Home > Public Domain Data > Planet Labs Imagery Now Viewable by the Public

Planet Labs Imagery Now Viewable by the Public

Back in 2014, we wrote about inexpensive and the miniaturization of remote sensing, as exemplified in Planet Labs then-new small satellites.  A year later, we wrote about the company’s Open Region initiative with the United Nation to share imagery under a Creative Commons license.  As described in this National Geographic post, Planet Labs has now created a web mapping tool that allows users to examine two million images, updated monthly.  The tool, called Planet Explorer Beta, contains images dating back to 2016, at anywhere from 3 to 40 meters.  My favorite feature so far on the Explorer Beta is the ability to drag-and-drop two images to create a swipe map, to compare changes over time for any given area.  If you create an account and log in, you can explore daily, rather than just monthly, imagery.  Whether logged in or not, the tool is an excellent and amazing resource for teaching and research.

As most of the readers of this blog are work in the field of GIS, they will want to know how to use this imagery in a GIS.  The viewer described above is just that–a viewer.  You can only view the images online.  To actually access the data for use in your GIS or remote sensing work, begin with Planet’s Imagery Quickstart document.  As Planet is a professional satellite image company, it comes as no surprise that users have a multitude of options from which to choose–bands, date and time, cloud cover, sun elevation and azimuth, rectification, data format, and much more.  The imagery is available via a Planet Explorer interface and a Data API, which requires installing a Python client.

planetlabs.JPG

Comparing imagery from two time periods in Colorado, USA, using Planet Labs’ Planet Explorer Beta.

Advertisements
  1. Patty Turner
    January 29, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Joseph!
    I’m sorry we missed your talk at the museum…I’m sure it was well-received! I rarely reply to your blog, but I thought the piece on Planet Labs is particularly interesting…I really like the ability to look at one parcel of land over time…very cool!
    Hope you are having a great day!

    Patty

    Patty Turner, Corporate Librarian
    Esri Library | pturner@esri.com | 909-793-2853 x 1-1275

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: