What's the easiest way to download data over a long temporal range?

  • 6 September 2023
  • 3 replies

Badge +1

I'm new to PlanetScope and to mapping. My question is which is the easiest and most time efficient way to download my site data from Planet?

I find using the Planet Explorer clear and easy to use, and it lets me clip the image data to just my sites, which is very good as it prevents me from going over my quota. However, I want to download the data for my sites across their whole temporal range (2016 to present day). As far as I can tell, the explorer won't let me do this easily as I have to manually click each scene and press the "load more" button.

I've also tried using the official Planet plugin for QGIS. It is cool that it loads Planet data directly into QGIS, but I don't see any option to crop scenes down to just the pixels I want. I also don't see the option to bulk select scenes within a date range.

Lastly, I've attempted to use the APIs that Planet provides, but this is challenging because I'm only familiar with the R programming language, so I keep encountering errors. Furthermore, in the interactive Jupyter notebook (, there's a bug in cell 4, line 2, as the "requests" module is unavailable. I keep experiencing the same issue when I try to run the authentication API (API Mechanics ( All in all, I am finding this also to be a difficult experience.

So I don't know what the best option for me is to download the data that I want in a timely manner. Can someone please suggest a workflow which will enable me to get the data I need? 


Best answer by Octave 8 September 2023, 23:11

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3 replies

Userlevel 1
Badge +3

You are correct that both Planet Explorer and the QGIS plug in have no easy way for downloading imagery for a large time range. The APIs are going to be your best bet. 
I believe that the issue you are running into is that you dont have the request package installed on you computer. The easiest way to install it is to add a code block in your notebook and run the !pip install requests command. 
If you are running into issues installing this package or running the code I would reccomend following along this course.

Hope this helps,


Userlevel 1
Badge +3

You could also try this notebook which might be more streamlined for what you are trying to acheive.

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

Hi @EnglischKäseMensch ,

Thank you for your question and information about the bug in the interactive Jupyter notebook.

With limiting programming experience, it is recommended that you either continue using Planet Explorer and just go through searching and placing orders or get the scene ids from Explorer and use those scene ids to planet an orders though the CLI.

Tutorial link for Orders API 

Planet University API Courses

in addition to courses in Planet University we also run live trainings on APIs so I would encourage you to check out the live events section!

If you need more assistance I would recommend engaging with our Professional Services team, please let us know if you would like to be put in touch. 


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