Landsat satellites have acquired data from across the globe for more than four decades. The National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center holds the single most geographically and temporally rich collection of Landsat data in the world, currently holding more than six million Landsat scenes.
Throughout the years, data have been acquired at numerous International Ground Stations (IGS). Much of the data held internationally are unique, relative to each station's area of coverage and were not duplicated in the USGS archive.
In 2010, the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation (LGAC) effort began, with a goal to consolidate the Landsat data archives of all international ground stations, make the data more accessible to the global Landsat community, and significantly increase the frequency of observations over a given area of interest to improve scientific uses such as change detection and analysis.
Bringing Landsat data from many collection stations worldwide to one archive includes several challenges:
While every technology asset available will be explored, some data unfortunately may be irrecoverable.
As this effort to systematically acquire, reconcile, and ingest all recoverable foreign data continues, all data successfully ingested into the USGS Landsat archive become available on EarthExplorer, GloVis, and the LandsatLook Viewer.
The graphics below show the scenes received from International Ground Stations. The first graphic displays Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data received, and the second displays received Landsat 1-3 MSS data.