Timelapse in EO Browser

Multiple collections, custom AOI, higher resolutions and crossfade

Mitja Kuščer
Sentinel Hub Blog
Published in
3 min readFeb 2, 2022


The latest Timelapse update brings many new features and optimizations to EO Browser. These include adding multiple visualisation layers to a single animation, finer control over AOI and image filtering, higher output resolutions, and a fade effect between images. We will explain all these new features in more detail in this post.

Venice, Italy in 🌐 EO Browser — Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2021–2022], processed by Sentinel Hub

Custom Area of Interest

Timelapse not only supports square selection of the entire viewport, but now also allows you to select your own area of interest on the screen. This gives you more control over the area you want to export. You can also upload your own KML, GPX or GEOJSON file to create your own AOI from. This allows you to create output images in different sizes and aspect ratios (rectangles), as well as custom shapes. If your AOI contains a custom shape, the animation includes only the area inside the AOI and the rest is cut out.

Another new feature is the ability to increase the resolution of exported animations up to 2,500 pixels wide. This makes your animations stand out even more.

Crop Fields NE of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 🌐 EO Browser — Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2020], processed by Sentinel Hub

Timelapse Editor

When you open the Timelapse editor, search for a date range using the calendar, as before. In addition, you can filter your results by month. This is especially useful if you are creating animations over several years and want to exclude winter months with snow or bad weather from your animations, for example.

Timelapse Editor — Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2017], processed by Sentinel Hub

Multiple Collections

One of the most important new features is the ability to include multiple visualisation layers alongside your original layer. To do this, you first add additional layers to pins and then include the layer from the pins in the timelapse editor. This allows you to include images that come from different satellites or visualisations with different settings. For example, if you merge data from Landsat 4 and Landsat 8, you can create timelapses from 1984 to the present.

Shrinking Aral Sea in 🌐 EO Browser, Time Range: 1985–2021, Landsat 1–8 image courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, processed by Sentinel Hub


Once you have loaded images for your chosen time period, you can additionally filter them by minimum tile coverage and maximum cloud coverage. This speeds up the process of manually removing unsuitable images. Of course, you can still manually fine-tune your image selection in the image list.

Transition With Fade

Perhaps the coolest new feature is the fade transition. In addition to simple image animation without effects, we now allow smooth animation with crossfade between images. The duration of the animation can still be configured using the frames per second (FPS) setting and the transition will adjust accordingly. This way you can create smooth looking animations.

Mining in Chiquicamata, Chile in 🌐 EO Browser— Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2017–2022], processed by Sentinel Hub

Sharing Your Timelapse

Sharing a timelapse has also been improved. All animations shared on social media (or other channels) are rendered on a landing page, with the animation playing on load. You can also edit the animation or explore the map where the images of the animation were captured. This is to encourage users who are interested in the animation to further explore the underlying map and potentially create their own visualisation animation.

Venice animation in 🌐 EO Browser — Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2021], processed by Sentinel Hub

If you want to download your animation file, we now support export to the improved MPEG4 format, which offers better quality at a smaller file size. The original GIF export is still supported for animations without crossfading.

To improve data usage and processing time, we decided to perform MPEG4 image compression in the browser. We achieved this by importing a popular FFMPEG library implemented in JavaScript. All the extensive processing is done in the browser, with the images already downloaded during editing.

Check out all the new features in the 🌐 EO Browser, explore our sample animations and edit them. Start creating awesome animations yourself and share them with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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