There are dozens of different online sources where one can search catalogs of satellite and aerial imagery and manually download the data. A few advanced sources allow searching of past or future imagery. Others have an extra feature to set it up to notify one whenever new data that matches one’s search criteria has been made available.
One of the most popular source is USGS Earth Explorer – which gives access to Landsat satellite data as well as NASA’s Land Data Products and Services including Hyperion’s hyperspectral data, MODIS & AVHRR land surface reflectance and disperse Radar data. Other sources include Sentinels Scientific Data Hub which gives free access to European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellite data and NOAA – which is resourceful for free high quality atmospheric data sets, among others.
The above sources only give access to satellite data. One exciting platform that aggregates both satellite data and high resolution drone imagery and provides it for free is the OpenAerialMap. OAM is a set of tools for searching, sharing and using openly licensed satellite and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery.
The innovative platform was built by Development Seed in partnership with with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Azavea, and Stamen. Although it was built to support the humanitarian community during disaster response,the platform is available for all to use. The user-friendly platform enables response teams to search, preview and download satellite and drone imagery quickly and easily. With petabytes of huge data sets, OAM is a one of its kind intuitive tool with a clean, modern interface.
OAM has a robust RESTful API of all available imagery. And unlike most available data sources, the API gives access to map layers, imagery metadata including endpoints and simple analytics. Also, to encourage the development of additional tools, OAM provides open access to its API. This makes it, perhaps, the most powerful open-source satellite and drone imagery provider.
If you know any other powerful source, let us know so we can share.