PLScenes (Planet Labs Scenes/Catalog API), V0 API

GDAL/OGR >= 2.0

Note: this version of the API is deprecated. Please migrate to the Data V1 API.

The driver supports read-only operations to list scenes and their metadata as a vector layer per scene type, "ortho" for example. It can also access raster scenes.

Dataset name syntax

The minimal syntax to open a datasource is :

Additional optional parameters can be specified after the ':' sign. Currently the following one is supported :

If several parameters are specified, they must be separated by a comma.

Open options

The following open options are available :

Configuration options

The following configuration options are available :


The scene metadata are retrieved into the following feature fields for the "ortho" layer :

idStringScene unique identifier.
acquiredDateTimeThe time that image was taken in UTC.
camera.bit_depthIntegerBit depth with which the image was taken onboard the satellite. Currently 8 or 12.
camera.color_modeStringThe color mode of the image as taken by the satellite. Currently "RGB" or "Monochromatic".
camera.exposure_timeIntegerThe exposure time in microseconds.
camera.gainIntegerThe analog gain with which the image was taken.
camera.tdi_pulsesIntegerThe number of pulses used for time delay and integration on the CCD. Currently 0 (if TDI was not used), 4, 6, or 12.
cloud_cover.estimatedRealThe estimated percentage of the image covered by clouds. Decimal 0-100.
data.products.analytic.fullStringURL to download scene GeoTIFF of the "analytic" product.
data.products.visual.fullStringURL to download scene GeoTIFF of the "visual" product.
file_sizeIntegerThe size of the full image in bytes.
image_statistics.gsdRealThe ground sample distance (distance between pixel centers measured on the ground) of the image in meters.
image_statistics.image_qualityStringImage quality category for scene. One of 'test', 'standard', or 'target'.
image_statistics.snrRealThe estimated signal to noise ratio. Decimal > 0. Values greater than or equal to 50 are considered excellent quality. Values less than 50 and greater than or equal to 20 are considered adequate quality. Values less than 20 are considered poor quality.
links.fullStringURL to download scene GeoTIFF (same content as data.products.visual.full currently)
links.selfStringURL to scene information
links.square_thumbnailStringURL to image thumbnail
links.thumbnailStringLink to image square thumbnail
sat.altRealThe altitude of the satellite when the image was taken in kilometers.
sat.idStringA unique identifier for the satellite that captured this image.
sat.latRealThe latitude of the satellite when the image was taken in degrees.
sat.lngRealThe longitude of the satellite when the image was taken in degrees.
sat.off_nadirRealThe angle off nadir in degrees at which the image was taken.
strip_idRealA unique float identifier for the set of images taken sequentially be the same satellite.
sun.altitudeRealThe altitude (angle above horizon) of the sun from the imaged location at the time of capture in degrees.
sun.azimuthRealThe azimuth (angle clockwise from north) of the sun from the imaged location at the time of capture in degrees.
sun.local_time_of_dayRealThe local sun time at the imaged location at the time of capture (0-24).
For other layers / scene types, additional attributes may be retrieved.


The footprint of each scene is reported as a MultiPolygon with a longitude/latitude WGS84 coordinate system (EPSG:4326).


The driver will forward any spatial filter set with SetSpatialFilter() to the server. It also makes the same for simple attribute filters set with SetAttributeFilter(). Note that not all attributes support all comparison operators. Refer to comparator column in Metadata properties


Features are retrieved from the server by chunks of 1000 by default (and this is the maximum value accepted by the server). This number can be altered with the PLSCENES_PAGE_SIZE configuration option.

Vector layer (scene metadata) examples

  • Listing all scenes available (with the rights of the account) :
    ogrinfo -ro -al "PLScenes:" -oo API_KEY=some_value
    ogrinfo -ro -al "PLScenes:api_key=some_value"
    ogrinfo -ro -al "PLScenes:" --config PL_API_KEY some_value

  • Listing all scenes available under a point of (lat,lon)=(40,-100) :
    ogrinfo -ro -al "PLScenes:" -oo API_KEY=some_value -spat -100,40,-100,40

  • Listing all scenes available within a bounding box (lat,lon)=(40,-100) to (lat,lon)=(39,-99)
    ogrinfo -ro -al "PLScenes:" -oo API_KEY=some_value -spat -100,40,-99,39

  • Listing all scenes available matching criteria :
    ogrinfo -ro -al "PLScenes:" -oo API_KEY=some_value -where "acquired >= '2015/03/26 00:00:00' AND \"cloud_cover.estimated\" < 10"

    Raster access

    Scenes and their thumbnails can be accessed as raster datasets, provided that the scene ID is specified with the 'scene' parameter / SCENE open option. The product type (visual, analytic or thumb) can be specified with the 'product_type' parameter / PRODUCT_TYPE open option. The scene id is the content of the value of the 'id' field of the features of the 'ortho' vector layer.

    This functionality is a convenience wrapper of the API for fetching the scene GeoTIFF

    Raster access examples

  • Displaying raster metadata :
    gdalinfo "PLScenes:scene=scene_id,product_type=analytic" -oo API_KEY=some_value
    gdalinfo "PLScenes:" -oo API_KEY=some_value -oo SCENE=scene_id -oo PRODUCT_TYPE=analytic
  • Converting/downloading a whole file:
    gdal_translate "PLScenes:" -oo API_KEY=some_value -oo SCENE=scene_id \
                    -oo PRODUCT_TYPE=analytic -oo RANDOM_ACCESS=NO out.tif

    See Also