Remote Sensing and Earth Observation resources

Alternatives to the Radiant Earth platform

Great and free to use applications and resources for imagery can be hard to find. Here’s a list of currently available platforms that you can use for a number of remote sensing needs.

Almost all of these platforms, including the commercial ones, provide a free tier, sometimes restricting based on amount of data used, time, or advanced functionalities.

By the European Space Agency, Open Access Hub is the official location to access all Sentinel Data. Easy filter, AWS locations, and downloads are available. Additionally, ESA provides an open API to access Sentinel imagery.

By USGS, Earth Explorer is the official location to access all USGS data, including Landsat and ISERV imagery. Many products and other imagery sources are accessible to download as well.

By NASA, Worldview gives access and visualization to a number of imagery products, including MODIS imagery. Visualization only is available. MODIS imagery is downloadable through LAADS DAAC.

Open Source

An open source software, QGIS is a powerful alternative to commercial and paid GIS and Remote Sensing software. Although there is no online version (and thus all imagery will have to be downloaded), QGIS has most imagery analysis capabilities and a growing body of tutorials.

By Azavea, Raster Foundry was the open source software that the Radiant Earth platform was based on. Raster Foundry allows easy integration with various imagery sources, custom raster algebra analyses, and easy sharing. No instances of Raster Foundry are currently open, but the code is available on GitHub.

By Sinergise, Sentinel Hub is designed to easily access an visualize all levels of Sentinel data. Landsat, MODIS, and some other imagery sources are also available.
You can visualize in any arrangement of bands (with several presets) and visualize basic raster algebra. Some downloading and time-lapse capture is available.
The EO Browser is available for free, and the source code is available on GitHub.


By Descartes Labs, the platform includes access to Sentinel 1, 2, 3, Landsat 4-8, and MODIS. Descartes provides viewing, monitoring, and analyzing features of imagery.

By Earth Observing System, Landviewer combines with EOS’s other high powered analysis. Landviewer provides search and visualization options, including contrast adjustment and download. Landviewer also offers easy purchase of commercial high resolution imagery.

By DigitalGlobe/MAXAR, the GDBX provides resources to interact with imagery using Jupyter Notebooks. With minimal coding abilities, users are able to interact with imagery and run complex analyses at scale.

Google Earth Engine

By Google, GEE is designed for high-level processing and analysis of imagery. GEE leverages Landsat, Sentinel 2, MODIS, and other datasets along with the Google Cloud infrastructure to run analyses at scale. Earth Engine currently has restricted access.

By Esri, Landsat Explorer is designed to easily access and visualize Landsat data. Similar products may be provided by Esri. Landsat Explorer integrates well with other Esri products. You can visualize in any arrangement of bands and perform a change detection. Some downloading is available.

By Planet, apps include Planet Explorer which gives search access to commercial imagery from Planet in addition to exploring Sentinel 2 and Landsat 8. Planet Stories allows for the creation of comparison sliders and time series GIFs published online.