Frequently Asked Questions

Analyzing Scenes in Explorer

Why do I have to order a scene to analyze it in Explorer? How is that different from what I have been viewing in Explorer?

When you order a scene for analysis in Explorer, it contains information beyond the visual attributes (like spectral bands for example). We prepare the full-resolution, multi-spectral imagery upon customer's request.

These images are different from the imagery that you view in Explorer, which is a compressed JPEG that we make for every image we collect every day. We primarily use the JPEG in Explorer so that you can zoom around and view imagery quickly and efficiently, all over the world. If you’d like to inspect a specific area, you can order a scene with more capabilities for further analysis.

Can I order any type of scene for analysis in Explorer?

You can analyze a scene in Explroer if it has “surface reflectance” capabilities. Imagery with surface reflectance more accurately represents what the Earth looks like (taking atmospheric conditions into account) and is most appropriate for analyzing imagery.

Currently, PlanetScope 4band, PlanetScope Orthotiles and RapidEye Orthotile contain surface reflectance capabilities. If you order other types of imagery, the order will not go through.

We are not currently supporting Landsat or Sentinel data in this feature.

Does ordering a scene for analysis in Explorer cost money?

Yes, customers will be charged quota for ordering a scene for analysis, in the same way customers are charged quota for ordering assets for download. Planet will create the image, store it, and host it for you so that you can analyze the imagery in Explorer.

How long will I have access to the scene that I ordered?

Customers will have access to the scene for 1 year. If you would like something different, please contact

Trial Account

I signed up for a trial to use Explorer, what is included?

Trial users get access to streaming 10,000 tiles of imagery for 14 days. 10,000 tile views are roughly equivalent to 20 minutes of streaming time. You can see how many tile views you've used by referencing the tracker at the bottom of the screen.


Trial users can see previews of Planet's imagery. Our medium-resolution Planetscope imagery can be previewed upto Zoom Level 10. Our high-resolution SkySat imagery can be previewed upto Zoom Level 13. Please note, if you are a Planet customer but have not purchased access to imagery in a particular place, you will also see previews of imagery at these zoom levels.

Searching for Imagery

When uploading an Area-of-Interest (AOI) file, what projection should I use?

Projecting data is a key component of successfully combining your data and the imagery found in Planet Explorer. Upload a Shapefile, WKT, GeoJSON, or KML file, and please make sure your data is in WGS 84 (SRID/EPSG:4326).

What does the error "Invalid Geometry" mean when uploading an AOI file to the Explorer?

The error "invalid geometry" means that the projection of your file is not in WGS 84 (commonly referred to as latitude/longitude). The way to fix this error is to re-project your data into WGS 84 (SRID/EPSG: 4326) projection.

How can I find Super Dove imagery?

If you'd like to view Super Dove imagery, first draw your area of interest. Once you see the search panel, click on "Filters" and select the grouping called "Other Attributes." Under "Instrument Filter" select PSB.SD as the instrument filter.