Research Task: RB00CMF.6.0
Task Manager: Holly Miller
The USGS Land Remote Sensing Program has initiated a study on the value of Landsat imagery. The current Landsat satellites provide high-quality, multi-spectral, moderate-resolution imagery of urban, rural, and remote lands for all areas of the world. The imagery has been applied in a variety of research areas, such as global climate change, agriculture, and environmental management, but there is little understanding of how private businesses, nonprofit organizations, tribes, and State and local governments actually use and value federally sponsored, moderate-resolution land imaging. FORT’s Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch (PASA) is conducting a study to (1) identify and classify the users of Landsat imagery, (2) gain a better understanding of how and why the imagery is being used, and (3) measure the value of the imagery qualitatively and quantitatively (read the full story at Landsat Imagery: A Unique Resource). A key component of this study is a 2009 survey, conducted in conjunction with the USGS Western Geography Science Center (WGSC), of users based in the United States who use Landsat imagery for work purposes. The goal of the survey was to reach as diverse a group of users as possible, including those users who had not had a chance to be included in past surveys of Landsat users. A second survey will be conducted in 2011 focusing on Landsat imagery users who procure their imagery from the USGS Earth Resources and Observation Science (EROS) Center. Landsat imagery became available at no cost from EROS at the end of 2009, which has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of scenes distributed annually and the number of individuals downloading those scenes. The survey will center on identifying new Landsat users and comparing their uses and value of the imagery with those of established users, along with discovering more about the international users of Landsat imagery. The third stage of the study will explore the value of Landsat imagery through case studies, which will involve extensive research on individual applications of Landsat imagery, including an in-depth look at the market and non-market values of the imagery within a given application.
For more information contact Holly Miller