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Valuing geospatial information: Using the contingent valuation method to estimate the economic benefits of Landsat satellite imagery

Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing

By:
https://doi.org/10.14358/PERS.81.8.647

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Abstract

While the U.S. government does not charge for downloading Landsat images, the images have value to users. This paper demonstrates a method that can value Landsat and other imagery to users. A survey of downloaders of Landsat images found: (a) established US users have a mean value of $912 USD per scene; (b) new US users and users returning when imagery became free have a mean value of $367 USD per scene. Total US user benefits for the 2.38 million scenes downloaded is $1.8 billion USD. While these benefits indicate a high willingness-to-pay among many Landsat downloaders, it would be economically inefficient for the US government to charge for Landsat imagery. Charging a price of $100 USD a scene would result in an efficiency loss of $37.5 million a year. This economic information should be useful to policy-makers who must decide about the future of this and similar remote sensing programs.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Valuing geospatial information: Using the contingent valuation method to estimate the economic benefits of Landsat satellite imagery
Series title:
Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
DOI:
10.14358/PERS.81.8.647
Volume:
81
Issue:
8
Year Published:
2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
Ingenta
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
10 p.
First page:
647
Last page:
656