the frequent synoptic views of California agriculture provided by Landsat, we have deepened our understanding of the relationship of phenology and crop production across the state - Pia van Benthem, UC Davis / CaliforniaView
Landsat is the only source for historic time-series data for my study site - Dr. Teki Sankey, Idaho State University / IdahoView
All current coastal land loss work in Louisiana is Landsat TM based - it's the heart of the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) landscape level monitoring effort - Brent Yantis, University of Louisiana Lafayette / LouisianaView
Landsat imagery is simply the best available data for studying the impacts of pervasive flooding on agriculture in the Devils Lake Basin of North Dakota, and an ideal tool for teaching about remote sensing – it is the “go-to” data source for most students working on projects for my remote sensing courses - Dr. Brad Runquist, University of North Dakota / North DakotaView
Freely available Landsat data has enabled 27 students at the University of Toledo to complete their masters and PhD degrees, and many of these students have gone on to work for local and state governments, the National Guard, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency - Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, University of Toledo / OhioView
We have 30 years of Landsat imagery for our area, available for a wide range of applications - that is unparalleled accessibility - Dr. Pete Clapham, Cleveland State University / OhioView
Freely available Landsat data has allowed college students to not only better understand remote sensing but the world around them - Dr. Tom Mueller, California University of Pennsylvania / PennsylvaniaView
South Dakota farmers have found Landsat imagery to be of great value for precision agriculture, especially for purposes such as delineating management zones within a field - Mary O’Neill, University of South Dakota / South DakotaView