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Since its founding in 1879, the United States Geological Survey has counted the monitoring and study of natural hazards among its many research mandates. From 1972 onwards, with the launch of the first Earth Resources Technology Satellite (now known as Landsat), data from remote sensing instruments on board orbiting satellites have been integrated into the resources of the USGS.

For more information on the United States Geological Survey, please visit:

For more information on the Landsat series of satellite missions, please visit:

Remotely sensed data

LandsatThe USGS manages the Landsat series of satellite missions. Currently active missions are Landsat 5 and Landsat 7. The USGS also archives and distributes much commonly-used data for earth monitoring such as:

  • Thematic Mapper and MSS data from sensors on board the Landsat series of satellites.
  • A long-running programme of moderate-resolution data acquisition.
  • Multispectral data from MODIS and ASTER sensors on board the Terra and Aqua satellites.
  • Multispectral and hyperspectral data from the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.
  • AVHRR data from the NOAA series of satellites.
  • Historical data and shuttle missions.

A list of the data from USGS satellites is available at:

For a history of the United States Geological Survey, consult: