Valuing geospatial information: Using the contingent valuation method to estimate the economic benefits of Landsat satellite imagery
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 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|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|