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Proceedings Paper

Landsat 7 processing software and data dissemination policy issues
Author(s): Michelle L. Aten
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Paper Abstract

There are a number of controversial policy issues regarding the dissemination of Landsat 7 data and processing software. Public opinion in the various sectors in the industry such as commercial, government and academic have diverse views of which levels of data the United States government should produce as standard products. Some commercial interests are opposed to the government production of value-added products and would prefer that the government concentrate on the production of lower level products and perform only systematic level corrections. Alternatively, data users among government and academic institutions are interested in the government offering terrain and precision corrected products. In addition, the U.S. government has also produced a Landsat 7 processing software package that will permit end users to process their own data. Due to the Freedom of Information Act this software is readily available to the public since its development was funded by U.S. taxpayers, yet there are concerns that its dissemination will undermine the principle of the commercialization of space. Therefore, even if value added products are not offered as standard products, the availability of a no cost processing system could have similar impacts on the revenues of commercial firms. This discussion will provide an overview of the history of this controversy, reflect on the current situation regarding Landsat 7 data policy, and will concentrate on the advantages and disadvantages to both the private and public sectors. A comparison between the public good accomplished by the Landsat program is contrasted to the impact on commercial interests in an effort to encourage a better understanding among all interested parties.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 December 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3870, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites III, (28 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.373225
Show Author Affiliations
Michelle L. Aten, Datron/Transco Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3870:
Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites III
Hiroyuki Fujisada; Joan B. Lurie, Editor(s)

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