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

Change Detection Lab


We are beginning to experiment with change detection tools that would help reveal changes in the built and natural world when we compare data layers—currently the Planet mosaic as compared to a Mapbox mosaic composed of DigitalGlobe and other imagery, and eventually between multiple time slices of our own.

With our constantly updated mosaic, we often visually see changes compared to other basemaps. We found ourselves wanting a better way of finding and highlighting where things were changing. One of the challenging things about change is that there is no single definition — you may be looking for where new buildings have been built, where there’s been reforestation, or where there’s seasonal change. So to put the tools in the hands of the user, we’ve built—and are now excited to share—our Change Detection Lab.


This lab is meant to highlight a potential interaction of our future platform — designing and testing algorithms with real-time, in-browser feedback before farming them out to a compute cluster. We’ve included a very simple function that compares luminosity as a basic example, but it’s designed to have you come up with your own algorithm in your own area of interest to pull out what you’re interested in.

Let us know what you find!