Surveys of Landsat Users

2009 Survey

PASA scientists conducted the first Web-based survey of nearly 2,500 satellite imagery users in 2009. The results provided a broad assessment of users and uses of Landsat imagery, along with users of other types of satellite imagery. Survey recipients were selected using a unique combination of a Web search followed by snowball sampling (a technique which finds additional users of Landsat imagery by asking confirmed users to identify people they personally know who also use the imagery) to identify a cross-section of professional users in private, academic, government (Federal, State, and local), nonprofit, and Tribal sectors. The sample consisted of a broad range of users from each of these sectors, who use the imagery in more than 35 different application areas for local to global-scale projects all over the world. The survey investigated (1) these various uses of Landsat imagery, (2) the potential impacts on users and their work if Landsat imagery were unavailable, and (3) the value users attribute to Landsat imagery, which we assessed in part by using the contingent valuation method.

A selection of the results from the 2009 survey of Landsat users is available in the executive report. The report includes a summary of the findings and comparisons across key variables such as sector, highlighting differences where they exist. Most of the comparisons in the report are by sector; however, there are other ways the data can be examined that would be of interest to Landsat imagery users, providers, and decision makers. The links below go to these categories of comparisons, such as application areas. As with the results in the report, these data are not generalizable to the population of Landsat users as a whole because of the limitations of sampling.

To see figures of additional data from the 2009 survey, click on one of the topics below.

Application Areas (click on the dropdown menu below to select an application area)

Dependency on Landsat

Level of Landsat use

Users of other types of satellite imagery

2012 Survey

The second Web-based survey, conducted in 2012, sampled Landsat users who were registered with the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS). EROS is responsible for operating the Landsat satellites, as well as downloading, processing, archiving, and distributing all imagery from those satellites. More than 11,000 current Landsat users around the world participated in the survey, providing a much larger pool of users than the first survey. Because a random sampling technique was used for this survey, the results are generalizable to the population of Landsat imagery users registered with USGS. In addition to gathering basic information on the users, uses and value of Landsat imagery, the survey also (1) identified new users who began using the imagery only after it became available at no cost at the end of 2008, (2) examined how new users value the imagery compared to established users, and (3) discovered more about international users of Landsat imagery. To view the full report, click here.