Unlocking Value From Daily Satellite Imagery and Insights

January 31, 2024

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This article brought to you by our friends at Planet.

Remote sensing is one of the most prolific sources of data in a GIS. It’s difficult to imagine a map without the option to view imagery, but traditional use of imagery in GIS has been relatively limited with an enormous untapped potential. Imagery is often not recent, resulting in GIS maps where overlay data doesn’t match the reality, or where you don’t know what’s changed. And for organizations who operate over broad areas—it can be prohibitively expensive to get complete and continuous coverage—and even more difficult to manage this data if you do get it. But the value of this Earth Observation data is more valuable today than ever before, as GIS has become a business critical system for all types of organizations from governments, to businesses, to nonprofits.

Planet first revolutionized the Earth observation industry with our PlanetScope constellation, a source of global, daily, and high-resolution imagery. Now, Planet is building a powerful platform to help bridge the gaps that prevent organizations from realizing value from satellite imagery. The platform offers unique datasets, advanced analytics, cloud data management, and simple GIS integration capabilities.  All to empower you to analyze satellite imagery and integrate with your geospatial software to more easily manage natural resources, protect public lands, monitor disasters, and much more. 

For GIS professionals considering imagery solutions, something you need to evaluate is what software is necessary to integrate with your existing workflows. Does your imagery provider deliver imagery through a website that you need to download from? Or even more challenging—do they deliver data on hard drives or through FTP servers? And once you have the imagery, how do you manage it? Does it require you to set up databases, servers, and spend resources on managing your own imagery infrastructure? In this article we’ll discuss how Planet takes a modern, flexible approach to integrating imagery and show how the Planet Platform unlocks value from satellite imagery.

Download the complete Planet Satellite Imagery for GIS Professionals e-book to learn about our GIS integrations, imagery-hosting services, data collection, real-world examples, and more.


Download the Planet E-Book 

Seamless Integrations and Access

Satellite imagery can be a complex data source to manage. Traditional patterns of accessing imagery necessitate using multiple interfaces or moving around massive volumes of data. This results in low adoption of remote sensing technology, inhibiting the value you can get from incorporating Earth observation into your workflows.

Planet has turned this system upside down. We take a software platform approach to Earth Observation, by providing user-friendly GIS integrations and imagery-hosting services—and modern APIs.

Whatever your needs, Planet makes it easy to integrate satellite imagery into your geospatial tools:

  • OGC Tile services: Simply stream OGC web services like WMS and WMTS directly from the Planet Platform into your GIS.
  • API-first platform: Build custom integrations and data pipelines with modern APIs and cloud integrations to power any GIS-powered Earth Observation solution.
  • GIS integrations: Simply search, access, and analyze the Planet catalog of daily, global imagery directly from inside of QGIS and ArcGIS Pro. Learn More  about our QGIS plugin or ArcGIS add-in now.

Download the Planet Add-in for ArcGIS Pro

Scalable Earth Observation Platform 

Sentinel Hub

To get value from satellite imagery, much more work is involved in turning the imagery from “just another dataset” into actionable insights. You need a system to manage the massive amount of data that satellites can generate. Then you must determine whether you need to perform some analysis, like spectral analysis, temporal analysis, or machine learning. With your imagery and derived analytics, you then need a way to access it from where your users are.

Planet offers a platform that helps with the data management and analytics required to integrate Earth observation data into your GIS. With Sentinel Hub, an advanced API-first Earth Observation platform recently acquired by Planet, you can access Planet and public imagery sources directly from the cloud—without building your own imagery management and analysis infrastructure. Instead, just plug and play with configurable APIs and stream imagery directly to your GIS. Learn more in a short webinar


Watch Now: Sentinel Hub Webinar

Cloud-hosted imagery platform: Access Planet and public imagery directly from the cloud—without building your own imagery management infrastructure.

Configurable analysis APIs: Create customized visualizations, spectral indices, and statistical calculations to extract insights from imagery in seconds.

Integrate into any workflow: Utilize serverless processing to integrate imagery into your custom application, data science workflow, or GIS through streaming APIs.

Imagery Streaming: Access full spatial resolution, bit depth, and spectral bands over the web after you order imagery. 

Get access to our entire series of GIS demos, including real-world applications and tutorials like the one above, here

Planet Solutions

Planet maintains two constellations of satellites—PlanetScope and SkySat.  PlanetScope satellites are smallsats that capture global, daily high resolution imagery. On average, Planet has an average of 2,400 images of nearly every location on the Earth’s landmass. SkySat satellites are higher resolution tasked satellites—taking pictures on-demand when and where you need them. Together, PlanetScope and SkySat satellites are used by governments and businesses to monitor and manage broad areas that are otherwise challenging with traditional monitoring methods.

From this continuous and complete coverage, Planet creates comprehensive, high-frequency mosaics and analysis-ready data for any workflow. We also offer automated machine-learning derived insights like road, building, and change detection. From imagery to analytics—Planet products provide geospatial insights at the speed of change, equipping organizations with the data necessary to make informed, timely decisions and manage broad areas. Explore these solutions in detail here

About Planet 

Planet was founded with the mission to image the Earth every day and make change visible, accessible, and actionable. Over the past decade with our customers, Planet has revolutionized the Earth observation industry, democratizing access to satellite data beyond the traditional agriculture and defense sectors.

For questions or to set up a meeting, please reach out.


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