This paper presents the preliminary results of an extensive study of the mapping the distribution of landslides triggered by the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, on 12 May 2008. An extensive landslide interpretation was carried out using a large set of optical high resolution satellite images (e.g. ASTER, ALOS, Cartosat-1, SPOT-5 and IKONOS) as well as air photos for both the pre- and post-earthquake situation. Landslide scarps were mapped as points using multi-temporal visual image interpretation taking into account shape, tone, texture, pattern, elevation and ridge and valley orientation. Nearly 60,000 individual landslide scarps were mapped. The landslide distribution map was compared with the inventory map that was prepared directly after the earthquake, which contains about 11,000 individual landslide points, through the calculation of normalized landslide isopleths maps. Remarkable differences were observed, as the earlier inventory mapping did not consider the pre-earthquake situation and did not consider all individual landslides.