Tasking: Navigating the Search Platform


In this tutorial we’ll be showing you how to successfully navigate and use the Search Platform to find tasking opportunities and place tasking requests.

The search platform is the place where you can begin your tasking order experience. Click on the Tasking tab at the top of the left-hand side bar. Now that you have selected the tasking platform, let’s cover a few important features.

What you’ll need:
Access to the Arlula API account signup page.

To search for imagery, you will need to include a date range and an Area of Interest (AOI). The Tasking API will only respond with tasking results that meet all the criteria supplied by the user. These results undergo a preliminary line of sight validation, which ensures that the platform being used will have sufficient capturing opportunities to satisfy the request.

Selecting an AOI

To select an AOI you have several options: 

  1. You can use the search bar at the top of the page, next to the date range, to add coordinates, an address, or general location.
  2. The Marker Tool can be used to place a pin at your designated point
  3. The Bounding Box Tool allows you to select a square area by clicking a point and then dragging to desired area size. The tool displays total square kilometres that are selected at the top of the selection area. 
  4. If you have an irregularly shaped AOI, the Polygon Tool can be used to select an area using different points. Like above, the tool displays total square kilometres for the selected area.
  5. If you have a KML, WKT, GeoJSON file containing one or more polygons, you can use the File Upload Tool to select your AOI. A window will pop up to upload the file. Once the file is uploaded, click select in the bottom right corner.

Selecting a Time Period

To choose your desired time period, click in the search bar next to the calendar icon at the top of the search platform. By default, the platform displays a three month window, two months in the past and one month in the future from the current date. A calendar will appear when you click in that space, allowing you to easily select your desired time period. Alternatively, you can enter the time period manually by typing directly in the search bar using a year/month/day format. Once selected or entered, click the Search button located just to the right. Note: time periods must be in the future for tasking orders. Any dates in the past will produce results from archive imagery. 

You may notice that some of the search results are not fully in your selected date range. Due to the frequency of passes and potential capture opportunities, the capture start and end date will vary by sensor.

If your search comes back with no results, try expanding your time period. Most suppliers take 1-2 weeks for tasking, not considering outside impacts such as weather. Selecting a time period of greater than 2 weeks may produce more search results.

Advanced Search

To further refine your search, you can access the advanced search settings by clicking on the icon next to the time period search tool. The Optional Filters window will pop up. Here, you can select the desired resolution, price, supplier, maximum off-nadir, and cloud coverage. By choosing your desired settings with these filters, you can optimise your search results to meet your specific requirements.  Once you have selected your desired settings, click Close in the bottom right corner. Click the Search button to the right to run your search.

Evaluating Search Results

After you run your search, the results will be presented in the left-hand sidebar. You can easily scroll through to see what results match your desired criteria. Each tasking result will contain information about the capture that would take place: the actual window start and end, the supplier and platform, the resolution, the maximum off nadir, and the price in USD. Some information may be more constrained than the information used to search, for example, an off nadir of 60 degrees might be searched for, however a platform may only be able to capture at 30 degrees off nadir, so its result will indicate that discrepancy.

As you scroll through you will notice different overlays on the map. The red polygon indicates the area that corresponds to your AOI and will be delivered if an order is placed. 

Sorting Search Results

If you would like to arrange your search results, click Sort in the top left corner of the sidebar. You can sort the results by GSD, Capture Date, and Price. When you click on the sort criteria, you will notice an arrow icon pointing upwards or downwards. This allows you to modify the sort direction (ascending or descending). To reset any applied sorting preferences and return to the original sort results, click on RESET SORTING at the bottom of the menu list.

Add to Cart

When you are ready to start a tasking order, click on the Add to Cart button next to the desired scene. A popup window will appear in which you will see the details, bundles available, licences available , and the final pricing details. Make the bundle and licence selections that are applicable to you through the corresponding drop down menus. Once you have made your selections, click the Add to Cart button in the lower right-hand corner. The tasking order will now be available in your cart.  To proceed with the order, select the Cart icon in the top right corner of the page. Alternatively, if you would like to add additional tasking orders you can continue your search on the platform.

If you need any help, select the question mark icon in the top right corner of the map area. The help window will pop up, which includes detailed information about features and how to use the search platform. If further assistance is needed, you can contact us.

If you have any questions about this specific tutorial or would like to learn more please feel free to contact the Arlula team at hello@arlula.com.