Very High Resolution (0.5 m) Pleiades (© CNES (2021), Distribution AIRBUS DS) imagery, which can be searched and ordered in EO Browser with the new Commercial Data feature (Parked airplanes at the Frankfurt airport (left) and Paris Le-Bourget airport (right), with the Dunkirk port in the middle during the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020.)

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EO Browser Updates — Summer 2021

Vacation time is too short to explore all the novelties — Terrain Viewer, Multi-Language support, the Histogram Feature, Commercial Data Ordering and much more…

Daniel Thiex
Sentinel Hub Blog
Published in
8 min readAug 17, 2021

A year has passed since our 2020 Summer update and it is time to update you on what we have done since then.

1. Terrain Viewer — Interactive 3D Exploration

Himalaya as seen with the 3D Terrain Viewer. Copernicus 2021 Sentinel-2 imagery, processed by Sentinel Hub. (🌐 EO Browser)

For all of you, who used to export images from EO Browser to import them into Google Earth, this is no longer necessary — you can now display satellite imagery in 3D directly within EO Browser. This is especially handy when looking at individual mountains like volcanoes, mountain ranges such as the Himalaya or canyons such as the Grand Canyon. The Terrain Viewer offers a huge variety of settings to optimize your visualization. For example, you can adjust the lighting and shading to a specific time and date of the year, add a sky/atmosphere, or perform vertical terrain scaling. Once you are happy with the result, you can download the final image, save it as a pin for later, or share it with others — all directly from within EO Browser.

If you want a detailed description of the new Terrain Viewer, read our post on the topic.

If you are looking for a practical use case, follow the ride of Sabina Dolenc and get to know how she explored the Maratona dles Dolomites in EO Browser using the Terrain Viewer.

2. Multi-Language Support

As more and more geography teachers and professors realize the great potential of EO Browser for teaching and an easy presentation of the vast possibilities of satellite imagery, we are pleased to announce that we are now offering it in multiple languages. By allowing students to work in their native language, the barrier to entry is lowered — especially for younger students — and they can focus on what really matters: exploring and learning about our planet through Earth Observation data. To switch the language, simply select the desired target language from the drop-down list next to the Login button.

Are you missing your native language and want to contribute? No problem, here is everything you need to know about how to get involved.

3. Histogram Analysis

NDWI for the Gulf of Trieste with a calculated histogram (🌐 EO Browser)

If you use the band index feature (see point 2 of our last summer update) regularly or are simply interested in the distribution of the index values, you will find the new histogram feature very handy. Select a visualization that displays an index (such as the NDWI) and use the small graph button on the right side of the screen to calculate the histogram for your screen or area of interest (AOI), if defined. Hover over the bars in the histogram to read the values and determine thresholds that you can apply in the band index feature to distinguish between different spectral signatures.

4. New Design For The Pin Library And Highlight’s Descriptions Added

Expanded description for the Bear Glacier highlight (Snow and Glaciers theme) (🌐 EO Browser)

In our last year’s summer update, we informed you about the separation of theme pins into highlights. A year later, each highlight has its own interesting description, where you can learn something about the location of the highlight and find references to additional resources.

If you want to see all highlights at a glance and contribute your own interesting locations, you can do so in our pin library. Similar to within EO Browser, the highlights are sorted by themes. In addition, you will find a small overview map on which the highlight is located and a direct link to download the visualization.

Here you can find out everything you need to know about how to contribute and maybe you will one day see your highlight in EO Browser.

5. Petabytes Of New Data: Extended Landsat Archive, Copernicus DEMs And Copernicus Services Collections

We could publish several blog posts on the details and use cases for each of these new collections, but ultimately it is up to you what you do with all this data. Here is just a brief overview of the newly added collections.

Landsat Archive: In addition to the Landsat 8 collection (Level 1 and Level 2), EO Browser has now integrated several older Landsat collections:

  • Landsat 1–5 MSS collection 2 (Level-1), starting in 1972–1992
  • Landsat 4/5 TM collection 2 (Level-1 and Level-2), 1982–2012,
  • and Landsat 7 ETM+ collection 2 (Level-1 and Level-2), 1999-present

Together with the data from the still active Landsat 8 mission, you can thus access almost 50 years of data.

