EO Browser updates —Summer 2018

This spring we introduced the possibility of viewing and analyzing multi-year time series of multi-spectral data directly in Sentinel Hub. With the upgrade of our showcase tool EO Browser you were suddenly able to create time-lapses and analyze the data in moments online which resulted in our Twitter account getting flooded by numerous examples of amazing animations. Earth observation (EO) has never been so easy or so powerful.

Since then the interest for EO Browser and Sentinel Hub services has only increased. The number of requests has exceeded 10 million per month during the summer months and this motivates us even more to continue to improve its functionalities based on your feedback.

Let’s see the latest implementations!

Easier First Steps

Those of you who have just entered into the world of EO, you might appreciate the recently added detailed satellite descriptions on downloaded images. Also, in EO Browser, you can now find explanatory tooltips for the available satellites by clicking on the question mark next to each data source. To get the information about the date range of available images, simply hover with your mouse over the dataset.

The redesigned menu on the right will give you immediate access to enabling/disabling layers, drawing an area of interest, marking a point of interest (new), measuring distance (new) or area, downloading images and creating time-lapse animations.

Image from EO Browser showing Hurricane Florence’s diameter after making landfall (Sentinel-3 OLCI, 17–5–2 RGB, acquired on September 14, 2018). Apply for a free EO Browser account to access all its functionalities!

New Integrated Datasets

One of the most appreciated recent upgrades was the integration of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-5P data and NASA’s datasets from the Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS).

· Sentinel-5P

The Sentinel-5P satellite was launched in October 2017 and is performing atmospheric monitoring. Its objectives are to provide operational space-borne observations to support the monitoring of air quality, ozone and surface UV, as well as climate metrics. Sentinel-5P is the first Copernicus satellite dedicated to the monitoring of our atmosphere. Currently we have integrated Ozone, Nitrogen dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Aerosol and Cloud datasets which include the global archive from the start of data availability.

The data from Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite show a range of trace gases that affect air quality such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. This image presents the levels of nitrogen dioxide over Europe on September 11, 2018. Go to EO Browser to explore it on your own!

· GIBS

As stated on its official page, GIBS provides quick access to over 700 satellite imagery products covering every part of the world. Most imagery is available within 3–5 hours after satellite overpass, and some products span almost 30 years. In EO Browser you can currently observe the following imagery products: MODIS Terra and Aqua, VIIRS SNPP Corrected reflectance, VIIRS SNPP Nighttime Imagery, CALIPSO Radiance v3–01, CALIPSO Radiance v3–02, Blue Marble, Landsat WELD Annual, MISR, and ASTER GDEM. More about the products and their description can be found here.

The Sea of Japan (GIBS, Blue Marble, acquired with EO Browser on September 13, 2018)

Additional Metadata Support for Sentinel-2 L2A

We are pleased to announce that the following additional metadata is now available through Sentinel Hub services and EO Browser:

  • viewZenithMean
  • viewAzimuthMean
  • sunZenithAngles
  • sunAzimuthAngles

These are the variable names which can be used in custom scripts, their meaning hopefully being self-explanatory. Note that the resolution of this data is at 5000m/pixel. See for yourself:

This image shows the mean view zenith angle of Sentinel-2 above the region South of Siena, Italy (acquired on September 1, 2018). Explore this option further in EO Browser!

Download Options

Some additional options for the simpler download of the imagery in EO Browser have been added . After finding your desired location, setting all the parameters and clicking on the download icon on the right, you are now able to set your preferences regarding captions. The exported image will include information about the data source and date, zoom scale and visualization. You can also enter a description of the downloaded image.

Darwin, Australia (Sentinel-2 L1C, False color, acquired with EO Browser on September 12, 2018). The left image shows the download possibilities with a set description and other download settings. The right image shows the outcome of the captions on a downloaded image.

Saving Pins

Numerous registered EO Browser users reported that they were having a hard time searching in their area of interest (AOI) on each visit. This is coming to an end with the option to save pins — which will be saved on the server side. This means you will now be able to reorder them outside of compare mode. You don’t have to repeat your search of the same AOI over and over again. And since the pins are on the server, any browser you use will have them.

If you don’t have a free EO Browser account yet to enable this option, you can simply register here.

Devastating wildfires north of Clear Lake, California, USA in August 2018, presented with two different visualization options: True color and custom script by Pierre Markuse.

While exploring our planet through EO Browser, some of you were wondering why you are not able to zoom in closer into your AOI. As you probably already know, the resolution of the Sentinel-2 imagery is at most 10m per pixel (on three visible and one near-infrared bands). This served as our guide line for the zoom limit. But, sometimes it makes sense to over-zoom Sentinel-2 images as well. Therefore, taking our user’s feedback into account, we have enabled a possibility to over-zoom on Sentinel-2 imagery.

If you are still missing some features, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to bring EO Browser and its Remote Sensing experience even closer to your needs.