Lens Lookout

This feature is available with Standard and Enterprise plans.


With Lens Lookout, we’re putting the power of automated monitoring squarely in your hands. Lens Lookout is designed to revolutionize the way you safeguard and steward your land by providing a new way for you to continuously scan your land and detect changes based on the criteria you care about. This feature includes two preset options so you can look out for vegetation drops and changes in parcel ownership, as well as the ability to set up new Lookouts based on your own criteria. Let Lens Lookout do the tedious work of combing through datasets and identifying changes on your properties for you!

Create a Lookout policy

Your first step is to create a policy based on the criteria you care about. From the Lookout option on the left of the map view, click “+ Create a policy” or go ahead and enroll in one of the preset options shown here. For example, you may want to create a lookout policy for changes such as:

  • Vegetation growth above a threshold in an area recovering from a fire
  • Surface water above a threshold in an area at-risk of floods
  • Chlorophyll on a body of water to respond to possible algal bloom events swiftly

All the thresholds are customizable, meaning that you are able to set them based on the local conditions in your geographical area, or adjust them over time.

Lookout policies are set at the portfolio level, and you’ll be able to select from any datasets you’ve added from the Lens Library. Datasets from the Lens Library can be added to portfolios at any time, but a dataset must first be added before you can create a lookout policy for that data. 

You can input information about what thresholds are relevant, given conditions on your specific property. In this vegetation green-up example, I’d like to know when regrowth occurs on my property following a fire event. 

You can also specify what percentage of your property needs to meet these thresholds for a change notification to be created.

The “Number of scenes” field can be helpful to mitigate noise from cloudy scenes. For example, 2 or 3 consecutive scenes may work in some cases when changes are more sustained, such as vegetation degradation. But if changes are more short-lived, such as a flood, you can opt for a lower number of scenes here.

You can also enroll multiple properties within your portfolio in bulk on the final step.

Lookout policies for category datasets

Custom Lookout policies can also be created for category datasets like Landcover and Global Forest Loss. With these Lookout policies, you can select changes to specific categories you're interested in, or select "Any" from the dropdown to receive notifications about changes to any of the categories moving forward.

How it works

Beginning when your Lookout is created, our machine learning model will begin reviewing data as soon as it becomes available to look for any changes. We are processing every new scene as it becomes available, starting from the moment you enroll a property. Each scene for the selected dataset will be reviewed based on the criteria you set, including threshold values, percentage of the property, number of scenes, and more. 

Depending on the dataset selected, the frequency of new data will vary. For example, if your lookout policy is based on data from Sentinel-2, new data will be captured about every 5 days. On the other hand, a modeled dataset may be updated less often, such as the Planet Forest Carbon Diligence data. Either way, as soon as new data is available, we’ll check it against your criteria and let you know if a change occurred.

You can rest easy knowing that we’re keeping a vigilant watch over your properties. 

Reviewing change notifications

If your threshold conditions are met, a new notification will be created in Lens and emailed to you. You can review these in Lens from the Lookout pane. The notification preview will include the policy name and the scene date when the change was detected; hover over the location icon to see more details of the change notification.

Each notification will also append the data from the latest data scene, and the area of change will be outlined. From there, you can save those notifications as Notes, compare the dataset to true color imagery, plan to make an in-person visit, or follow up in any other way you see fit! If you dismiss the notification, you will not receive further alerts unless the property conditions first fall below and then meet the threshold criteria again.

Curious about use cases or looking for some inspiration to get started? We've got you covered:

  • You're monitoring an area where planting is occurring, like reforestation or an agricultural field, and want to know when growth is happening. Set a Lookout using S2 Vegetation data for above a certain threshold.
  • You'd like to keep an eye on potential flooding or changes in water presence on your land. Set a Lookout using S2 Surface Water or S2 Surface Moisture data for above a certain threshold.
  • You're monitoring a body of water where algal bloom events are a concern. Use S2 Chlorophyll data with a Lookout set to above a certain threshold.
  • You're monitoring a forested area and what to know when spring leaf-out occurs. Use S2 Vegetation data with a Lookout set to above a certain threshold.
  • You're monitoring an area that's prone to severe weather or strong storms and want to know if there's damage to vegetation on the property. Use S2 Enhanced Vegetation or S2 Vegetation data for below a certain threshold.
  • You're keeping an eye on a vegetated area and want to know if there's a subtle decline in vegetation vigor which could signal degradation from a pest, pathogen, or temperature stress. Use a Lookout set to monitor S2 Enhanced Vegetation below a certain threshold.
  • You're monitoring a winter sports recreation area and want to know when the first snowfall occurs or covers a certain percentage of your property. Use a Lookout set to notify you when S2 Snow data exceeds a certain threshold.
  • You're monitoring a wetland and want to know if water or moisture levels decrease during a dry spell. Set a Lookout policy to notify you if S2 Surface Moisture dips below a certain threshold.
  • So many more!