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General FAQ

Do I need to register to use Soar?
Viewing content on Soar does not require registration, but to comment on or share content, upload your maps or download imagery or make a purchase, does require you to be logged in.
Is it free to register?
Yes, registration is free.
How do I cancel my account?
You can cancel your account by:
  • Log in
  • Go to My Dashboard > Account Settings
  • Click on the "Delete Account" button
Once your account is deleted, any content you have uploaded may be deleted and any history of purchases may not be recoverable.
Why am I seeing only Google Maps?
We use Google as one of our base maps. You can change the base map to others we have available such as OpenStreetMaps and OpenElevationMaps using the base map selector at the bottom right of the screen.
Who provides the images on Soar.Earth?
The majority of images on Soar are crowdsourced by individuals who have created the maps and drone photos or uploaded out of copyright or public domain images.
Can I download maps or images from Soar?
At the moment, images cannot be downloaded directly from Soar but some content in Soar can be imported into QGIS using the Soar QGIS plugin for modification.

If you want to use a map from Soar that is not licensed under Creative Commons or public domain licenses, please visit the user's profile page to contact them for permission to use their map.

Please note “fair use” exemptions may apply to copyrighted work. Fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.
Disclaimer - this does not constitute legal advice and please sees legal advice on this issue of you are unsure if your

Uploading maps to Soar

If I upload my maps, will Soar own the copyright?
You will always retain the rights to any maps you own that are uploaded to Soar. Unlike stock image marketplaces, we do not require an assignment of any rights but we do have some licensing rights (such as publishing, using in promotion / advertising etc) to enable us to display and promote your content on Soar.
Can I publish third party maps imagery on Soar.Earth?
Third party imagery can only be published if:
  • you own the copyright
  • have rights to publicly display the image
  • The map has a Creative Commons license or is Public Domain
Copyrighted content cannot be uploaded by you if you don't own or otherwise have the rights to distribute the images.
What is the image format and specifications for uploading to Soar?
Georeferenced images (GeoTIFF and ECW)
The best image format to upload maps is as a GeoTIFF although we do accept ECW format as well.
Image specifications for uploaded maps is as follows:
  • Max. size - 1 GB
  • Projection - WGS84 UTM
  • Other requirements?
Non- georeferenced images (JPG and PNG)
You can upload high resolution images taken by drone or from high resolution scanned maps in JPG or PNG format. However, you will need to manually adjust the image to correctly reflect its correct position, size and orientation on Soar.

Content guidelines and standards

All content must be uploaded with an appropriate description and tags
Descriptions and tags are important for making your image discoverable and helps other users better understand what they are seeing. If your map or image lacks a proper description or tags it may be rejected.
All content must be clear, readable, and medium to high quality
Maps and images which are too blurry, have poor colouring or are generally unclear and unreadable may be rejected. An image can be graded as poor quality from a variety of factors including: low resolution, compression, white-balance, blurriness, obstacles, and so forth.
Maps must be rectified correctly and placed in the right location
We’re all about accuracy and if you’re uploading a map, it must line up correctly on the Earth. If your content does not contain Exif geolocation data and/or is not manually placed correctly on the world it may be rejected.

A key feature of Soar is using the transparency slider to compare imagery. If the content doesn’t line up with the base layer, it becomes difficult for users to compare imagery. Some slight misalignment or warping is acceptable, but anything that greatly affects the comparative properties of the map may not be approved.
Map content should add value for other users and fit the definition of a ‘map image’
Soar is a collaborative platform, and our hope is that all of our content will provide value for our users. For that reason, we can’t accept blank maps or line art cartoon maps that don’t have enough data on them (such as context, labels, or a legend) to be considered a true ‘map’. Especially when they have exaggerated or warped a location that’s incomparable with the base layer.

We’re not saying you can’t be creative - artistic maps can be useful and definitely have a place on Soar - as long as they are true maps which are geographically accurate and in context.
Content must be the correct top down angle of view
Soar only accepts top down images to allow for a better mapping experience. If you upload a map or an image captured by a drone that is on an oblique angle, it will be rejected.
Offensive content will not be tolerated
We have a zero tolerance policy to content which is inflammatory, offensive or in poor taste. We do accept some maps which depict sensitive topics, as long as they’re done in an informational/educational and tasteful way.
Copyright and intellectual property rules

We are unable to publish you map unless you have a right to publish the map or image publicly through:

  • Owning the copyright to the map or image uploaded
  • Having a license to publish
  • The copyright has expired
  • It is published under Creative Commons license.

