Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Downloading Sentinel-2 imagery

A practical demonstration of downloading Sentinel-2 imagery.

Find an image you would like to download but choose wisely as these are large files! You may want to only do this over a good Wi-Fi connection.

  • 1) In the Image Details window click the Download Product button (the down arrow). You can also find this button when browsing your results. The imagery will be downloaded into your Downloads folder, this may take a while!
  • 2) Once it has completed move the file into a dedicated folder for this course (for example, “satellite_imagery” inside “Documents” or “Desktop”).

New file Our new file and folder.

Extracting and checking the imagery download

Now you have downloaded your satellite imagery you should check that the process has worked properly. While you have chosen one ‘scene’ to download, it is made up of a large number of different files and folders, all packaged into a single zip file. We need to extract all this data.

  • 1) Double-click the file, it should open like a folder.
  • 2) Under the pink “Extract” part of the menu, click “Compressed Folder Tools”.
  • 3) Then click “Extract All”, and then the “Extract” button in the new window (this may take a while to complete).

Extracting the zip Extracting our satellite imagery zip file.

If you are not using Windows this process will look a little different – feel free to use any file archive software to extract your zip file.

  • 4) Once your extracted folder opens, open the HTML folder and double-click “UserProduct_index.html”

A webpage will open displaying information about the imagery (also known as metadata – data about data!), and all the files you have downloaded.

Downloaded page Downloaded imagery HTML page.

So where’s my imagery?

Satellite imagery is a specialist kind of digital data – it cannot be opened as easily as a photograph or other picture. To open and display it we need to use GIS software – we are going to be using QGIS.

How did the imagery download process go for you? Was it easier or harder to get hold of good imagery for your area than you would have expected?
This article is from the free online

Advanced Archaeological Remote Sensing: Site Prospection, Landscape Archaeology and Heritage Protection in the Middle East and North Africa

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now