I was trying to get latest picture of my city from Sentinel 2, but had no success.
I have registered on Copernicus website, found my city and drew a square around it.
Then I clicked the "search" icon, but all pictures it turned up seem to be "broken" in different ways:

  • partial (triangle-like, or trapezoid-like)
  • totaly black
  • totaly white
  • white with acidy-green (not grass) pieces in it.

I thought that I had choosen a wrong sensor, but in a downloaded archive I found JPEG2000 files for different bands - including bands 2,3,4 which I need.

My question is, how to download a google maps-like RGB picture from Sentinel 2.

I have heard that I can get 300m/pixel picture resolution. Is it right?

  • Hello Hose, welcome to GIS.SE. Please refrain from asking two questions in one "thread", since answering and/or finding the correct answer afterwards might be more complicated than necessary. Especially since the question on the resolution is just a simple task of googling.
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 13:05
  • Also, if you could tell us, which city you're looking for, we could take a look ourselves to see, whether there is useful data available or not.
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


First of all, the Copernicus website is adequate, but not really user friendly - in my opinion. Sometimes you need a bit determiniation in order to get your desired images, especially when downloads fail. On the other hand the data is free.

First step when trying to download data: log into the website. Otherwise your search results will be gone and you have to start over.

Then create a "filter" by only allowing data from Sentinel 2 to pop up in your search results (button to the left of the search field). Then draw your square/bounding box and click the search-button - as you already did. Now it's time to weed out the low quality pictures. Sometimes there are lots of clouds in the image, sometimes the image mainly consists of black areas (this is due to the fact that the image-stripes the satellite produces are not aligned to the north, but rather north-north-east - caused by its orbit - while the processed images are aligned to the north).

Simply scroll down the list of your search results until you find an image which is a) mostly free of clouds, b) definitely covers your city and c) was recently taken. Often useful results are on page 2, 3 or even 4, but especially after this summer you shouldn't be hard-pressed to find an useful image not older than 3 months.


Have you tried Sentinel Playground or EO Browser?

Playground allows users to "fool around” with global archive of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8, while eo-browser will give you even more datasets and some nice features (like creating time-lapses, possibility to download your area-of-interest, etc.) if you sign up for free account.

  • Sentinel-2 bands are between 10m/px and 60m/px, depending on the band. RGB bands are all available in 10m/px.
    – matej
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 10:38

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