AUTHOR PROFILE Deven Desai
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Explorer Labs: Experimentation in the Open

Tech

Planet is used to testing novel ways of deploying and managing an ever-growing fleet of satellites in space. Taking it further, we test in space—everything from full demo builds to small canary features. We can’t know what works for sure until it’s hurling well over 15,000 MPH dealing with sharp temperature changes every 90 minutes. If we can do it with hardware in space, no reason we can’t do it with software here on Earth!

Planet Explorer was designed to enable users to access imagery; and, make it available quickly for preview and download. But why stop there?

As of today, we are announcing Labs as part of Planet Explorer Beta. You’ll now find a select group of Labs, or experimental features our software engineering team has been playing around with. We want to make it easy for you to experience these new experimental features as we work on them. Some Labs might go on to become production features and others might not. Regardless, we want to learn lessons in the real world, not only inside the vacuum of internal testing.

The first feature we are launching in Labs is Pixel Diff-ing which highlights the difference in relative luminance between two images within our compare tool. This will enable you to quickly find hotspots of “change” between two images. Users can adjust the change threshold to highlight more subtle differences to fit their needs.

Labs are easily accessible from your account sidebar. Simply click on your Profile icon and click “Labs”.

Pick the imagery you’d like to compare, set your change threshold, and quickly spot change.

Look at that! So easy. While we only have one feature in Labs shipped out for now, a few more will be coming down the pipeline over the coming weeks. And to make things easy, we’ll let you know about it the first time you log into the app after a new feature is deployed. Stay tuned more Labs!

Try this Lab out for yourself, visit Planet Explorer.