Earth Observation Day

landsat_rocks_2Earth Observation Day (EOD) is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and outreach event sponsored by AmericaView to celebrate the Landsat mission ( and, a joint effort of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In recent years, EOD is also part of Earth Science Week (ESW).  The Landsat program has provided a continuous space-based record of the surface of the Earth since 1972. Every day, Landsat satellite imagery provides information to scientists, researchers, farmers, forest managers, policy makers, and many others that helps them make wise decisions about our resources and our environment. In 2020 EOD will be celebrated officially on Tuesday, October 13. But as we like to say at AmericaView, “Every day is Earth Observation Day!”  Follow AmericaView for Earth Observation Day updates on facebook  Facebook and twitter Twitter

2020 Poster:

The 2020 poster turns to the theme of “Factory Earth: Making Products from Earth Materials.”  It returns to the creative game experience to help bring understanding to Landsat remote sensing and Earth Science in general.  Enjoy!

  • 2020 EOD Landsat Poster (front) (PDF 21MB)
  • 2020 EOD Factory Earth game (back) (PDF 31MB)
  • 2020 EOD Insert/Game Instructions (PDF 6MB)
  • 2020 EOD Perforations for game pieces (PDF 20MB)
  • 2020 EOD Spanish Version Poster (front) (PDF 24MB)
  • 2020 EOD Spanish Version Game (back) (PDF 32MB)
  • 2020 EOD Spanish Insert Instructions (PDF 6MB)

2019 Poster:

The 2019 poster highlights 12 remarkably beautiful Landsat images from around the globe.  The reverse side describes how earth observations through the Landsat program enhance our understanding and engagement with the geosciences.  Featured images include scenes of India, California, Chile, Brazil, South Dakota, China, Siberia, Antarctica, Mississippi, Niger, Texas, and Lake Eire.

  • 2019 EOD Geoscience is Everywhere (front) (PDF 21MB)
  • 2019 EOD Geoscience from Space (back) (PDF 1.9MB)
  • 2019 EOD Spanish Version (front and back) (ZIP 46MB)

2018 Poster:

The 2018 poster inspires us to observe, explore, and understand our Earth from space.  The front includes stunning Landsat imagery, and the back is a game for Exploring America with Landsat!  You will also find the images from this poster available as puzzles in our Earth Image Puzzle collection.  Enjoy!

  • 2018 EOD Landsat Inspires (front) (PDF 27MB)
  • 2018 EOD Exploring America game (back) (PDF 11MB)
  • 2018 EOD Spanish Version (front) (PDF 3MB)
  • 2018 EOD Spanish Version game (back) (PDF 10MB)

2017 Poster:

The 2017 poster features a mosaic of Landsat 8 satellite images showing the contiguous United States of America on the front and a board game-style exploration of the history and contributions of the Landsat program.

  • 2017 EOD Landsat Portrait of America Poster (front) (PDF 23MB)
  • 2017 EOD Lands of Landsat game (back) (PDF 18MB)
  • 2017 EOD Spanish Version poster (front) (PDF 6MB)
  • 2017 EOD Spanish Version game (back) (PDF 11MB)

Earth Image Puzzles

New in 2017: Earth image puzzles encourage people of all ages to engage with satellite imagery and learn more about remote sensing by offering a fun challenge. Click on ‘Image Info’ for each puzzle to learn more about the image and on ‘Help’ to select puzzle options.

2016 Poster:

esw2016_posterChange is everywhere. We see change best when we can compare things—like before and after images.  Landsat helps us do this.  Landsat satellites have been imaging our planet over four decades, allowing us to see how the Earth’s land surface has changed.  This poster provides examples of change over time as observed by Landsat satellites.

  • 2016 EOD Landsat Change over Time Poster (PDF 4MB)
  • 2016 EOD Full-Resolution Printable Version (PDF 117MB)

During 2013, teachers and AmericaView scientists worked with the GLOBE SATELLITES program to explore the surface temperature of two common types of land cover, asphalt and grass, using Landsat satellite data and measurements taken by students. The idea was to explore patterns of surface temperature as they relate to Earth’s energy budget. Land cover influences a wide range of important socio-economic and ecological conditions, including local climate, air and water quality, human health and wellness, soil permeability and productivity, stream flow and runoff, and wildlife habitat, to name a few. Mapping land cover using free Landsat data, along with surface temperature measurements, comprise engaging, standards-based exercises that introduce remote sensing technology and critically important spatial thinking skills, fostering a richer, more interesting, and more powerful scientific and cultural understanding of the local environment. For more information on the GLOBE SATELLITES / AmericaView Earth Observation Day 2013 Field Campaign click here. A tutorial covering how to access free Landsat and other remote sensing data is available here.

Why Landsat Images?

landcover_mtownLandsat images date back to 1972 and are the longest, most comprehensive set of satellite data of Earth and its features. The images are an exciting and freely available educational resource for teachers of all levels. Landsat images and derived products such as land cover maps (for example, at right), surface temperature maps, tree canopy maps, and soil permeability maps can be used in a wide variety of STEM disciplines including the physical and life sciences. Landsat images also support exploration and investigation in interdisciplinary subjects such as geography, social studies, political science, even history. Thus, land cover mapping using free Landsat imagery helps to meet science content standards and objectives in Physical Science, Life Science, Geography (including critically important spatial thinking skills), as well as Inquiry Standards and 21st Century Learning objectives.  Full state mosaic Landsat posters from USGS are available here.

Support for Teachers and How to Get Involved

wv_grafton_hs_small_4One of the unique features of Earth Observation Day is that AmericaView scientists, all of whom are experts in remote sensing and related geospatial technologies, are available to support teachers in their respective states. Pre-service teachers learning to use GPS receivers during an Earth Observation Day event in West Virginia. Support can come in various ways, either by answering questions about the lesson plans, or by pointing teachers toward other resources, or by offering to talk with students in the classroom. AmericaView scientists are committed to helping their state’s K-12 teachers as they expand their horizons and begin to integrate remote sensing as a fun, informative, and engaging teaching tool in their classrooms. For information about K-12 use of Landsat images on Earth Observation Day, contact either Tom Mueller by email or call him at 724-938-4255 or Pia van Benthem by email or call her at 865-456-4498. A 2013 white paper explaining Earth Observation Day in more detail is available here.