U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is both a user and a provider of remotely sensed data. The USGS manages the Landsat satellite series and a Web-enabled archive of global Landsat imagery dating back to 1972. Landsat represents the world’s longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data and the entire archive became available for download at no charge in December 2008. The USGS also distributes aerial photography through The National Map, and archives and distributes historical aerial photography, light detection and ranging (lidar) data, declassified imagery, hyperspectral imagery, data collected by Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and imagery from a variety of government, foreign, and commercial satellites. These data are used for a wide variety of applications such as mineral resource development, monitoring the health of U.S. and global ecosystems, land use change, emergency response, and assessments of natural hazards such as fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, and floods.