Surface Reflectance Basemap Quad download via API

  • 5 October 2022
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 1
Badge +2
Hello Planet-Community,I want to try Planet surface reflectance basemaps ( to evaluate if it is suitable for my research project before purchasing wider access. In particular, I want to download a GeoTiff quad tile of a quarterly basemap mosaic via Python, as I have already implemented a processing tool chain which works for another satellite image provider. However, despite quite some effort, I could not yet fetch a single Planet basemap quad and are struggling with a bunch of problems:1) How to access surface reflectance basemaps (BGRN) via the browser on or through the QGIS plugin? I followed the instructions given at, but can view only visual (RGB) basemaps.2) How to get an overview of recent quarterly basemaps at zoom level 16? I queried the basemap overview as described in with curl,but only monthly mosaics up to zoom level 15 until March 2020 are displayed. The latest basemap offered by the cli tool pbasemap is from March 2021.3) How can quads be download through the browser? I followed the instructions given at to download tiles from to select a tile with the "Draw area" tool but there is no download button.4) How can quads be downloaded via the API? The instruction given under "Send Request and Check Status Code given" at result only into the 401 (Unauthorized) error. Trying the same via the Order-API ( results in the message “our org is not permitted to order the following quads”. The cli tool pbasemap also says I do not have permissions. It seems as if quads cannot be downloaded with an account status of "Basic User". Any help will be appreciated

Best answer by elyhienrich 5 October 2022, 20:15

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3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

Hello @kastner.karl,

Based on the information in this post, we suggest raising a support ticket . If you need any further assistance, please reach out to

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

Thank you for your reply Ely, I just send my question to the support desk.

Userlevel 4
Badge +5

And to be clear @kastner.karl - everything you’re doing looks to be correct, and should work. You just need to have permissions to access the quads. 

One way to get non-commercial access that could work for you is to sign up for the Planet NICFI program, see It includes a great set of analytic basemaps.

If you’ve got any problems with access after getting permissions definitely let us know.


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