Big Data Helps Scientists Dig Deeper: Supercomputing + 40 Years of Landsat Images = A New Era for Earth Science
In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey took 3.6 million images acquired by Landsat satellites and made them free and openly available on the Internet. Dating back to 1972, the images are detailed enough to show the impact of human decisions on the land, and they provide the longest continuous view of Earth’s landscape from space.
Since January 1, 2000, more than 4.3 million scenes have been captured by Landsat satellites and made available to the public. Landsat 8 was launched in February 2013, significantly boosting the rate to as many as 1,400 images each day. (Graph by Joshua Stevens, using data collected from the U.S. Geological Survey acquisitions archives.)