Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, May 23, 2008

OA for Landsat images back to 1972

Curtis E. Woodcock and 17 co-authors, Free Access to Landsat Imagery, Science Magazine, May 23, 2008 (accessible only to subscribers).  A letter to the editor.  (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.)  Excerpt:

...With little fanfare, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has begun providing [Landsat] imagery for free over the Internet. Throughout the history of the Landsat Program, the cost and access to imagery has always limited our ability to study our planet and the way it is changing. Beginning with a pilot program to provide “Web-enabled” access to Landsat 7 images of the United States that were collected between 2003 and this year, the USGS now plans to provide top-quality image products for free upon request for the entire U.S. archive, including over 2 million images back to Landsat 1 (1972)....Free imagery will enable reconstruction of the history of Earth’s surface back to 1972, chronicling both anthropogenic and natural changes during a time when our population doubled and the impacts of climate change became noticeable.