In all cases if you have acquired from a third party source with expired copyright or Creative Commons license, please credit the map creator or source in your description.

Examples of content which would not be accepted:

Soar is under no obligation to publish your maps if they do not meet reasonable standards. Examples of content that would not be acceptable on Soar include:

  • Blurry and low resolution maps (low quality)
  • Line art maps that only contain lines with no context (no utility for others)
  • Blank maps that add no value to the platform (no context, no labels, no legend)
  • Images clipped from a service such as Google or Bing maps (copyright ownership issues)
Examples of content which would not be accepted:

Blank maps that add no value to the platform (no context, no labels, no legend)

Line art maps that only contain lines with no context

Line art maps that only contain lines with no context

Satellite Imagery

Can I get real time imagery?
No, unfortunately satellite imagery is not true real time. The satellites are imaging as it is moving in orbit and the data can take up to a day to transfer from the satellite to us. This is known as near real-time imagery. The most recent imagery available would be at most from the day before.
Can I order an image for a specific date and time of day?
No. Due to satellite orbits, this may not be possible. Collection for a specific day can be requested for an additional charge but cannot be guaranteed
Can I get night time imagery?
These images are available by special request but not very high resolution and show only lit areas. Examples can be seen on Soar here and here.
What times do satellites fly over where I am?
This depends on the satellite, most imaging satellites pass over between 10-12 in the morning each day as they orbit the Earth. This does depend on the satellite. Satellite orbits can be seen on Soar can be seen by selection of the satellite orbit button at the bottom right of the screen.
Something has happened and I need a satellite image of a location at a specific time, what can I do?
Unfortunately, satellites available on Soar are not in fixed positions. Satellites orbit the Earth pole to pole each day, so if it's not overhead at the time when you’re interested in, it will not capture an image. Even if it is overhead, it may not be imaging at that time depending on a range of factors. As such, we can't guarantee that images are always available.
What's the difference between free and paid satellite imagery?
The simple answer is the resolution of the image.

Our free satellite services, Sentinel and Landsat, have a resolution (also known as ground sample distance or GSD) of 10 m and 30 m respectively.  This means it’s not useful for identifying smaller buildings or cars but is very good for large areas.

Paid satellite imagery is much higher resolution and with 50 cm resolution you will be able to clearly make out cars, buildings and trees.
Can I upload a KML or shapefile file to place an order for satellite imagery?
Unfortunately not at this time. While a KML can be uploaded to the system to show on Soar, they cannot be used to place an order. Soar does not currently support shapefile upload.
Can I only draw a square or rectangle to order my imagery?
Yes. In future we may add the ability to order polygon sections but we are limited by what order requirements the satellite imager provider places on us.
Will you be getting more / different satellite feeds?
Yes. We are currently in discussions with a number of other commercial providers to onboard their content onto Soar. However, this is a complex process and takes time. Even free satellite services take time to onboard onto the platform.
What are the license conditions for using satellite imagery on your site?
Each satellite has its own license conditions for use of the imagery. Please see the EULA for each satellite type at the checkout.
How much does paid satellite imagery cost?

Paid satellite imagery cost varies based on many factors including:

  • Resolution
  • New collection or archival imagery
  • Supplier pricing

For supplier pricing check out our pages for:

  • CG Satellite
  • Superview
How quickly is the imagery delivered?
Archival imagery orders can take between 2 to 5 working days to process.

New collect imagery orders can take anywhere from a few working days through to months, depending on cloud cover. For example, if your area of interest is in a tropical location, it may be covered in clouds for many months of the year, making taking images from satellites extremely difficult.

The stated delivery times are just a guide however and each will be different according to each order location and size.
What is the maximum cloud cover allowed in SkyMap50 imagery?
Archival imagery orders are provided “as-is” with the cloud You can use the image previews as an indicator.

