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Planet Tile and Basemap Services

Table of Contents

  1. Overview of Planet Tile and Basemap Services
  2. Data API Tile Service
  3. Basemap Services
  4. Tile Service Subdomains

1. Overview of Planet Tile and Basemap Services

Planet Tile and Basemap Services allow users to easily add Planet imagery mosaics to desktop applications and web mapping platforms that provide WMTS and/or XYZ support, without having to download and maintain GeoTiff files. These services offer a low-friction way for web developers and GIS analysts to interact with and derive value from Planet imagery.

XYZ

XYZ is a simple protocol that describes how a mapping client -- often, but not always, from within a browser -- can access tiled imagery. This is how Planet Explorer obtains tiled imagery, for example.

XYZ (OpenStreetMap) tile services provide a pyramid of tiles at 16 zoom levels so that it can be easily displayed in web browsers. As with other XYZ tiling services, the Planet XYZ Tiles have these attributes:

  • Tiles are 256×256 pixels
  • Tiles use the Web Mercator coordinate reference system (EPSG:3857)
  • Tiles are available between zoom levels 0 and 15
  • Tiles are rendered in PNG format with an alpha channel
  • Grid is a rectangle with 2n rows and 2n columns, where n is the zoom level
  • Grid uses 0,0 as the top, left corner in the grid
  • Tiles are found at the path z/x/y.png, where z is the zoom level, and x and y are the positions in the tile grid

WMTS

WMTS is similar to XYZ protocol, with a broader set of compatible 3rd party applications. It adds a uniform catalog protocol allowing discovery and display of tiled imagery. Planet's WMTS services are compatible with QGIS desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ArcOnline, and CesiumJS.

WMTS (Open Geospatial Consortium) tile services provide a pyramid of tiles at 16 zoom levels so that it can be easily displayed in web browsers and various clients. As with other WMTS tiling services, the Planet WMTS Tiles have these attributes:

  • Tiles are 256×256 pixels
  • Tiles use the Web Mercator coordinate reference system (EPSG:3857)
  • Tiles are available between zoom levels 0 and 15
  • Tiles are rendered in PNG format with an alpha channel
  • Grid is a rectangle with 2n rows and 2n columns, where n is the zoom level
  • Grid uses 0,0 as the top, left corner in the grid

Authentication

A valid Planet account is required to access the Tile Services. Authentication may be done with a user name and password combination or with a valid API key. The API key may be passed as a parameter to the tile server: api_key={your_api_key}.

For the Data API Tile Service, the user must also have permission to access the specific item-type in the request.

2. Data API Tiles

The Planet XYZ Data API Tile Service is an extension of the Data API and uses the parameters item_type and item_id. The tiled imagery returned by this service is a compressed version of the high-quality visual assets available in Planet's data archive. Most items avaliable through the Data API can be accessed in a tiled format.

To access specific item-type tiles through the Data API Tile Service, use the following request structure:

https://tiles.planet.com/data/v1/{item_type}/{item_id}/{z}/{x}/{y}.png?api_key={your_api_key}

The following variables will be replaced by the client making the request:

ParameterTypeValue
item_typestringItems in the Data API supported by the tiling service
item_idstringUnique id for the data tiles requested
zintZoom level
xintColumn in the grid
yintRow in the grid

A complete URL for a tile request for the PlanetScope image 20161221_024131_0e19 (including the API key as a parameter) would be:

https://tiles.planet.com/data/v1/PSScene3Band/20161221_024131_0e19/14/12915/8124.png?api_key={your_api_key}

XYZ tile services are supported by many web-mapping libraries, requiring only that the base URL (including the provider, id and API key) be provided.

3. Basemap Tiles

Planet Basemap Services allow users to easily browse, select, and add one of the manyPlanet imagery mosaics to desktop applications and web mapping platforms that provide WMTS and/or XYZ support, without having to download and maintain GeoTiff files.

XYZ Basemap Tile Service

To access the XYZ Basemap Tile Service, use the following request structure:

https://tiles.planet.com/basemaps/v1/planet-tiles/{mosaic_name}/gmap/{z}/{x}/{y}.png?api_key={your_api_key}

The following variables will be replaced by the client making the request:

ParameterTypeValue
mosaic_namestringName of mosaic
zintZoom level
xintColumn in the grid
yintRow in the grid

A request for the May 2016 global mosaic global_monthly_2016_05_mosaic would look like this:

https://tiles.planet.com/basemaps/v1/planet-tiles/global_monthly_2016_05_mosaic/gmap/0/0/0.png?api_key={your_api_key}

WMTS Basemap Tile Service

The Planet WMTS Basemap Service allows users to access a listing of Planet's entire catalog of basemaps or to request a single basemap using the mosaic_name parameter.

To access the catalog of basemaps through WMTS Basemap Service, use the following request structure (users will only see mosaics they have permission to access):

https://api.planet.com/basemaps/v1/mosaics/wmts?api_key={your_api_key}

To request a single basemap, use the following request structure:

https://api.planet.com/basemaps/v1/mosaics/wmts?api_key={your_api_key},layer={mosaic_name}

A complete request for the May 2016 global mosaic via the WMTS service would look like this:

https://api.planet.com/basemaps/v1/mosaics/wmts?api_key={your_api_key},layer=global_monthly_2016_05_mosaic

4. Tile Service Subdomains

Users may use one of three different tile domain names in place of tiles.planet.com:

  • tiles1.planet.com
  • tiles2.planet.com
  • tiles3.planet.com

Using multiple tile servers often allows more tiles to load concurrently in web browsers. Libraries like Open Layers support this work around and allow you to specifiy the URL pattern as one of the template string parameters. See this request for Data API Tiles, for example:

https://tiles{1-3}.planet.com/data/v1/PSScene3Band/20161221_024131_0e19/{z}/{x}/{y}.png?api_key={your-api-key}