Truecolor imagery layers

This article covers:

Truecolor data sources overview

The Lens imagery order pane aggregates truecolor imagery options from a range of public and commercial remote sensing data providers. Truecolor imagery displays ground conditions in a natural color palette, similar to what humans observe. The frequency, timing, and spatial resolution of these sources vary, giving you the ability to choose exactly what works best for your monitoring needs. Below is the list of our current data sources and their spatial resolution. For more information on imagery availability and timing, see below for guidance.

Source Resolution
Maxar, WorldView 0.3 meters
Airbus Pléiades Neo 0.3 meters
Airbus Pléiades Neo, Extended Archive* 0.3 meters
Maxar, WorldView
0.5 meters
Planet, SkySat 0.5 meters
Airbus Pléiades 0.5 meters
Airbus Pléiades, Extended Archive* 0.5 meters
Nearmap 0.5 meters
USDA National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) [Public] 1 meter
Airbus SPOT 1.5 meters
Airbus SPOT, Extended Archive* 1.5 meters
Norway’s International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI) Imagery, Planet 4 meters
Planet Basemaps
4 meters
European Space Agency, Sentinel-2 [Public] 10 meters
NASA / USGS, Landsat 8 [Public]
30 meters

  • If you have questions about an image before purchasing, don't hesitate to reach out. We are unable to offer refunds for ordered imagery. 
  • *Refer to our Extended Archive Imagery Guidance article
  • Imagery captured at 0.3m resolution is downscaled to keep costs affordable for Lens customers.
  • Lens displays all imagery on the map in Web Mercator (EPSG:3857) projection.
  • Imagery ordered through Lens is streamed Truecolor imagery. If you require additional bands, we can help facilitate a tasking capture that can be analyzed outside of Lens. 

Public Truecolor imagery in Lens

We automatically provide available public remote sensing data to all Lens users at no cost. This includes 1-meter resolution USDA NAIP aerial flyover data going back to approximately 2003, 10-meter resolution Sentinel-2 (S2) imagery from the European Space Agency, and 30-meter Landsat 8 (L8) imagery from NASA and the USGS. Like the imagery you can order through the imagery order pane, this is Truecolor imagery. Selecting Higher Resolution or Higher Frequency Truecolor from the Layer dropdown will display the corresponding images in the Date dropdown. While Sentinel-2 imagery isn't the best resolution for monitoring, it is incredibly useful for identifying when changes have happened, which can then inform your commercial imagery purchasing.

Commercial Truecolor imagery in Lens

Lens pulls in recent, high-resolution commercial imagery from a variety of sources shown in the overview table above. You can order these images directly through Lens via the Order button on the left sidebar. For more information about how to order imagery, check out this article. And to learn more about how to choose the right image, read here

By default, we process all commercial imagery options to the start of the previous year. If you'd like commercial imagery processed further back, reach out to us at 

Availability for Orderable Commercial Imagery

Unless a data collection is specifically tasked by a customer, imagery vendors do not guarantee coverage over specific geographies at specific times of year. However, we do our best to give Lens users a sense of collection likelihood based on the historical patterns and estimated future collection plans of our imagery providers. More details below.


  • Historic capture can be helpful to understand general collection patterns but is not a predictor nor guarantor of future collection plans.
  • The imagery you see in the Lens dashboard is called our “Imagery Archive”. This is data that you’re buying off-the-shelf from our vendors. If you have specific imagery collection needs that are not met by archive availability, you can task a specific imagery collection. You can learn more about tasking here.

Satellite imagery

  • Satellite imagery vendors are constantly collecting imagery across the globe - their orbits are consistent and ongoing. This means that their imagery archives are constantly growing and that there is a low logistical barrier to entry for tasking.
  • Imagery is typically available within several days of initial capture. This means that you can get very fresh data, but there is the risk of whether your location will be covered by a collection.
  • Satellite imagery providers tend to collect North America in Q3 and Q4 of the calendar year, as a way to hit the best weather for collection (clearest skies) and in order to satisfy seasonal market demands. 

Aerial imagery

  • Aerial imagery vendors have to plan discrete flights in order to collect different geographies. While they work very hard to keep their imagery collections up to date, they are not constantly orbiting the earth and adding global imagery on an ongoing basis. Rather, they fly discrete locations based on customer need and market demand. 
  • This means that imagery does not roll into the archives on the same ongoing basis as we see with our satellite imagery providers. More typically, a season’s collection will be performed and added to the archive in chunks as the flights are finished. This means you are likely to see longer delays between imagery capture date and when it is made available in Lens.

Premium Truecolor Imagery Layers in Lens

In addition to the public and commercial truecolor imagery sources in Lens, we also offer Premium Layers. These layers can be added to your account from the Layers Library at an additional cost, and will be billed monthly or annually.

Planet Basemaps

We are proud to partner with Planet to offer 4-meter monthly basemaps as a premium layer in Lens. PlanetScope visual basemaps are time series mosaic products created from all scene captures within the month, optimized for consistency and minimal cloud cover. This premium layer is billed monthly, and customers who enroll will automatically receive new imagery for all properties in their account every month. There is an approximate two-week delay for new basemap images (ex: a January image will become available in mid-February). 

PlanetScope mosaics are ideal for organizations with large holdings who are interested in high-frequency insights to identify landscape changes. Planet basemaps are available to customers in all Lens plans. 

Purchasing Planet Basemaps through Lens

Subscriptions and Pricing

Current Lens customers can sign up through the Lens Library by clicking the "purchase" button on the Planet Basemaps card. We offer monthly and annual subscriptions for Planet basemaps: $1,999/mo or $19,999/yr (save ~$4K). 

When you sign up, we start processing Planet monthly 4m basemaps for all of your properties back to January 2020 to the present. New mosaics are automatically added to your account monthly with a 2 week delay. If you un-enroll from Planet Basemaps, the associated images will be removed from your Layers dropdown.

Planet Basemaps are currently offered to customers in North and South America. Not in one of those geographies? Contact us to be added to the list for our expanded release.

PlanetScope 2021 image of Chiribiquete National Park Deforestation

Chiribiquete National Park Deforestation. Source: PlanetScope 2021