Earth Observation FAQs

Q1: How do I obtain Earth observation satellite images from SANSA?

A: You will have to register on our online catalogue and select the images you require using the link:

Q2: Do I have to pay for Earth observation satellite images?

A: All our online images are free to students and government departments. However, private entities can access LANDSAT, CBERS, SAC-C, and SumbandilaSat at no cost and SPOT data at discounted rate

Q3: What is Earth observation?

A: Earth observation refers to the gathering of information about planet earths chemical and biological systems using remote sensing technology and other field techniques.

Q4: What is remote sensing?

A: Remote sensing is the science of acquiring information about an object without being in physical contact with it.

Q5: Which satellite data does SANSA EO provide?

A: Online satellite images: SPOT 1- 6, LANDSAT 5 and 7, CBERS 2, SAC-C, and SumbandilaSat. We are resellers of Digital Globe products (World View 1-3, Geo Eye1, Quick Bird 2, and IKONOS), AIRBUS Products (Pleiades and TerraSAR-X) and MDA Products (RadarSAT)

Q6: Can I get earth observation sample data and information?

A: Yes, you can get SPOT and PLEIADES images using the link:

Q7: What are Value Added Products (VAPs)?

A: Value Added Products (VAPs) are the products derived from satellite images by physically changing those images in a way which enhances their value. For example, Human settlement, Flood potential and NDVI layers are all VAPs extracted from satellite images.

Q8: Where can I access training materials and tutorials?

A: Students, government officials and any interested in learning some basic to advanced skills in remote sensing can visit our Fundisa Portal Page to access a range of tutorials, links to open source software and training data.

Q9: What are possible applications that I can use earth observation data for?

A: Earth Observation data can be applied in a wide range of fields, including but not limited to Disaster Management (floods, Fire, drought mapping), Settlement mapping, Land cover/use mapping, water resource management, vegetation management, etc.

Q10: Do I need approval from supervisor before ordering the data?

A: Yes, if you are a student, your supervisor has to acknowledge the project in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Q12: Are there any science outreach programmes to learners and communities at large?

A: Science Advancement is one of the priority programmes at SANSA aiming to reach learners and community members across South Africa, to educate them of a range of opportunities that exist in the space sector.

Q13: Do I need to register on the catalogue to search for data?

A: Yes, you first need to register before you can view, order and download data from SANSA catalogue.

Q14: What are the processing levels that I can obtain from SANSA EO?

A: Multiple levels are available. This can depend on the sensor and processing system.

Q15: Does SANSA provide any bursaries, internships, and studentships? How do I apply?

A: SANSA EO annually advertises bursaries for post graduate students to apply and internships and studentships are offered from time to time. Be on the outlook for these opportunities and apply.

Q16: What kind of VAP(s) that I can obtain from SANSA EO and How?

A: There is a range of Value Added Products (VAPs) developed by SANSA EO scientists. Contact Customer services to find out more about these.

Q17: Are there any training courses to stakeholders offered by SANSA? How can I apply?

A: SANSA EO is committed to Capacity building within South Africa and its neighbours. From time to time, a number of training courses are offered on various topics. Be sure to frequently check our website for advertised courses.

Q18: How can I access Fundisa Resources in my university?

A: Each year, SANSA EO distributes Fundisa disks to all South African Universities. These contain open software, tutorials, and remote sensing data. Visit your Geography/GIS department to ask about Fundisa Disk or contact Customer services This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out the data champion at your university.

Q19: Different applications require different data needs. Who can I contact for advice?

A: You can contact our Data, Products and customer services unit (DPS) for good advice on which data you need depending on the application of interest.

For additional questions and assistance, please contact customer services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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