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I wonder how realistic it is to map the server layout in data centers based on overhead images. A data center is a large warehouse containing thousands of computer servers, and I want to estimate the number of operating servers and their physical locations. This seems realistic to do using a combination of visual and thermal imagery because these servers consume tons of power and generate lots of waste heat. (The world's largest data centers consume more than 100MW each.) To do this, I would like to find as detailed as possible overhead visual and thermal images of some data centers.

For example, several data centers publish thermal maps of their locations that look something like:

enter image description here

Ideally, I would like to use publicly available sources to reproduce a map like this with as much detail as possible for data centers that do not publish similar maps.

My goal is similar to projects that use thermal satelite imagery to monitor the operations of uranium enrichment facilities. See for example the paper Monitoring Large Scale Enrichment Facilities using Thermal Imagery from Comercial Satelites from 2001. This project used publicly available LANDSAT-5/7 data, which has thermal resolution of 120m and 60m respectively.

For reference, here is a google maps image of a google data center: https://www.google.com/maps/@33.0649146,-80.043408,16z/data=!3m1!1e3. Is there a website online similar to google maps that can easily display a thermal version of these images? The largest building in the complex is approximately 500mx100m, so would only occupy about 4 pixels on the LANDSAT-5 images, and 16 pixels on the LANDSAT-7. My goal would require significantly higher resolutions. Are higher resolutions currently commercially available? Also, this link describes airborne therm al camera systems that seem to have sufficiently high resolution for this task. How would I find if similar airborne based images are publicly available?

closed as off-topic by BERA, whyzar, aldo_tapia, HDunn, Erica Nov 3 '17 at 13:15

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  • If you are after open data then I think the best place to ask is the Open Data Stack Exchange – PolyGeo Nov 2 '17 at 21:44
  • I suspect most data centers have a ceiling and a roof, through which it would be impossible to detect any temperature gradient. – Vince Nov 2 '17 at 23:17
  • You can use Sentinel 2, which has higher spatial res and several IR bands, as a potential source of imagery. I can't help with anything else, though. – John Powell Nov 3 '17 at 11:53
  • @JohnPowellakaBarça Where would I find access to Sentinal2 images? – Mike Izbicki Nov 3 '17 at 20:34
  • Either from the ESA data access portal, earth.esa.int/web/guest/home, or from something like Google Earth Engine, where is is pre-ingested for you. – John Powell Nov 5 '17 at 11:05

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