Planet Data Reader

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Desktop Professional Edition.

The Planet Data Reader provides FME with access to data in the Planet Data format.

Note: This reader requires a valid Planet Labs API key. Visit Planet Explorer to sign up for an API key, with free access to the Open California dataset.


The Planet Data Reader provides FME with the ability to read satellite imagery and associated metadata from the Planet Data API.

The Planet Data API provides access to imagery from various satellite constellations, with various output formats. Available satellites include RapidEye and PlanetScope, and imagery products include scenes and orthorectified tiles.

For imagery product specifications, visit Planet Imagery and Archive.

The Planet Data API organizes its features by Items, with each Item containing one or more Assets. In FME, Asset types are feature types, and each Asset is a single feature. Since all imagery metadata is associated with an Item and not an individual Asset, the Planet Data Reader includes metadata from the Item on each Asset feature it reads.

Reader Overview

The Planet Data Reader handles the Item search, Asset activation, and Asset download workflow required by the Planet Data API. Each feature corresponds to a single raster Asset, with metadata from its corresponding Item included.

A Search Envelope may be specified in order to limit the region of interest. Its coordinates must be in LL84. However, features read by the Planet Data Reader are not typically in LL84.

Assets are typically large GeoTIFF files that take time to activate and download. To improve performance, the Planet Data Reader keeps a temporary cache of previously-downloaded Assets. This cache persists between translations. The Planet Data Reader also exposes a thumbnails feature type that provides quick access to visual previews for each Item.

The Planet Data Reader currently supports reading only raster Assets and Item thumbnails.

Note: On Windows, this format caches downloads in the temp folder. FME attempts to limit the size of the cache based on the value specified in the Cache Limit field under Tools > Options > Translation> Web File Cache.