Copernicus DEMs: Two additional DEMs (Copernicus 30–30 m resolution, Copernicus 90–90 m resolution) are available in EO Browser under data sources “DEM”. You can also use these DEMs for the orthorectification of Sentinel-1 data, and, where there is an even higher resolution available, even use a 10 m resolution DEM. You can read more about the Copernicus DEMs in our forum post.

Different visualisation options of the new 30 m resolution Copernicus DEM (🌐 EO Browser)

Copernicus Services Collections: Within EO Browser there are, for now, four collections available under data sources “Copernicus Services”:

They are all part of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Services program of the European Union and provide a specific view on our planet. The CORINE land cover, for example, is a pan-European land cover classification, first acquired in 1990 and has been updated every 6 years since then.

6. Sentinel Hub Services Went a Step Further And So Did EO Browser

Last year in November we finally said goodbye to v1 and v2 of our evalscripts and now rely exclusively on v3, which is even more powerful and offers even more functionalities like data fusion. On the front-end, the change was not visible to the user, but on the back end, we updated all layers to accomplish the changes. More background on this can be found in the related forum thread.

To search and find available dates, we now access our Catalog Service for all Sentinel Hub collections. The Catalog Service is an API that provides STAC compliant metadata for all Sentinel Hub collections.

With the release of analysis ready Collection 2 of Landsat 8 data by USGS, Sentinel Hub has also replaced its old Collection 1 with the new Collection 2. The new collection consists of two levels (1 and 2) offering top of the atmosphere reflectance and top of the atmosphere brightness temperature (Level-1) as well as surface reflectance and surface temperature (Level-2). You can find both in EO Browser under Landsat 8.

7. Commercial Data Ordering

In the Discover Tab between Search and Highlights, a new feature has found its way into EO Browser: “Commercial data”. It provides a simple and straightforward way to search* for available commercial data (we currently support Planet PlanetScope, Airbus SPOT, Airbus Pleiades and Maxar WorldView/GeoEye data) for your AOI and order it with just a few clicks.

Search one of the data archives in a desired time range and AOI (1: Search options), check which images are available and add them to your order (2: Results), specify your order details and confirm your selection (3: Order options) and view the status of your order (4: My orders).

*Commercial data search is only available for Sentinel Hub users with an active subscription. More information on commercial data is available here.

Commercial Data in EO Browser — tutorial

8. Data Fusion

Data Fusion is of course not new to EO Browser, but it has evolved quite a bit since our last blog post on the subject . The biggest advancement is certainly that you can now use data fusion layers in pins, in compare mode, and in timelapses. You can easily test it on this example of Sentinel-1 data to detect buildings fused with Sentinel-2 data for non-built-up pixels.

If you are a SAR enthusiast and work a lot with Sentinel-1 data, you will also find the advanced options for Sentinel-1 GRD useful. You can now specify whether to apply orthorectification and with which DEM, or you can specify polarization, acquisition mode, and resolution.

Detection of built-up areas over Venice, Italy on 10th December 2019, using Sentinel-1, displaying all non-built-up pixels in Sentinel-2 True Color RGB. (🌐 EO Browser)

9. Other Features Worth Mentioning

  • Export Statistical Analysis as .csv: Further processing of your statistics calculated in EO Browser has never been easier. You can now export the entire statistics as a .csv file.
  • Set timelapse extent: Once you click on the timelapse button on the right, a square will appear on the map, allowing you to navigate the map to the exact point you want to cover.
  • Image download: As new collections have been added, we have also adjusted the logos in the image download accordingly. In addition, in the analytical image download you now have the option to clip additional bands for TIFF files and decide whether or not to include the dataMask in the raw bands when you download them.
  • Support For Batch Collections: Our enterprise users will be happy to hear that they can now visualize the result of their batch tasks directly in EO Browser.
  • EO Browser Webinar: For everyone new to EO Browser or not aware of all its functionalities, there is a short 1-hour webinar introducing you to the app’s features.

Custom Script Contest: If you like playing around with custom scripts and fancy a challenge, you can still join our Urban Growth in Africa Custom Script Contest (until 5th September). For those of you who are not that much into scripting there is also the opportunity to enter the contest for the best Pin Story. For more information about the contest, check out our blog post (below) or visit our website.

If you want to learn more about Sentinel Hub, make sure to listen the MapScaping Podcast: