I am looking for different options to add historical satellite imagery to our online-based application. We currently incorporate Bing Maps into our application, but cannot get historical imagery. I am essentially looking for something like Google Earth with its historical imagery slide bar. I am currently looking into using services from Google Earth and Digital Globe.

I have also looked into NAIP imagery. I tried downloading the .sid files for one state and one year, but am having trouble. I downloaded the data from Geospatial Data Gateway in county files. I was trying to clip the county .sid files because of the noise around each .sid file. The noise that I am referring to is not the black border, but pixels that received none zero values in the border. In the end I need to have a seamless image. I am not sure where I would go from this spot of having clean county imagery. I need an opensource way to create a mosaic dataset. If I stick with this option, I think I would be looking at Terabytes of imagery.

What are my options? What else is out there? What could I be doing differently?

  • Why do you require a single state-wide file? Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 19:53
  • For historical satellite imagery of pretty much anywhere, one of the best options is Landsat imagery from earthexplorer.usgs.gov. As long as the 30 m + resolution is okay for your application, the data dates back several decades and is very useful for environmental change applications. Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 20:02
  • Kirk: I think I think I took care of your question with an edit to my question. Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


If you are looking for a service that will help you analyze, compare, track an area of your interest over a certain period of time then I would highly recommend to use LandViewer. This tool has a vast database of satellite images that are updated regularly.

All of this free satellite data can be found on LandViewer:

It’s easy to use: just find an area, select a satellite and date range, and browse available images.

For example, let me show you an image of crop fields in Texas. As you can see per indicators on both sides those images are 5 years apart. You may set any date from 1970 and beyond in the settings bar on the top right and apply any INDEX you need for a deeper investigation.

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