Sentinel-2 Photoshop Tutorial

The US Geological Survey distributes Sentinel-2 data on the EarthExplorer data portal. You can also download Sentinel-2 on the Copernicus Open Access Hub, although I find EarthExplorer easier to use.

EarthExplorer procedure

1) Downloading data from EarthExplorer requires that you first sign in as a registered user.

2) After you sign in, use the “Search Criteria” tab in the upper left to specify a point of interest, such as Capitol Reef National Park (Figure 3). You can also draw a polygon on the map to specify a larger search area.

3) Click the “Data Sets” tab next. From the long list of data types, select “Sentinel-2.”

4) The EarthExplorer portal offers useful tools for narrowing your search. For example, you can filter by acquisition date and percent cloud cover. Sentinel-2 image extents are viewable as transparent map overlays.

5) Click the “Results” tab to peruse the available images. Then click the image thumbnails to see larger image previews in false color. Scrolling down from the image previews reveals additional metadata.

Getting the data

Figure 3. EarthExplorer data portal.

6) To download a scene from the search results list, click the “Download Options” icon. You will then see these two download options:

L1C Tile in JPEG2000 format (XX MB)

Full Resolution Browse in GeoTIFF format (XX MB)

Download both.

7) The Full Resolution Browse in GeoTIFF format is a false color image (bands 11, 8A, and 4) at 20-meter resolution.

8) Decompress the L1C Tile in JPEG2000 format archive. It contains the raw Sentinel-2 bands and a true color image. You will need to drill through multiple folders to get to these data (Figure 4).

Figure 4. This tutorial uses the Sentinel-2 data highlighted in yellow.