Commercial Imagery Use FAQ

Lens customers have the ability to access commercial imagery from a range of imagery vendors. These imagery providers, including as Airbus, Maxar, Planet, and Nearmap, have certain restrictions governing the distribution of their respective products. This is true whether you’re working through Upstream Tech or whether you contract with them directly. Commercial imagery providers - referred to as Third Party Content Providers in our contract - control access to and distribution of their imagery and data, in order to make sure that users are paying for its use.

We realize this can be complicated, and we’ve structured the Lens contract to make sure everyone - Upstream Tech and our customers - is in compliance with those restrictions. Below we walk through some of the frequently asked questions about how imagery can be used. If you have additional questions, let us know.

Disclaimer: This document is intended for explanatory purposes and is not legally binding. The terms and conditions under which you are authorized to use Lens are the terms and conditions set forth in our Lens Terms of Service. This FAQ is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to supersede, modify or replace the terms of our Terms of Service. If you have questions regarding the Terms of Service and/or this FAQ, we encourage you to reach out to us, or seek the advice of legal counsel. 

Where can I find the licenses for each vendor? 

You can always find the links to the latest vendor licenses on our website in the Lens Terms of Service, which includes the End User License Agreement (EULA).

How can I use and attribute imagery?

Broadly, you can use the imagery for your organization’s internal use. You can view the imagery in Lens, annotate it with notes, and generate reports. Per the Terms of Service, commercial imagery has to retain attribution to Upstream Tech and the commercial imagery vendor (e.g., "Includes material (c) 2021 Airbus, via Upstream Tech Lens"). Where there is a screenshot of Lens, you should write "Image from Upstream Tech Lens". Within the report generation function, we handle all the proper attribution and restrictions around resolution, so you don’t have to worry about it. You cannot use the reports for commercial use (i.e., you can’t resell the reports).

If you're utilizing Planet NICFI imagery in the tropics, external non-commercial uses are allowed and more information can be found in this NICFI User Guide.

Can I distribute imagery? 

You can use screenshots of the imagery with appropriate attribution for internal use (such as training, meeting monitoring requirements, or coordinating with project partners). You can also download commercial images as PNGs via the Details pane. Airbus images can be downloaded as GeoTIFFs. The PDF reports are a good way to get the imagery out of Lens in a format that’s usable and distributable to project partners. You can generate a report with just the imagery that you’re interested in. As noted above, reports generated through Lens will be in line with attribution requirements.

Who can I distribute reports to? 

You can distribute reports to accrediting bodies, land owners, legal counsel, contractors, and entities that are project collaborators. The reports still need to be used for “internal purposes” (per the restrictions on commercial imagery distribution), which is why we’ve specified this group of collaborators.

Can I use imagery ordered through Lens on other platforms?

We are always building new Lens features that help you use imagery with other tools. Airbus images can be downloaded as georeferenced GeoTIFF images and dropped right into GIS. Customers on Standard and Enterprise plans can use WMTS streaming to stream any commercial imagery right into GIS. As always, proper attribution to the vendor source and in alignment with the respective vendor licenses. Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Can I include imagery in public presentations and reports? Can I use it on my website? 

You can use a screenshot of the imagery in public presentations with proper attribution. If you want to publish an image publicly (such as in a report) or use it for marketing purposes, this may require media and public display licensing (versus internal use) depending on the data provider. 

If you intend to use imagery for non-internal use, requirements differ vendor-to-vendor. Send us a note, and we can help you navigate. Your note should include: 

  • How you're planning to use the imagery
  • Intended audience, audience size, and how you plan to distribute these materials
  • A direct link to the image in Lens, or the property, source, and date

If you're utilizing Planet NICFI imagery in the tropics, external non-commercial uses are allowed and more information can be found in this NICFI User Guide.

Again, please always refer to the Lens licenses that are linked here.

Can I use imagery in a legal context? 

Detailed below are the individual approaches each vendor recommends for use of their imagery in a legal context, as of September 2023. For current Lens customers, Upstream Tech is happy to help facilitate conversations directly with these vendors as needed regarding license rights and any other needs.


  • Per Upstream Tech’s Airbus rep: Via Airbus’s standard license (which Lens customers agree to via the Lens EULA), Customers are allowed to pull Extracts: “they can provide an image file pdf, jpeg etc..  for the court evidence. The Extract is subject to the following parameters:


  • Customer needs to submit a request directly to Maxar for approval of a Display and Media license. Since the Customer will have purchased the imagery from Upstream / via Lens, Maxar would only charge the license fee and not the imagery amount itself. Maxar provided the guidance that the “uplift” (additional fee) for the imagery is usually 20% of the original imagery license fee. 
  • The PDF is available via Upstream Tech; stored here.


  • Per Upstream Tech’s Planet rep: “Planet data is not intended for use in litigation and Planet does not provide additional support for litigation use such as analysis, analytics, or product information. In some special cases we can work with legal to set up custom terms but it would have to be for a large deal.”