An image browser for the Planet

Scenes Explorer is one of Planet Labs’ end-user web applications, which allows clients to select imagery of interest from our vast and ever-growing satellite image library. Each one of Planet’s images, referred to as a “scene”, is searchable and downloadable in different product formats using Scenes Explorer.

It was developed using Planet’s public APIs, OpenLayers 3, and the React framework. We have leveraged these technologies to create an application that allows users to browse Planet’s huge data library and identify imagery of interest, all while maintaining the quasi-native level performance that is expected of modern web applications. To achieve this we had to devise strategies that allow us to present, but more importantly multi-dimensionally filter large amounts of geographic data in real-time.

The presentation will start by describing Planet’s public APIs and how they can be integrated into a web-based mapping application.
This will be followed by a deeper dive into the challenges of representing and dynamically filtering millions of image footprints in the browser and the tools, strategies, and UX we have developed to overcome them.

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