Technical FAQs

Explore our top technical FAQs here.

How can we help?

Does Bird.i task satellites?

While we cannot arrange satellite tasking, we do aim to offer an affordable way to access up-to-date imagery rather than buying directly from operators or tasking operators which can be extremely costly.

What’s the resolution of the satellite images you provide?

The satellites we use can provide imagery with resolutions between 1.5m and 30cm, so within the platform, you may come across images with resolutions anywhere in between these levels. A resolution of 30cm means that each pixel you see on the screen represents 30cm on the ground.

What is your revisit rate?

Revisit rates vary based mainly on the location of interest and weather conditions above this area. Generally speaking, revisit rates are higher in more urban, built-up areas vs rural locations since change occurs more frequently.

What type of satellite imagery does Bird.i provide?

Bird.i provides users with RGB-based optical imagery in a .png format. We do not provide shortwave infrared (SWIR), synthetic-aperture radar (SAR), light imaging detection and ranging (LIDAR) imagery or GeoTIFF downloads.

Does Bird.i offer geo-referenced images?

We offer .png image tiled files which can be overlaid and positioned in any type of online and desktop GIS solutions.

What are the throughput limits/transactions per second on the API?

There is no hard limit on the throughput of our APIs. Whilst our infrastructure is scalable, we do run minimal resources for the purposes of cost-saving. If you expect to have levels of high traffic or spikes in requests, this is a discussion our technical teams should engage in prior to agreement.  

Can we see a sample API response or trial access?

The Catalog-API structure is documented in the online API documentation.

Is the imagery data subject to encryption or compression?

Our data is not subject to any encryption or compression. Since the solution is web-based, there is no requirement for any bespoke toolkits or extensions to digest the imagery.

What range of spatial resolutions do you offer?

The aerial imagery within our platform has a spatial resolution of 0.1m, with coverage limited to the UK. Our satellite imagery ranges from 1.5 – 0.3m with global coverage.

Does the imagery data have accurate and industry-standard metadata?

Yes, our satellite imagery providers supply industry-standard metadata which Bird.i then normalises to ensure a consistent interface between our customers and any existing or future data providers. Aerial imagery does not contain and metadata apart from the acquisition date.

If there is any particular metadata that is important to you, please let us know and we can ensure that our APIs can serve this need.

What data delivery options are available?

The main outputs of the Bird.i Image Service are PNG and JPEG files. These are served up through a variety of API options such as WMTS/TMS and Bird.i’s Image API and Download API which contains location metadata for the image, allowing for geographic positioning.

Is your service available on mobile devices?

Our web portal is responsive and can be viewed via a mobile browser on mobile or tablet. We do not have a native iOS/Android application offering.

What technology components does your solution contain?

Our Image Service is built using a microservice architecture hosted on AWS.

What size are the image file downloads?

The file size of imagery will vary depending on the default image type that our providers chose to serve (ie. JPEG or PNG). The average of a 5×5 image for JPEG and PNG is 0.3MB and 4.5MB respectively.