New collect imagery, the maximum allowable cloud in your order is 15%. This includes shadows, haze and smoke - so you can be rest assured that 85% of your order will be cloud free. If your order has more than 15% cloud cover, we will re-fly the area for you for no extra charge until the 15% cut off is achieved.
Is it possible to be able to image a person?
Unfortunately this is not achievable using commercially available satellites. Humans are not distinguishable using even the highest resolution satellites available to the general public.
Can you provide real time satellite imagery?
Unfortunately, there is actually no 'real-time' satellite imagery available to non-military customers. There is however near real-time which is delayed between 24 and 72 hours depending on the orbitology. For example, if you were ordering a one off image, maximum scene size of 12 km x 12 km it would take about 48 to 72 hours. But if it was constant monitoring of a location, it can be imaged and delivered every 24 hrs into your Soar account. Many satellite companies offer daily coverage but this is a marketing gimmick as the actual turn around time to your access can vary up to a week. Moreover, you would have to pay a minimum collect fee of about $5,000. With SkyMap50 the pricing of $12km² is standard and capped.
Can I order an image for a specific date and time of day?
No. SkyMap50 constellation includes four satellites providing once daily global coverage. Images are usually captured between 10AM to noon local time every day.
Can I order a night-time collection?
SkyMap50 satellites are positioned so they are sun-synchronous. Meaning they only orbit areas that have the sun shining on them at any one time. You will not be able to obtain night time images.
Is it possible to be able to image a person?
Unfortunately this is not achievable using commercially available satellites. Humans are not distinguishable using even the highest resolution satellites available to the general public.
Can you provide an RPC or ground control points?
An RPC file can be provided with your satellite order on request. There is an additional service charge for ordering RPC or GCP data.
Can you provide imagery in multiple bands?
Yes, multiple bands can be provided with your satellite order using the website.
Can I search for satellite imagery by address?
To find your location, key in the exact address in the search bar on Soar. Wait a few seconds for the search to locate a list of possible matches then click on the correct result to show your location.
How do I purchase SkyMap50 high resolution satellite imagery?
You can purchase high resolution satellite imagery directly from our sister site

Aerial imagery

Do you have any aerial image services on Soar.Earth?
Currently no, but we are working with a number of providers to onboard their aerial content on to Soar.

User & Account Information

Is it free to register?
Yes, registration is free - and quick. You can register here.
Why should I register for an account?
Having an account lets you comment on maps, use our visual collaboration tools, upload your maps, download free satellite imagery, and purchase high resolution satellite imagery.
Can I change my first and last name after I register for a Soar account?
Yes, you can. Click on your profile name in the top right corner of the page and select ‘My Dashboard’. Once you’re in the dashboard, click ‘Edit My Profile’ - then you can edit your name and other details.
How do I change my profile picture?
Click on your profile name in the top right corner of the page and select ‘My Dashboard’. Once you’re in the dashboard, click ‘Edit My Profile’, then click on the camera icon next to ‘Update Avatar’. Hover the mouse over your current profile picture then click to update. You can then select your desired profile image from your device.

Once the new profile image is loaded, adjust the cropped area to your liking, click ‘Finish Cropping’ and click ‘Save Edit’.
Can I link my other social media accounts to my Soar profile?
Yes, you can add a link to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn profile, and even your website, on your Soar profile.

Click on your profile name in the top right corner of the page, then select ‘My Dashboard’. Once you’re in the dashboard, click ‘Edit My Profile’ and add your links to the ‘Social Media’ section of your profile.
How do I delete my account?
You can delete your account anytime by clicking on your profile name in the top right corner of the page then clicking ‘My Dashboard’. From there, click on the ‘Delete Account’ button at the bottom of the page.

It’s important to note that deleting your account is permanent and you won’t be able to retrieve your uploaded content after deleting your account.

Commonly Used Phrases

What is an AOI?
AOI stands for Area of Interest. This usually refers to an area on Earth (e.g. a town or a region) that you want imagery or maps from. Selecting an AOI means selecting the area of the Earth you’d like an image of.
What is pixel resolution?
A satellite image is made up of many thousands of pixels. Each pixel is usually represented as at ground level distance. For example, a satellite with a pixel resolution of 50cm means each pixel in the image from that satellite is representing 50cm x 50cm on the ground at a 0o angle (looking straight down). The smaller size of the pixel resolution, the more detail on the ground you are able to see in the image.

Resolutions compared: 50 centimeters vs 10 meters vs 30 meters.

What is a basemap?
A basemap is a map layer that is used as a background.
Who provides the images on Soar?
All the content in the ‘Maps’ and ‘Drones’ tab are uploaded by our users. Content in the ‘Satellite’ tab is directly from the satellite imagery services.

Support documents

still need help?

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If you're running late to a booking, please contact your specialist as soon as possible. We're happy to help if you give us a heads up, but a demo booking will be forfeited if you are more than 10 minutes late with no prior contact or explanation.

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Diana can show you how to get the most out of Soar.Earth and how it can be used to share your maps and imagery.
She holds a degree in Conservation Biology and Geographic Information Systems. Her areas of interest are environmental management and conservation.

View Diana's full profile here.

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