USGS Director Promotes the Benefits of Free Data to GEO Meeting

by Matt Ball on November 18, 2009

The newly-appointed director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Dr. Marcia McNutt, will be delivering a message about free and easily accessible U.S. satellite data to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-VI) meeting this week. The free availability of Landsat satellite data contributes to a shared vision of the challenges that are facing our planet.

“Our policy of providing free Landsat data supports a central GEO goal: to promote global distribution of earth observation data,” said McNutt. “With a continuous record of earth observation since 1972, Landsat provides the most complete set of land surface information as well as a vital historical perspective for researchers, decision makers, and commercial users around the world. As the world’s increasing population is compelled to face the effects of climate change and the limitations of water, petroleum, and other vital resources, the broad availability of images from Landsat and other earth observation satellites benefits both developing and developed countries.”

Since the Landsat archive went live last year, the USGS reports that over 1 million images have been provided to users from 180 countries.

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