Moderate resolution satellite imagery can provide coarse-scale information on changes in the natural environment (e.g., percent forest cover) but cannot resolve finer scale changes (e.g., vegetation state changes from conifer to deciduous forest). The high resolution of CubeSats such as Planet’s Dove imaging technologies can capture environment responses at finer scales or drone (“unmanned aerial system” - UAS) technology enables rapid acquisition of scientific quality remote sensing data. Both systems use miniaturized multispectral cameras (often in Red-Green-Blue bands, but sometimes in Near Infrared). Using these high-spatial resolution sensors, we can observe the natural environment at a much finer spatial than possible with moderate resolution satellite imagery. 

The difference in spatial scale from Landsat, Planet, and  drone data are shown here respectively:

Featured Work



    Fire perimeter datasets for every country on Earth

Project Team

Project Lead

Ty Tuff

Dr. Ty Tuff is our friendly neighborhood data scientist. He is based in Earth lab’s analytics hub where he helps members and affiliates of the lab process, analyze, and publish their hard-won data.

Max Cook

University of Colorado Boulder, Geography