I'm downloading daytime satellite imagery from Landsat 8 and am slightly concerned that I'm doing something wrong because the imagery is so dark.

This was a composite image of Indonesia I made:

enter image description here

In terms of pre-processing steps, I used pansharpening & the GEE composite function:

landsat_mission = 'LANDSAT/LC08/C01/T1'
LS_day_sat = 'LS8'
filtered_shp = ee.ImageCollection(landsat_mission).filterDate(start_date, end_date)\

#Use inbuilt EE function to create big composite image from Landsat tiles
composite = ee.Algorithms.Landsat.simpleComposite(filtered_shp).float();


#Select RGB bands
rgb = composite.select('B4', 'B3', 'B2').unitScale(0,255)
#Select panchromatic band
gray = composite.select('B8').unitScale(0,155)

#Convert RGB image to Hue Saturation Value & select only hue & saturation bands
huesat = rgb.rgbToHsv().select('hue','saturation')
#Combine hue, saturation & panchromatic bands, then convert back to RGB for upscaled image
satellite_imagery = ee.Image.cat(huesat, gray).hsvToRgb()

I'm downloading the images now and I'm getting a lot of black squares - Is this normal for daytime imagery?

#get centroid coordinates of bounding box for map view centering
cen_x = bbox_poly.centroid.x[0]
cen_y = bbox_poly.centroid.y[0]

#create folium object
map = folium.Map(location = [cen_y,cen_x], 
                 zoom_start = 6, #defines zoom level of map
                 width = 1280, #define size of map
                 height = 766,
                 attr=day_sat) #display name of satellite

#get mapID of sat_imagery from GEE
ee_image_map_id = ee.Image(satellite_imagery).getMapId()

#add sat_imagery to map 
    tiles = ee_image_map_id['tile_fetcher'].url_format, #map data source; uses mapID to get URL link of filtered satellite imagery
    attr = 'Google Earth Engine', 
    name = 'Daytime Imagery', 
    overlay = True, #imagery will be placed over Folium default base map
    control = True, #layer will be included in Layer Control 


1 Answer 1


How dark the image look on the map depends on how it's been stretched. You left that code out of your question. I transferred your script to the EE Code Editor and added the pan-sharpened image to the map, stretching it like I'd normally do. It looks good.

Map.addLayer(satellite_imagery, {
  bands: 'red,green,blue',
  min: [.02, .04, .06],
  max: [.24, .22, .24],
  gamma: 1.2


  • thank you so much! this really helped. sorry, still new to this but i wasn't sure how to insert these visualisation parameters into my current code - using folium to display it. could you help me? have added the additional code to my original question Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 10:19

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